APPIAN WAY PARK TOUR – ROME
Visit the most important monuments along the first roman consular road, the “Appian Way”.
The Appian Way Park tour offers you an escape from the city into the quiet of nature.
Visit the “Appian Way” park and see the most important ancient Roman monuments found on this historic road. You will see “villas”, “ancient Roman aqueducts”, “mausoleums”, “churches” and more. The Appian Way Park tour will take you on a journey on one of the most ancient roads in the world, where you will be surrounded by history and culture....
This part of the ancient Appian Way was not always an archaeological park, but it has been a beloved tourist destination for many people in the past. Many people came to visit it during the Grand Tour, a traditional tour of Europe that covered its most important monuments and places. The tradition of the Grand Tour started in the seventeenth century, but at that time the Appian Way was used as a simple country road, and the monuments were not given much attention from anyone who wasn’t a tourist. It was “Pope Pius IX” who decided to turn the Appian Way from country road to open-air museum, and the works he started in the nineteenth century made it the beautiful archaeological park you can visit today with the Appian Way Park tour.
The “Appian Way” was initially designed in 312 BC by “Appius Claudius Caecus”, an important politician who lived in the ancient “Roman Republic” and who gave the road its name. The Appian Way begins at the “Aurelian Walls”, where you will find “Porta San Sebastiano”, Saint Sebastian’s Door. The door is surmounted by two semi-cylindrical towers, and there are many inscriptions on the walls made by pilgrims and other people who visited the door. One particularly famous and beautiful incision depicts the “Archangel Gabriel” in the act of killing a dragon.
One of the symbols of the Appian Way is the “Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella”, an ancient tomb built here between 30 and 10 BC. This elegant mausoleum also features a tower built here in the Middle Ages, which is part of the castle “Castrum Caetani”.
On the “Appian Way” you will also see “Priscilla’s Tomb”, an ancient roman mausoleum built by the freedman “Titus Flavius Abascanto” for his wife Priscilla. In front of “Priscilla’s Tomb” you will find the “Santa Maria in Palmis Church”, also known as the “Church of Domine Quo Vadis”. According to the tradition, when “Saint Peter” was fleeing Rome to avoid prosecution he met Jesus here, who was going towards the city. Peter asked him “Lord, where are you going?” (in Latin: “Domine, quo vadis?”) and Jesus answered him. “To be crucified again in your place.” This convinced Peter to go back to Rome.
During the Appian Way Park tour you will also see an ancient roman circus, the “Circus Maxentius”, built here in the fourth century AD by “Emperor Maxentius”. The circus is part of a complex which also includes a villa and a mausoleum. The “Circus Maxentius”, was quite small and could only seat about 10,000 spectators, but it is very well-preserved, so you will be able to see many parts of it.
There are even more monuments to see during the Appian Way Park tour: the “Tomb of Geta”, the “Catacombs of Praetextatus”, the “Catacombs of Saint Sebastian” … the Appian Way Park tour will take you for a journey through history in the beautiful roman countryside.