Via Appia

Photo by Hubert.

Via Appia 'Regina Viarum' is part of the Tentative list of Italy in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Via Appia is the first and most important of the great roads built by the Ancient Romans, also known as "regina viarum" (or "queen of roads"). It was built in 312 BC to ensure swift and direct communication between Rome and Capua, an ancient town to the north of Naples. A revolution in road construction, the road was paved with close-fitting slabs of dressed basalt, ensuring it remained passable in all weather conditions, plus it was a public, toll-free road.

Map of Via Appia

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Czechia - 17-Jun-23 -

Via Appia  (T) by Matejicek

Though I visited Rome several times, it was still not enough to visit all the interesting places in Rome, not to mention the places around. In May 2023, I traveled to Salento region in the Southern Italy, so I took opportunity and did a stop in Brindisi. This place was the end of extended Via Appia, and the reason why Brindisi was connected to Rome was a possibility to travel to Greece and the East by sailing from the local port.

Brindisi is now important port and tourist spot. One can find however several interesting monuments spanning two millennia in the relatively small and rather unassuming historical core. The only site related to Via Appia that could be seen is its "official" end marked by giant two columns (PHOTO). Well, only one is remaining because the second one was moved to nearby Lecce and used as a base for the statue of Saint Oronzo.

As clearly evident, there is not much to see from Via Appia in Brindisi, and it is necessary to visit other components to get OUV of this tentative site.

Besides the columns in Brindisi, I could see small remaining of Roman pavement, the part of side branches of Via Appia, in Bari on Piazza del Ferrarese. Hopefully, the strategy of the state party of Italy will not follow the way paved by Danube Limes WHS, where every single stone is included as the separate component.


Malta - 05-Apr-23 -

Via Appia  (T) by Clyde

I visited this tWHS in 2022. Most probably I had already passed by Porta San Sebastiano and the rather ugly and urban part of the Via Appia several times in the past, but I had no photos and no real idea what possible OUV this site has to offer. So this time round, I allowed a full day to hike as much as possible and check it out. Be advised that the way, although almost flat, can get muddy so sturdy hiking shoes will certainly help.

The Appian Way in Rome is an ancient road built in 312 b.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus. The city’s gateway to the East connected Rome with Capua. It stretched from the Roman Forum for 400 miles to Brindisi, where ships sailed to Egypt and Greece, and it served as a military and economic artery. The Appian Way was revolutionary for that period and was the first Roman road to feature lime cement. The natural starting point when staying in Rome proper is going to be Porta Latina or Porta San Sebastiano. The walls near the latter are far more stunning than the first part of the old Via Appia, so much so that there is an interesting Museo delle Mura inside. The constant traffic at the rather narrow two-way road, the lack of pavements sometimes, and the amount of bicycles and/or scooters might put you off at first as the only worthy monuments left to see are a replica of the Colonna del Primo Miglio (the original can be found in the Capitoline Museum), a number of private catacomb entrances (mostly closed and quite hard to visit even with a guide) and two information boards on the Via Francigena which also passes through this road and the Parco della Via Appia Antica.

Luckily, once you arrive near the Catacombs of Saint Callisto, things change drammatically for the better. The catacombs here are easily accessible (although each with different opening and closing times, and frustratingly with different closing days too). Probably the easiest and most rewarding to visit while exploring the Appian Way are the Catacombs of Saint Callisto and the Catacombs of the Basilica di San Sebastiano, especially on a wet day. Further on, you'll reach the rather huge Massenzio complex with the ruins of a tower, a cistern and a colombarium or dove cote (free entrance) mentioned in Els' review and then the remains of the Church of Saint Nicholas and a geodetic marker (nothing to do with Struve unfortunately!) just opposite the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and Castrum Caetani.

You have to pay 8 euro for admission to the Antiquarium di Lucrezia Romana, Capo di Bove Archivio Cederna, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and Castrum Caetani, the Via Latina Tombs, the Villa dei Quintili e Santa Maria Nova and the Villa di Sette Bassi. The 8 euro combined ticket is valid for 3 days from the first time you use it or else if you pay 15 euros for the Mia Appia Card you get unlimited access for a whole year. Tickets can be purchased online on or else at the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and Castrum Caetani or at the Villa dei Quintili. Keep in mind that most monuments with an admission fee are closed on Mondays!

