The Appia Antica road and its Catacombs
Those who really want to find out about ancient Rome cannot leave without having experienced the thrill of a walk down the oldest road in the world, the Via Appia, “Regina Viarum”! Founded in 312BC by the censor Appio Claudio Cieco, over the centuries it has bore witness to soldiers, merchants, travellers and pilgrims leaving and heading South or arriving at their destination, Rome.
In the Archaeological Park alongside Via Appia, we can admire ancient and well-preserved tombs, such as the famous Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, as well as the Villa of Emperor Maxentius, which also includes a Roman circus and the mausoleum of Romulus, son of the emperor, who died prematurely.
After discovering the history of this road and what life thrived along it in Roman times, the visit will move on to the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian and the Church dedicated to the saint.
The catacombs of Saint Sebastian were the place where the first Christians brought the bodies or relics of the SS. Apostles Peter and Paul with the intention of hiding them in 258AD.
In the Constantinian Basilica of Saint Sebastian, one can find the Chapel of the Relics, which preserves an arrow used during the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, the column to which he was tied and the stone of “Quo Vadis?”, with footprints left by Christ when he appeared to St. Peter who was fleeing Rome to avoid martyrdom.
In addition, inside the Basilica you can admire an artwork by Gianlorenzo Bernini, the “Salvator Mundi”.
Meeting point: The appointment for the tour is by the Circo Massimo underground station. From there, we can hop on bus 118 and head to the “Basilica of Saint Sebastian outside the Walls” on the Via Appia, where the tour will begin.
Private car or shuttle: Alternatively, you will be able to reserve a private shuttle for 3 hours, that will bring us directly to the Basilica of Saint Sebastian on the Via Appia, including a one-way stop at the Cathedral and the first Basilica of Rome, “Saint John Lateran”.
We will meet at Circo Massimo and the tour will end at point of departure.
Duration: approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes
Time of the day: morning or afternoon, to be negotiated.
Useful tips: The inside of the Catacombs, even in summer, will be colder and humid, therefore it is advisable to bring a jacket with you.
If you suffer from claustrophobia, we strongly advise you not to choose this itinerary.
The cost of the car or shuttle is not included in the tour.