Via Appia

Via Appia Called the "Regina Viarum", it was begun by Appius Claudius in 312 B.C. Bordering it for many miles were the sepulchres and tomb-stones of twenty generations. Only patrician families could have a tomb here. At its beginning, the famous Baths of Caracalla, begun by Septimius Severus in A.D. 206. The Porta San Sebastiano (former Porta Appia) is in the Aurelian Wall, begun by Aurelius in A.D. 272. Before passing the Porta San Sebastiano we can see the so-called Arch of Drusus. At this point, the most famous part of the Via Appia begins. It is marked by landmarks of specific importance, such as the Quo Vadis chapel, where a holy legend says that Peter had a vision of Christ. Facing the Quo Vadis chapel stands the circular ruin of the tomb of Santa Priscilla. The Via Appia offers us the most suggestive evidence of early Christianity. Indeed, some of the most famous roman Catacombs extend in all direction beneath it. The Catacombs of San Callisto shows us the first example of Chistian cemetery. The Catacombs of San Sebastiano received the precious relic of the martyr of the same name. The Catacombs of Santa Domitilla are called by the name of the lady to whom this land belonged. At a short distance from the Catacombs of San Sabastiano there is another place of martyrdom and sacrifice: the Fosse Ardeatine. The tomb of Cecilia Metella stands solemnly on the brow of a hill on the Via Appia. On this tomb, which was turned into a fortress in the middle ages, the original commemorative slab still remains.



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