This is a two-part article. Here’s Part 1.
While in Rome, my brother kept dangling this promise of taking our bicycles out to Via Appia and making a day trip out of it. I wanted to see it because the Via Appia was the most important Roman road of its time. Roman bases, villas and famous tombs adorned its sides in its heyday, and their ruins can be seen even today. The road itself was a marvel of Roman engineering. It was so well-made that portions of it are still preserved, thousands of years later.
Well, I kept feeling like the horse that can’t reach the carrot, since my brother still buried his nose in books every day. But, I kept nagging him, and in my last week there, we managed to make a half-day trip out of it. It was a wonderful time!
We took our bikes and rode through the city till we reached the highway shown below (don’t ask me for the name, I forgot it), rode alongside it for a bit, then took a side street down a little hill that took us to the start of the Via Appia. From then on, it was an easy (and beautiful) ride out into the countryside.
Along the way, we stopped so I could take photos (of course), and also snuck into some pretty unsafe ruins, as you’ll see below. I’m still amazed the floors didn’t crumble under us as we climbed onto the second floor of a villa. I can only attribute it to good, old, solid Roman construction.
You can also read more about the Via Appia over at Wikipedia. Stay tuned for my post on Florence.