Jeff's Blog - Sunday, October 5, 2014 - Appian Way

As almost always, it was sunny and warm today. I walked the Appian Way south for 3 miles from the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, which was the furthest south I made it last time I was here. The part north of there had churches, a chariot racetrack, and the catacombs. Today's walk, south from there, has a couple of impressive baths, and lots and lots of tombs lining the road. It was illegal to be buried within the city limits in ancient times, so the roads leaving a city were often lined with tombs. The photo below shows a few tombs on the left, the Appian Way itself in the center, the left half of which is original roman paving, and the gorgeous umbrella pines that line the road. Back in 78 BC, Crassus crucified the 6000 slaves who took part in Spartacus' revolt on the Appian Way, and and left their bodies on the crosses to rot and warn any future rebels of their fate. The road is about a pickup truck wide, and perfectly straight for long distances. After this walk, I went to another set of tombs lining another of these roads, the Via Latina, then to Cinecetta Studios, Italy's version of Hollywood, where La Dolce Vita and other Italian favorite movies were made. There I saw the set from Gangs of New York and HBO's Rome series. Finally I went back to Aqueduct Park since it's just a half-mile from the movie studio. On the metro now heading back to central Rome for supper and a look at the newly-restored Pyramid hopefully lit up at night. Tomorrow I plan to spend my day in the Roman Forum and on the Palatine Hill, assuming the weather prediction is still rain-free.

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