Day 7 May 29, 2023 (Rome)

Day 7 May 29, 2023

Today we did a 6-hour tour of the Appian Way Catacombs and Roman Aqueducts EBike tour. We got to explore the Roman countryside and navigate the highlights of the area including the 2300-year-old Appian Way, the 3rd century Aurelian walls, and the Roman Aqueducts. Our guide was Francesca, and she was a delight and very thorough with the history of what we were seeing. She navigated us through parts of the city first (was a little scary with all the traffic!) and then took back streets that led us to the countryside. We learned about the history of the Appian Way, which was constructed in 312 B.C. We saw important landmarks, such as the Caracalla’s thermal baths, the Villa of Maxentius, the ancient Aurelian Walls, the impressive tomb of Caecilia Metella, and the miles-long Aqueducts of antiquity. We also stopped at the San Callisto catacombs, which were built in the second century and named after the deacon St. Callixtus. There were a lot of familiar sights between the catacombs we saw today and those we saw yesterday. Still fascinating!

Even though we had e-bikes, John and I rarely used the “e” part, lol! We did have one guy, Eric, who we think had never ridden a bike before as he toppled over a few times (funny, not funny). Luckily, he only had a few scrapes and bruised ego. I, unfortunately, was behind him at one point and he stopped suddenly due to balance issues, and I luckily landed in grass. I still got bruised up, as the bike rammed into the side of my right leg. Thanks Eric……

We then ventured to the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli since it was nearby. It is best known for being the home of the Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II.

Miles biked – 16

Miles walked – 5.5

The Basilica of Saints John and Paul on the Caelian Hill. Originally built in 398.
Part of the Basilica.
The Porta San Sebastiano is the largest and one of the best-preserved gates passing through the Aurelian Walls in Rome. The original structure was constructed by Aurelian ca. AD 275 and included a double-arched opening surmounted by bow windows and two semi-cylindrical towers. The façade was faced with travertine.
The Arch of Drusus, and ancient arch close to the First Mile of the Appian Way and next to the Porta San Sebastiano. Most likely remains the Arch of Trajan.
Circus of Maxentius, part of a complex of buildings erected by the emporer Maxentius on the Appian Way between 306 and 312 A.D.
The Tomb of Caecilia Metella (on the Appian Way), built during the 1st century BC.
Riding along the Appian Way.
The herd of sheep we had to stop for as they were being moved from one field to another. It was hilarious watching them!
I met a friend 🙂
Behind us is the Aqua Appia, the first Roman aqueduct, constructed in 213 BC. The Appia fed the city of Rome with an estimated 73,000 cubic metres of water per day. Our guide mentioned each arch had to be slightly smaller than the one before so that it can flow downhill, but also cannot flow too fast. Hard to imagine the undertaking and thinking of this project back then.
Our group, with Francesa in the bright vest. Eric, is right behind her, thanks again Eric, lol!
Still part of the aqueducts.
Inside the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli.
Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II
St. Peter in chains.

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