Next is the Capo di Bove where you can visit the remains of thermal baths from 2 AD and monochrome mosaics in a garden (free access) and the Archivio Cederna museum. The Appian way section from here till the magnificent Villa dei Quintili e Santa Maria Nova is littered with tombs and monuments, one after the other, although most have either been reconstructed or are replicas of originals locked up in several museums mostly in Rome and the Vatican. If you had to pick just one site to visit along the Appian Way, I would recommend the Villa dei Quintili which is worth the combined admission ticket alone. Once again, the are is quite large and unsheltered so I wouldn't suggest visiting on a wet day.

From this point onwards, especially just after the dangerous crossroads with Via del Casale Rotondo and Via di Torricola, the Appian Way is less paved and much quieter. It is also still used by local shepherds for grazing so if you walk this far you're more than likely happen to be outnumbered by countless cattle, sheep and goats. Due to a limited number of private villas along the Appian Way some cars also use it to reach their residences while many others seem to use this as an excuse for a very bumpy shortcut to the centre of Rome to avoid traffic jams. Hopefully this problem will be addressed should this tWHS get inscribed.

After the Mausoleo di Casal Rotondo, the most important remains along the Appian Way are Torre Selcre, the Quintili aqueduct, Berretta del Prete, Mausoleo di Gallieno, La Mola, the Temple of Hercules and several tombs in between. I only realised how much I had hiked when I was surprised by a huge commercial plane landing at the nearby Ciampino Airport. After Torre Secchi at Frattocchie, I decided to hike back for almost half the Appian Way I had covered previously and then I took a sharp turn on the right just after Capo di Bove to explore the Via Latina tombs (2nd century AD), still within the Appian Way Regional Park, as well as the Parco degli Acquedotti. The latter is a public park of around 240 hectares named after the aqueducts that split it, the Aqua Felix and the Aqua Claudia, where you will also find the remains of the Villa delle Vignacce or di Sette Bassi.

All in all, it really was a pleasant day away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city and even if it never makes it on the list, I hope to give it a try to Brindisi!

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 13-Oct-22 -

Via Appia  (T) by Els Slots

My trip mates were surprised to hear that Rome only has one WHS (two if you count the Vatican as well). So many great monuments that could be WHS on their own! However, if all goes to Italy’s plan, the city will have another one in 2024: the Via Appia. This “revolution in road construction” will be a serial nomination of 22 stretches between Rome and Brindisi. It will be interesting to see whether there is a core zone overlap with the Rome WHS, as the Via Appia traditionally started at the Forum Romanum. The road with the name ‘Via Appia Antica’ now starts from the edge of the city at Porta San Sebastiano, a gate passing through the Aurelian Walls.

During my 2022 trip to Rome, I visited just a short section of the Via Appia. It’s not easy to do so on foot, as the road is narrow without room for a pavement and there is constant vehicle traffic. The sights also are spread out miles apart. You’ll encounter many cyclists (often in guided groups and not well-trained in cycling), who seem to have chosen the best way to explore this linear site.

Fortunately, bus #118 travels part of the ancient road, and we took it from the Baths of Caracalla. After 4km, we disembarked near a field that turned out to be the Circus of Maxentius. It has the remains of a chariot racetrack and a mausoleum. This area in Antiquity was a well-to-do suburb. Also, many prominent families buried their dead next to the road and so did the Vatican from the 2nd to 4th centuries (the popes were interred in Catacombs). 

The most monumental mausoleum in this first stretch is the Tomb of Caecilia Metella. It was built in the 1st century BC for the daughter of a consul. The white building has the shape of a rotunda and the walls are made of travertine. At the top, there is a narrow strip with sculpted ornaments such as oxen heads. They are hard to see with the naked eye as the tomb is 21m high.

The monument looks like a castle because it was used as one in the Middle Ages after defensive constructions were added. There’s a small collection of sculpted funerary stones to see that stood facing the road. It costs 8 EUR to visit, a bit steep for this mausoleum alone as the tomb is empty nowadays (the ticket does allow entrance to a further 4 paid sites in the Appia Antica Archeological Park as well, but they don't sound too exciting either). 

