My recommendation for those who lack time, but still want to see Rome, is to leave Rome behind.
Does it sound strange? Well, it shouldn’t. That’s because the walk on Via Appia will take you back to Rome, first in space and then in time, right on the Palatine Hill, near Colosseum, where the Roman civilization was born.
How do I get to Via Appia?
The first part of our little adventure means that you need to leave the touristic and historic center of Rome.
Therefore, take the subway to Arco di Travertino.
This walk should be taken during the day. The neighborhood where the subway leaves you is full of migrants and it doesn’t seem very friendly at night. When I was waiting for the bus, on the other side of the road there was a burnt car.
Then, as soon as you go out, take a bus to Via dell’Almone up to Via Appia Antica, where you will start walking back to Rome, to the Colosseum.
See the map below:
You should buy a ticket before arriving there, through that area I didn’t find a place to buy tickets. When I got up in the bus without a ticket, the driver said that it was no problem. Up to Via Appia, there was no one else in the bus and we got there after 2 or 3 stops, in no more than 10 minutes.
The route to Via Appia
Via Appia was one of the most important roman roads for the military and for the commerce. Its role was to connect Rome to Brindisi, Apulia region in the southern part of Italy. From Brindisi, the ships were leaving for Egypt, Greece or the northern part of Africa.
These days, the road starts from Gate San Sebastiano, but in the old days, it started from Circus Maximus, near Colosseum.
The route I propose covers more than 10 km and you need a decent physical condition because you also need to walk through the Circus of Maxentius (second after the Circus Maximus), then you also have to walk through the catacombs.
To cover this route, you will have to go not from Rome to Via Appia, but from Via Appia back to Rome, to reach the Palatine Hill, the most important hill of the 7. The period I went there was the beginning of January and the weather was perfect for walking, but you should carry with you an umbrella, just in case.
See the route below:
The main objectives on this road are the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, the Circus of Maxentius and the impressive catacombs, where the Christians were hiding, were keeping religious services and of course they were also burying their dead. As you continue walking to Rome, you reach the Baths of Caracalla and finally the Palatine Hill, where the Roman civilization was born and from where you can admire the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.