The Regional Park of the Appian Way offers you an unforgettable experience in a setting full of charm, where nature and archaeological monuments melt in harmony, elements that have always characterized this part of the Agro Romano between Rome and the Castelli Romani, and a source of inspiration for many artists. The Park was instituted to conserve and enhance this huge historical and natural heritage. Its main reference is the Appian Way, the most important and most famous street of ancient Rome, which earned itself the name of “Regina Viarum”. The Park covers an area of around 3,500 hectares within which are the 16km of the Appian Way and its adjacent features, the Valle della Caffarella (200 hectares), the Via Latina archaeological area, the Aqueducts archaeological area.
The Park is part of three municipalities: Rome, Ciampino, and Marino and is bordered on the North by the Aurelian Walls, to the West by the via Ardeatina, and the Rome-Naples railway line, to the East by the Via Tuscolana and by the Via Appia Nuova as far as Frattocchie, to the South it reaches the village of Santa Maria delle Mole and the Fosso delle Cornacchiole at the edge of the Tellene archaeological area.
Along the Appian Way, you can see many elements and monuments that bear witness to the history of Rome: the best known of these from republican and imperial times are the Baths of Caracalla (although this is outside the Park), Porta San Sebastiano and the Aurelin Walls, the Tomba di Geta, the Sepolcro di Priscilla, the Circus and Massenzio's imperial palace, Cecilia Metella's huge round mausoleum, the Villa dei Quintili, the large cylindrical sepulchre, known as Casal Rotondo. There are also catacombs dating back to the first centuries of Christianity such as those of San Callisto, Domitilla (on the edge of the Park), San Sebastiano, and Pretestato. Along the way, you can see numerous mediaeval, renaissance, and baroque churches, such as Santa Maria in Palmis, better known as “Quo vadis?”, mediaeval towers and fortifications, often built on the ruins of Roman monuments, like the castle built by the Tuscolo counts around the sepulchre of Cecilia Metella.
The Park territory also takes in the Valle della Caffarella, with the river Almone running through it, this is the most important scenic element reflecting ancient agricultural use close to the city but it also has a wealth of important monuments from a variety of periods like the temple of the god Redicolo, the Ninfeo di Egeria, the Church of Sant'Urbano, the mediaeval towers, the Tombe Latine and the Parco degli Acquedotti, with the imposing ruins of the conduits that supplied the city with water.
The seat of the park and the starting point of guided tours is in the Ex Cartiera Latina (via Appia Antica 42). The Appian Way is closed to the traffic on Sundays and holidays and is the ideal place to walk or bike.
Photos: Archivio Parco Archeologico Appia Antica - MIC
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