Salambo Blog

Living in Rome

Cycling on the Via Appia

By the end of September, the beach season is practically over, but the weather is still very mild. It is the perfect time to explore the ancient Via Appia, known for its early Christian catacombs and ruins of Roman villas and monuments. Like many Roman residents, we would go there on a Sunday afternoon, when it is pedestrian only, and locally hire a bike to tour the area.

cycling on the via Appia

Part of the via Appia has remained practically intact, with the large paving stones the Romans used to use (a bit of a challenge for cycling). It was built in the mid-4th century BC and was one of the earliest and most strategic roads leading South, from Rome all the way to Brindisi in Puglia, the old port on the Adriatic Sea which opened on to the Eastern world.

In today’s Rome, it has also become an exclusive residential area, with upmarket villas secluded in lush gardens. Being relatively close to the centre of town, it is known to be a nice place to live. Apart from the famous catacombs, some Roman monuments can still be visited such as the circus and villa of Maxentius and the tomb of Cecilia Metella, the daughter of a Roman aristocrat.

Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella

The via Appia is said to contain Europe’s longest stretch of  straight road amounting to 62 kilometers.

walking the Appian way

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2010 by in Ancient Rome, Arts and culture, Daily life in Rome, English, Rome's neighbourhoods and tagged , , , , , , .
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