Snapshots of the Appian way (Appia Antica) on Sunday walks when cars are banned for the ancient road and passersby can step back in time on the same route millions of pilgrims have traveled for millennia:
Church next door to Catacombe di San Sebastiano.
Interesting church interior and only public bathroom for miles.
The entrance of the San Sebastian Catacombs from within its garden.
A garden prayer niche at the catacombs.
One of the many enchanting gates leading to the Appian Way (Antica – ancient part).
It’s amazing to see how people live among the ruins and the ancient villas and gardens of the most ancient of roads in Italy.
“The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella (not a castle), and is said to have been built in the second half of the 1st century AD”, some steps away from the Catacombs.
Here is an excellent site on Cecilia Metella’s Tomb and the San Sebastiano area of the unchanged Appian Way!
The walk is well worth the effort, very pleasurable on a sunny, warm day.
There are a few scattered cafe restaurants and a playground amid an orange grove.
More palazzo ruins and curiosities among the cypresses.
There are even some museums and art exhibitions featuring the the changing and not so changing face of the Appian Way. There are villas and open gardens to wander in from ancient Roman times.
Shadows of overhanging greenery on ancient and medieval walls.
Behind the gates are private gardens and residences one can only envisage in imagination.
A building on the walk with Ave Maria.
One of the many beautiful old houses blending the ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern world. How many families have lived here in all these centuries??
Chariot wheels and horse drawn carriages formed grooves over the ancient road leading to Rome for thousands of years.
Fallen and broken pieces of ruins and columns and cobblestones worked over centuries into restorations on the Appian Way.
A trattoria along the way. The sign reads Here No-One Ever Dies – read a poem set on the Appian Way and refers to this very “tavern” by Marie Luise Kaschnitz, translated by Alexander Booth.
In Roma, there are so many roads left to travel, so many places to wander. If you find yourself in Rome on a Sunday when the cars are off the road and the weather is pleasant and mild, I cannot stress to you how wonderful a long half-afternoon or afternoon stroll on the Appian Way. Take a bus or taxi to the Catacombs and get out and walk around the grounds and walk along the Appica Antica, taking in the sights and beauty. It’s truly a time machine back to the ancient world and along the pathway of the Grand Old Tour. Many have walked and ridden over these stones and passed under its gates.