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Appian Way

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via Appia Antica, 42, 00178 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit the Appian Way in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds and enjoy a serene walk along this ancient road; the golden hour light provides a magical touch, perfect for photography. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the original cobblestones can be uneven – local cyclists and joggers know this section of the Appian Way is best enjoyed with proper footwear!"

What is Appian Way?

The Appian Way, known as Via Appia in Italian, is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, in southeast Italy, spanning across the Italian peninsula. Its construction began in 312 BC by the Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus. As you meander along this ancient route today, you can still feel the echoes of Roman legions marching, the whispers of political intrigue, and the hum of daily life from centuries past.

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History of Appian Way

The history of the Appian Way is as old as Rome itself, intricately tied to the republic's and later the empire's expansion and power. Constructed under the guidance of Appius Claudius Caecus, the Appian Way was an engineering marvel of its time. Designed for military purposes, it allowed for rapid troop movement and economic trade, extending Roman influence across the known world. Over centuries, the road was expanded and maintained, serving as a crucial artery of the Roman state, and it was traversed by countless historical figures, from Saint Peter to Spartacus.

As Rome fell and time wore on, stretches of the road fell into disrepair or were repurposed, while others remained in use as local thoroughfares. The cobblestones of the Appian Way have witnessed an entire spectrum of history, from triumphs to tragedies, and the changes of time can be seen in the very stones that pave the route. Today, parts of the ancient road serve as a picturesque historical site that attract historians, tourists, and nature enthusiasts alike.

Why is Appian Way Important?

The Appian Way holds immense historical, archaeological, and cultural significance. It's considered a monument to Roman engineering and ambition, showcasing the ability of the Ancient Romans to shape their environment and create infrastructures that would last millennia. The road's construction set a precedent for road building techniques that influenced the development of future highways and transport systems globally. Its significance is further emphasized by the monuments, catacombs, and ruins that line its route, providing a tangible connection to the distant past.

Moreover, the Appian Way has also played a notable role in Christian history. It is said to be the route that St. Peter took when he left Rome, and along the Appian Way are several Christian catacombs, which were used as burial places for martyrs and popes. For many, it is a pilgrimage route that reflects on the struggles and the perseverance of early Christianity under Roman persecution.

Things to Do & See at Appian Way

Visitors to the Appian Way can partake in an array of activities, blending sightseeing with physical activity and moments for quiet reflection. One popular activity is walking or cycling along stretches of the ancient road, enjoying the tranquility and taking in the scenery. As you explore, you'll find ruins of Ancient Roman monuments, including tombs and statues honoring noble families and historical figures. The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and the Villa dei Quintili are among the prominent structures that offer a glimpse into Rome's imperial glory.

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For the adventurous at heart, the Appian Way Regional Park provides trails that wind through the surrounding countryside, perfect for hikes, horseback riding, or leisurely picnics. Meanwhile, history buffs will appreciate the many archaeological sites, such as the ancient catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, where early Christians buried their dead and held clandestine worship services. These underground labyrinths are adorned with early Christian art and hold significant religious and historical artefacts.

Every cobblestone, every ruin, and every stretch of the surrounding land tells a story you won't find in textbooks—at least not with the same depth. Imagine pausing at the crossroads where Spartacus was crucified, or standing before the tomb of Praetextatus, pondering the lives of those who walked this road before you. Whether you're a lover of history, an admirer of architecture, or a seeker of tranquil natural beauty, the Appian Way has something unique to offer—a witness to the past that still resonates with the hustle and bustle of the ancient world.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Appian Way?

The Appian Way, known in Latin as the Via Appia, is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, in southeast Italy, and was used for military and economic purposes.

How long is the Appian Way and where does it start and end?

The Appian Way originally stretched from Rome to Capua near Naples, approximately 132 miles (212 kilometers), but was later extended to Brindisi in the southeast of Italy, covering about 350 miles (563 kilometers) in total.

What are some notable sites along the Appian Way?

Notable sites along the Appian Way include the Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, and the remains of several ancient Roman villas and tombs.

Can visitors walk or bike along the Appian Way today?

Yes, visitors can walk or bike along certain sections of the Appian Way. The first 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the road from Rome are part of a regional park, which is a popular area for walking, cycling, and sightseeing.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Appian Way?

There is no entrance fee to walk along the Appian Way itself as it is a public road. However, some of the historic sites and catacombs along the road do charge admission fees.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via Appia Antica, 42, 00178 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps