Bike Tour: Ancient Appian Way, Aqueducts and Christian Catacombs

955 Reviews
from €74.70 EUR 
Duration: 6 Hours
 Organized by: Topbike Tours
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Explore Rome’s Ancient Appian Way, Aqueducts, and Catacombs on an electrifying e-bike tour. Join our team of experienced guides for a relaxing and safety-conscious excursion through history.

Discover the engineering genius of the ancient Romans as you ride through the Roman countryside on a comfortable Bosch E-Mountain Bike. Marvel at the Appian Way, a 2.400-year old thoroughfare that tells the story of Rome’s rise, goldn age, and decline. Visit the catacombs of St. Callixtus or St. Sebastian with an informative guide and delve into the early Christian history that shaped the world to come.

The tour begins at St. Sebastian’s gate in the Aurelian Walls, where you will leave the city and enter the Ancient Appian Way. This thoroughfare is an iconic symbol of Rome’s rich history, having been used for centuries to transport goods and troops, as well as serve as a burial ground for many famous citizens.

You will have the opportunity to stop underground at the Catacombs of St. Callixtus (or St. Sebastian), where you will be guided through its crypts and corridors, learning about the fascinating history of this ancient burial site.

After visiting the catacombs, you will cycle further on the Appian Way, passing mausoleums, tombstones, and sprawling villas of ancient aristocracy.Your journey will take you through the countryside,and you’ll be able to admire the beautiful scenery while riding on your e-bike.

Finally, you’ll reach the Park of the Aqueducts, where you’ll see stretches of colossal arches rising against the warm afternoon light. You’ll follow these aqueducts back to modern civilization and cross the green Caffarella Valley before heading back to the starting point.

Our tour is designed for small groups, with a maximum of 10 participants, to ensure that each person receives personalized attention and an enjoyable experience. Our local guides are knowledgeable about the area’s history and will share their insights with you throughout the tour.

About Appian Way and Catacombs

The Via Appia (Appian Way) was ancient Rome’s link with its empire in the east. The first section of it, leading out of the old Porta Appia (now the Porta San Sebastiano), was built in 312 BC, and the road was extended to the ports of Taranto and Brindisi in the ‘heel’ of Italy in 190 BC.

Parts of it are still paved and lining its route are the tombs of the Roman patrician dead and the catacombs of the early Christians.

CATACOMBE DI SAN CALLISTO: There are 20km of galleries containing the remains of some 170,000 dead. Carved out of soft volcanic tufa, the burial niches, or loculli, are in tiers. The grander dead had separate tombs or entire chapels; tombs of the early popes are generally.

CATACOMBE DI SAN SEBASTIANO: These catacombs were begun in the 1st century BC as a pagan cemetery. St Sebastian was buried here, and the bodies of St Peter and St Paul are supposed to have been brought for safe- keeping. Inscriptions on the wall give credence to these claims. Above the catacombs is the 17th-century church of San Sebastiano, occupying the site of a basilica dating from the reign of Constantine.

TOMBA DI ROMOLO: Across the Via Appia is the Tomb of Romulus, son of the tyrant Maxentius, who died in AD 309. Not unlike the Pantheon in design, it is placed at the centre of an area enclosed by a four-sided portico. Beyond it lie the ruins of Maxentius’ palace.

CIRCO DI MASSENZIO: Built in AD 309 by Maxentius, this was ancient Rome’s last racetrack, 520m long and 92m wide. At its head are the ruins of two towers between which were 12 starting gates for chariot races (see page 160). At the other end was a triumphal arch and down each side were tiers of seats for 10,000 spectators. In the middle of the arena the spina was dominated by an obelisk now in the Piazza Navona.

TOMBA DI CECILIA METELLA: Built soon after 50 BC, this tomb belonged to the wife of Marcus Crassus, son of the rich triumvir who ruled Rome with Pompey and Caesar. In 1302 Pope Boniface gave it to his family and it was turned into a fortress blocking the Via Appia.

Highlights
  • Enjoy a day full of outdoor adventures with your guide,
  • See some Roman ruins including the Circus Maxentius while you are biking,
  • Have a look at the marvelous waterways built by Romans,
  • Ride your bike on 23-centuries-old paving stones,
  • Have a rest and enjoy your aperitif,
  • Explore the subterranean Catacombs of St. Callisto.
What's Included
  • Safety Helmet,
  • Local professional tour guide,
  • Guided tour of the Catacombs of St. Callisto,
  • An electric-assist mountain bike or a carbon mountain bike (in English, German, French and Spanish tours),
  • Aperatif.
Cancellation Policy

Free cancellation up to 1 day before tour starts.

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