A walk into the green side of Rome:
the Appia Antica
Rome is the fifth city in the world for green areas. In first position in this special world ranking we find Bratislava in Slovakia, followed in order by Gothenburg in Sweden, Sydney in Australia, Prague in the Czech Republic and then finally Rome … excellent result, right? And it is an incredible result if we consider that if we ask someone what he thinks about Rome, after its cultural, historical and artistic value… he will certainly think about traffic!
All this said to introduce you the topic that is most important to all of us today: as soon as this #coronavirus pandemia is over, we can’t wait to go back for a nice walk in the open air and finally breath freedom! …and Rome will be a great destionation for a quick summer trip thanks to its heritage and its green areas.
Rome was known in ancient times with the name of “caput mundi”, that means capital of the world, obviously in reference to the known world at those times: the roman emperor. The roman emperor was the stronger militarily and better organized society, socially and economically developped. Rome therefore combines its beauties of inestimable cultural and historical value, also with the pleasure of wonderful walks in the fresh air and beautiful panoramas. So when this globally #pandemia due to #coronavirus will be finally over, we will be able to benefit of this wonderful (and unusual) combo: clean air, open air, & archeology heritage. Walking through the green areas of the Roma’s parks, you will discover many open air monuments and masterpieces, towards the rediscovery of our very beautiful territory. Doesn’t that seem like a great idea?
One of the walks that we can recommend to combine the two aspects mentioned before (open air + history), is the famous Appia Antica, the first consular road that the Romans built in the 4th century BC. to connect Rome, the capital of the empire, with Brindisi. Being the first road built, it took the name of “regina viarium” and its builder Appio Claudio Cieco named it “appia”. The Appia Antica is a beautiful tiled road that passes through the Roman countryside, shaded by pine trees on both sides and dotted with numerous ruins of old Roman funeral monuments. Some of them can also be visited internally, such as the tomb of Cecilia Metella or the ancient catacombs of San Sebastiano.
But if at this moment what you want most is the open air instead of ancient Roman tombs, the ancient Appia also offers the possibility of visiting completely open sites. In fact, this area far from the inhabited center had been chosen by the Roman nobles, and by the emperors, as the ideal place to build their sumptuous country villas here. Absolutely worthy of a visit are the wonderful ruins of the Villa dei Quintili, located on a green hill and completely open. A magical place that truly gives us the idea of well-being and opulence in which the rich ancient Romans lived. The Villa belonged to two brothers both Roman consuls, the Quintili brothers, and it was so sumptuous as to envy the Emperor Commodus in charge during those ages (that many of you will remember from the movie The Gladiator by Ridley Scott – with the wonderful participation of Russell Crowe in the main character of the gladiator Tenth Maximus).
Commodus to take possession of the villa didn’t hesitate to unjustly accuse the two Quintili brothers of conspiring against him and sentenced them to death. The death sentence wais a pain inflicted to all those who in some way really or presumptively opposed against the empire, and as provided by the law in force at the time, all the property of the condemned were confiscated, villa included. Emperor Commodus therefore became the owner of the villa. Do you notice any similarity with the plot of the film ?!
Going back to the site, the SPA is definitely worthy of a visit. The spa area of the villa is preserved in an excellent way: the pipes and underlying layers used for heating the thermal waters are still visible inside.
Walk into the green and jump back in time to feel like a real roman, while learning more on the most important emperor of history.