Via Appia Antica | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Via Appia Antica

Rome, Lazio, Italy

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About Via Appia Antica

Via Appia Antica, also known as the Appian Way, is one of the oldest and most important roads leading to Rome. Built in 312 BC, it was slowly extended and, by 191 BC, it reached the port of Brindisi, over 550km southeast of the city (along the “heel” of Italy). Thus, Via Appia Antica became a gateway to the east.

In 66 BC, Julius Caesar became the curator of the Appian Way and, to gain crucial electoral votes, borrowed significant sums to restore the ancient highway.

Over the centuries, several important events are said to have occurred along Via Appia Antica and, perhaps most notably, Christian legend has it that it was the road on which Christ appeared to a fleeing St. Peter, convincing him to return to Rome thereafter being executed and martyred.

In ancient Rome,  the Via Appia Antica was a popular location for tombs and catacombs, many of which are scattered along the road today, including the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella. Christian catacombs such as the Catacombs of San Callisto and the St. Sebastian Catacombs can also be found there.

Other impressive monuments on the Via Appia Antica, which became the route to the affluent suburbs of Rome, include the Villa and Circus of Maxentius, the Villa dei Quintili and the Baths of Caracalla.

With such a clear route to so many incredible monuments, the Via Appia Antica offers tourists a great way to explore the road’s history, which is so inextricably intertwined with that of Rome. Today, the Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica oversees much of the site.

Probably the best way to travel along Via Appia Antica is by public transport. Indeed, it is closed to private traffic on Sundays and on holidays. For itineraries along Via Appia Antica, check the official website.

Featured In

Italy Historic Sites

Discover the best Historic sites in Italy, from Ostia Antica to The Trevi Fountain and more, includes an interactive map of Italian cultural places, landmarks and monuments.

Rome Top 10

Discover the best places to visit in Rome with an expert guide to Rome’s top tourist attractions. Includes the top ten places to visit with an interactive map and guide.

Roman Sites in Italy

Discover the top Roman ruins in Italy, from the famous Pantheon to the Aquileia Basilica and more, includes an interactive map of Ancient Roman sites to visit.

Rome Historic Sites

Discover the best historic places in Rome, from the Colosseum to the Capuchin Crypt and more, includes an interactive map of Rome's cultural landmarks, monuments and museums.

Catacombs

Discover the most famous catacombs in the world, from the catacombs of Paris to Petrovaradin Fortress and more, includes interactive underground burial chambers map.

.