a photo walk on the appian way

PART ONE:appian1

Church next door to Catacombe di San Sebastiano

appian2Interesting church interior and only public bathroom for miles.

appian3Looking down at the entrance of the San Sebastian Catacombs from within it’s garden.

appian5A garden prayer niche at the catacombs.

appian6One 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 CE”, some steps away from the Catacombs. (Thank you, Misera e stipend città! That was lazy recall on my part! That’s one of the things with photographing so much and not taking notes – I forget the specifics! I need to start taking a tiny pocket notebook and a pencil with me like I did in the 1990s/early 2000s. And this is particularly sloppy writing as I made a big deal out of finally seeing Cecilia Metella last March, too)! 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.

appian9There are a few scattered cafe restaurants and a playground amid an orange grove.

appian10More palazzo ruins and curiosities among the cypresses.

appian11There 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.

appian12Shadows of overhanging greenery on ancient and medieval walls.

appian13Behind the gates are private gardens and residences one can only envisage in imagination.

appian14A building on the walk with Ave Maria.

appian15One of the  many beautiful old houses blending the ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern world. How many families have lived here in all these centuries??


appian17Chariot 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 (thank you Misera e stipend città) – read a poem set on the Appian Way and refers to this very “tavern” by Marie Luise Kaschnitz, translated by Alexander Booth. I love learning thats what the sign says. Next time I must go in there for a drink and a bite! Maybe some ancient luck will rub off on me.


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.

Second Part of the Photo Tour of the Appian Way to follow.

4 thoughts on “a photo walk on the appian way

  1. The seventh photograph is of the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella (not a castle), and is said to have been built in the second half of the 1st century CE

    The poem on our site from Marie Luise Kaschnitz refers specifically to the trattoria in your second to last photograph – here no one ever dies!

    Lovely photographs as always

    1. Thank you so much for the corrections and telling me about the poem… When I had read it a week or so ago I didn’t put the two and two together! I made corrections.

      1. Well, you probably would have had to have been paying pretty close attention — it’s a very enjoyable trattoria, you would never think youre anywhere close to the city…as soon as primavera really comes we like to walk across the Caffarella to take a prandium there

        Tante cose —

        – Misera e stupenda città

      2. That sounds so wonderful… taking the prandium over… I’ve never stopped on the appian for a drink more than an espresso or an aqua mineral frizzante… but on your recommendation I’d like to have some antipasto and vino. My husband doesn’t drink ever and I have a little health problem – I’m not really supposed to have much fat, sugar, flour or alcohol (I mean my god, must you take everything?) but I am “saving up my store” by having a very little champagne or prosecco or vino with the wonderful array of vegetables all a romano/neapolitano and fish dishes and fresh fruit (skipping the desserts and the pasta and bread – I know, sacrilege but I have had many great pasta dishes and desserts in Italy). So… I’m rambling… in Naples it will be easy to have fish… I am hoping to find healthy, home style, roman vegetable and fish or dairy dishes in rome too. We’ll be in Naples in May with a day trip or two to rome (maybe) and in October we will be in rome. (Really love your blog again, btw)

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