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Appian Way

#1
We have visited Rome over a dozen times but have never toured the Appia Antica and it’s Catacombs. Not sure whether to attempt it on our own or do a 4-6 hour tour. I note that some tours are by bike ( or E bike). Any thoughts or recommendations? Planning for late September. Thanks
 
#2
Once upon a time, when in Rome, we walked from our apartment (we were already staying at the gate, Porta Metronia). We walked the Appian Way and took our chances on the Catacombs, which we managed to tour without huge crowds. There was a restaurant on the Appian Way, where we enjoyed a nice lunch. As many years have passed, I don't have the information handy.

So, I think it's a pleasant thing to do on a lovely day.

If you have the patience for a guided 4-6 hour tour (that seems long to me), then go for it. If you don't, I think with a bit of research, you can put together an independent tour. Start by looking up the tickets/times for the Catacombs and any self-guided itineraries.
 
#3
We also toured the Appia Antica maybe 10 years ago on our own. We took the subway to Porta Metronia ( I think) then walked. I remember quite a lot of traffic on the road itself and thinking that we should have planned this a little more carefully, though it was really interesting. Though I'm not a tour person I might consider it in this case. Depends somewhat on how adventurous you are. I think cars are forbidden one day a week, at least they used to be, but don't know if that means everything else is closed.
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
#4
It's been about 5 years since I was last at the Appian way. We caught a bus from Colli Albani, but I think it would be easier to just walk from Piramide or Garbatella. The early parts of the Via Appia Antica are very narrow and busy - nowhere really to walk. I believe it is closed to traffic on Sundays.

If you can get to the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Palmis , then shortly down the (still very busy) Via Appia is a turn off to the left which takes you to Parco della Caffarella - part of the Parco Regionale Appia Antica.

I found this park lovely - full of ancient buildings and tombs - and it runs alongside the Via Appia all the way down to the Tomb of Cecilia Metella. After this, the road is pretty much the ancient ruin - large cobbles and very little traffic - exactly as you would imagine it to be throughout history. We hired cycles and travelled down as far as the section parallel to the airport. It was fun, but cycling is difficult because of the uneveness of the road.

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#5
That is a hard one, having a tour of the Appian Way is nice as you will have transportation to/from, someone to tell you all about it, no trying to figure things out, etc.

But at the same time, it is easily doable on your own. Personally, I don't recommend public transportation to get there and back. If you must, take it to get out there. But on the way back, shell out the extra money and do a taxi. The reason being is that the bus stops are mainly on the side of the road that has walls literally 2-3 feet from the roadway. You literally have a sliver of space to stand at the bus stop waiting for a bus to arrive. If you are familiar with Rome public transportation, you know that sometimes you can wait FOREVER for a bus to come. Standing in that little sliver of space as cars whiz by just a couple of feet from you is not fun!!!

Once you are out there, I would recommend renting bikes from the following place. Appia Antica Cafe You can also have lunch at the same place. Or better yet, grab some sandwiches to go, get a bottle of wine (have them pop the cork half-way if you don't have a corkscrew, then ride out the appian way and find some ruins to sit on and have a countryside picnic!!!
 

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