We all know the picture postcard things to do in Rome like visit the Colosseum, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and The Forum and these are all great but if you’re looking for something a little different to do in Rome then why not hire some bikes and cycle down the Appian Way.
We did this on one of our first visits to Rome and it was a pleasure getting out of the city on a warm summer day whilst still immersing ourselves in Roman culture.
WHERE WE HIRED THE BIKES
We hired our bikes from Eco Bikes who are located just south of the city centre and can be reached easily by Bus or on foot depending on where in Rome you’re coming from.
Road bikes cost approx € 3,00/h up to € 15,00 ( 5 hours or more). We also provide mountain bikes at € 5,00/h up to € 20, 00 and assisted electric bikes (1,60 cm up) at € 6,00/h up to € 30,00. Eco Bikes are open from 9:30 am until sunset everyday, except for the 25 of December and the first of January.
Bike rental is always available and you can rent your bike until one hour before closing time. Price includes locks, helmets ( mandatory for minors, available for everybody) and a free map on which we sketch out all information you need about track and amenities.
HOW DID WE GET THERE
The Bike Rental is located at the beginning of the Appian Way Regional Park.
The nearest subway is Circo Massimo (B line), get off from the subway, take the 118 bus and get off at Appia Antica /Domine Quo Vadis.
You can also take the 218 from Porta San Giovanni (A line) by getting off at the same bus stop.
You could also take: line 30 express, 130 (holidays), 160, 671, 714 and 715, get off at the bus stop Cristoforo Colombo/Bavastro or Cristoforo Colombo/Circonvallazione Ostiense and walk the path of Circonvallazione Ardeatina for 10 minutes.
If you’re driving then you can park at 50, Via Appia Antica near the bike shop from Monday to Sunday (until 6 pm). There is other parking nearby but you may have to pay.
GROUP TOUR OR GO IT ALONE
Eco Bikes have a range of options to choose from which include cycling tours where you can join a guided group to tour the Appian Way or you can just hire bikes independently and make your own way along the route.
There are maps and guidance available so its easy to do. are different bike tours available or if you want or you can just explore on your own.
We decided just to explore on our own, we prefer to set our own schedule and see things at our own pace. There’s approx 27km’s of route to explore, Roman Villas, Catacombs and other Roman sites including an Aqueduct to see along the way and its jam packed full of Romanisms.
It was a wonderful afternoon and there were a few little cafe’s dotted along the route so you could grab a drink or something to eat (check the timings of these as some closed for a few hrs in the afternoon and then reopened early evening). There are also loads of open grassy areas where you can have a picnic. Plan to spend the day as there’s loads to see and do.
The route can be a little rough in places where the cobbles have not been preserved as well as other areas and sometimes the cobbles were a bit slippy and you are advised not to ride on the cobbles but on the dirt track at the sides, sometimes that’s not possible but all in all it was a straightforward route and the hired bike coped really well. Definitely suitable for children as its practically flat.
SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS
In my opinion the highlights of the route that shouldn’t be missed are:
Circus and Villa of Massenzio & Mausoleum of Romolo
Villa Capo di Bove
The Catacombs (there is a small charge to enter the catacombs and they are not open all day so check this out first if its something you really want to see. They are within the first few kms of the route.
The Aqueduct but there’s so much more to see.
This is a trip that you can do in an afternoon or take the whole day to explore, its really up to you and gets you away from the throngs of people in the city centre and a beautiful, calm & tranquil environment.
TIP OF THE TRIP
Take plenty water with you. There are little cafe’s but they’re not always open and it can get dusty on that road so make sure you have supplies on hand.
So where to next?
We’re off to the Aeolian Islands with Vulcano our first stop in part 3 of our Italian Adventure #2. You can read about it here:
We visited the island of Vulcano as part of our first ever epic Italian tour. This would encompass Naples, Rome, Palermo, Aeolian Islands, Procida, Ischia, Capri, Pompei, Herculaneum and back to Naples and the account of the first part of the trip in Rome can be found here. So Vulcano, how did we get there? After leaving Rome we […]