Monday, September 1, 2014

Rome: Via Appia Antica, Trastevere

Via Appia Antica
My next stop was the Via Appia Antica, which I visited several years ago, but wanted to see again. In particular, I wanted to walk farther along the path, which stretches across Italy, from Rome to Brindisi, on the Adriatic coast. The main part of the Appian Way was started and finished in 312 BC.

A serene setting.
I took bus 118 from the Baths of Caracalla out to the catacomb of San Sebastiano, the farthest bus stop along the road. Then I walked for another hour, traversing the stones placed thousands of years ago by the Romans. Most people never get this far on the road, since one has to come by foot or bicycle. But there are many miles to go, if you're so inclined.

These stones were placed in 312 B.C.
I think that people get discouraged, because a long stretch of the road has everyday traffic, and then another long stretch has private residences on either side of the road. It's only after walking several hours that one gets to the best views, where the road is lined with cypress trees and surrounded by the quiet countryside. Well worth the walk, but next time I'll rent a bicycle and go even further.

Musicians playing in the piazza
On my last evening in Rome, I caught a bus, filled to capacity, to ride across town to Trastevere, one of my favorite spots in Rome. It's always entertaining, with its bohemian flair, and people swarm there on weekend nights. It's the "in" place to eat, though it's best to avoid the restaurants that offer a "tourist" menu, as it means they're serving food prepared ahead of time.

A wine bar with a unique look
Lungo il Tevere festival
From June to the last day of August temporary bars, restaurants and shops are opened next to the Tiber river for a festival called Lungo il Tevere (Along the Tiber). It's always fun to see the booths lighting up the river.

Lungo il Tevere booths with St. Peter's basilica in the background.
All too soon, it was time to catch the bus back to Termini and get packed to leave Rome.  Next stop: Naples!

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