The Appian way takes its name from Appius Claudius Caecus, the then-censor of Rome, the road connected Rome to Capua near Naples. Eventually, it extended more than 300 miles to Brindisi, Puglia on the Adriatic Coast, making it the widest and longest road in existence at the time. Called the “Queen of Roads” it’s construction was truly momentous, especially considering it was built in 312 BC!
Fortunately, about the first 10 miles of the Appian Way is preserved as a regional park (Parco dell’Appia Antica). In addition to the roadway, there are ruined Roman monuments, two major Christian catacombs, and a church marking the spot where Peter had a vision of Jesus.
Getting here from the center of Rome is easy; it’s a short Metro ride and then a quick bus trip. It’s best to come on a Sunday or holiday when the whole park is closed to car traffic, and it becomes Rome’s biggest pedestrian zone (but take note that the Catacombs of San Sebastiano are closed on Sunday). You can rent bicycles — and enjoy a meal — at a nearby café.