Destination List > Appian Way

Appian Way

Photo by Paul Stephenson

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The history...

The Appian Way is an ancient road built in 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus for the purpose of transporting military supplies. It is called the “Queen of Roads” because it has lasted so long.

The Ancient Appian Way was Rome’s gateway to the East before modern streets and highways were built. It was a straight line to the important town of Capua and then stretched for 400 miles to Brindisi where Roman ships sailed to Egypt and Greece.

The road was very advanced for its time. Huge paving blocks made of basalt form the sturdy base. There’s a strip where animal-powered vehicles traveled and elevated sidewalks for people to walk.

Many famous men walked on the street, like Julius Caesar and St. Peter of the Bible. Now, the first 10 miles of the road is preserved as a regional park called Parco dell’ Appia Antica. There are Roman monuments along the roadway and a church where St. Peter had a vision of Jesus. 

The road can be accessed by bike, on foot, and parts of it by car.

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Make a stop at Church of Domine Quo Vadis. Constructed in 1637, evidence supports that the Apostle Peter lived in this area.


Explore the Tomb of Priscilla, an ancient Roman tomb dating back to the 1st century.


Check out Colombario dei Liberti di Augusto, now a restaurant, this location was used as a cemetery for the slaves freed by Emperor Augustus.


View the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and Catacombs of St. Sebastian, two of the larger burial sites along the Appian Way.


Find the mausoleum built to honor Emperor Maxentius' son Romulus.


Walk to the circus and palace of Emperor Maxentius built around 306-312 AD.

Did you know?

312 BC


The main section of the Appian Way was started and completed in 312 BC.

264 BC


The road was completed in 264 BC. It ran about 580 km (360 miles) from Rome to Brindisi.

Rome, journey on...

Home to over 900 churches and 280 fountains, this historic capital city should not be missed.