Somehow you do expect more from something as legendary as the Via Appia, although there is way more to see here than at the Roman Limes elsewhere in Europe. Most of the road itself on this stretch has modern paving.

When it gets inscribed, I’ll gladly check out one or more locations further south. A full list of which 22 stretches, with many more monuments, will be included is not available yet. We know that they’re spread across the regions of Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. The video in which the nomination was announced shows a map at minute 7 which is this one. Major landmarks are Capua, Benevento, and Brindisi, but also intermediate sections within small municipalities such as Ariccia, will be covered. 

Read more from Els Slots here.


Austria - 21-Dec-14 -

Via Appia  (T) by Hubert Scharnagl

The Via Appia was the first and one of the most important road systems built by the ancient Romans. I'm not sure whether Italy will ever submit this tentative site for inscription, if so, certainly the entire road network will be included. During our trip to Rome in November 2013, we visited the Via Appia Antica, a 16 km long section of the ancient road starting at the Porta San Sebastiano. Actually we wanted to visit only the Catacombs of Callixtus, but the weather was warm and sunny, so we decided to rent bicycles and to explore a stretch of the ancient road. There is a tourist information (Via Appia Antica 58), where we rented the bikes and picked up a map showing the monuments along the road, the bus 118 (from metro Circo Massimo) stops in front of the tourist information.

The first section of the Via Appia is a busy street, the scenic part begins at the church of San Sebastiano. From there, the car traffic is restricted to residents. We enjoyed our bicycle ride, you have to drive slowly, because there are bumpy cobblestones throughout or you have to use the green strip along the road. We rented mountain bikes, a good decision. There is still the ancient paving in some sections, you can see the deep grooves from the wheels of the heavy waggons (photo).

In ancient Rome, it was forbidden to bury the dead in the city, so the tombs were built along the main roads outside the city walls. The remains are often just overgrown ruins or single grave stones with ornaments and reliefs. But there are also larger buildings, like the Tomb of Caecilia Metella or the Villa dei Quintili. Elsewhere these monuments would be top tourist attractions, but in Rome they are nothing exceptional. The special charm of the Via Appia Antica is that it is like an open-air museum, a long row of tombs, mausoleums and grave stones in different shapes and sizes. We turned after about 12 km at the crossing with the Via di Fioranello.

Finally, we visited the Catacomb of Callixtus, they are considered the most important in Rome, mainly because it contains also the tombs of several popes from the 2nd to 4th century. It is a huge labyrinth of underground tunnels on several levels. Some graves are decorated with biblical scenes and early Christian symbols such as the fish or the dove with an olive branch. The guided tour (approximately 45 minutes) goes through a part of the complex, including the Crypt of the Popes.

The Via Appia is a worthwhile trip, if you have some time left and want to escape the busy city centre.

Full Name
Via Appia 'Regina Viarum'
Nominated for
Archaeological site - Ancient Rome
2006 Revision

Includes former TWHS Terracina (1984)

2006 Added to Tentative List

Parco Archeologico DellAppia Antica

The site has 22 locations

Via Appia : The Via Appia in Rome, from the 1st to the 13th mile (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia across Alban Hills (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia from the 14th to the 24th mile, with a branch to Lanuvium (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia in the Pontine Plain, with a branch to Norba (T)
Via Appia : Tarracina and the crossing of the Lautulae Pass (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia in Fundi (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia at the Itri Pass (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia from 83rd mile to Formiae (T)
Via Appia : Minturnae and the Garigliano crossing (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia from Sinuessa to the Pagus Sarclanus (T)
Via Appia : Ancient Capua (T)
Via Appia : Beneventum and the Arch of Trajan (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia on the route from Beneventum to Aeclanum (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia in the upper Bradano Valley (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia on the “tarantino” sheep-track (T)
Via Appia : Tarentum (T)
Via Appia : The Via Appia from Mesochorum to Scamnum (T)
Via Appia : Brundisium (T)
Via Appia : The Appia Traiana from Beneventum to Aequum Tuticum (T)
Via Appia : The Appia Traiana from Aecae to Herdonia (T)
Via Appia : The Appia Traiana at Canusium and the Ofanto course (T)
Via Appia : The Appia Traiana along the Adriatic coast, through Egnatia (T)
WHS 1997-2024