The South of Rome includes the historic Appian Way and nearby catacombs, as well as important tourist attractions in EUR, and San Paolo.

45 things to do

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Santa Passera

This church can be an interesting deviation if you are passing through its neighbourhood. It is believed to be the grave of the Saints Ciro and Giovanni, killed during the time of the Emperor Diocletian. The original name was ''Abba Cyrus'' and through Appaciro and then Appacero it finally became Pacera, very close to today's ''Passera''. The building is on top of a 3rd century building still visible in the lower floor and in the underground. The main part of the building dates back to the IX century as do the frescoes on the higher floor. Some of the frescoes have recently been restored. Downstairs there is a small quadrangular room and the underground, where the remains of the two Saints are supposed to be. There are still visible III century traces of Roman frescoes; in front of the stair you can enjoy a small bird, the Justice, and an athlete while in the vault some eight apex stars. ''Bus 128,780,781,775 (first stop in Via della Magliana)''.

SEE   —  Via Santa Passera 1

Basilica and catacombs of San Sebastiano

The basilica was originally constructed in the 4th century and dedicated to San Sebastian, a martyr of the 3rd century. Sebastian's remains were transferred to St. Peter's in 826, prior to a Saracen assault when the church was destroyed. The current church was largely constructed in the 17th-century. Until the Great Jubilee in 2000 this was one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, i.e. the churches that all Roman Catholic pilgrims were expected to visit. However, at that time it was replaced by the Sanctuary of Divino Amore (see below). Entrance to the catacombs, which are smaller than the others in the area, is to the right of the church entrance. The area where you buy tickets and wait for tours has a good display of sarcophagi from the catacombs. You can rent a bicycle at the catacombs for further exploration of the Appian Way.

SEE   —  Map

Villa dei Quintili

This impressive villa covers 23 hectares. It can be accessed from the Via Appia Nuova (Bus 118) or through Via Appia Antica 251. Parts can be seen from the Appian Way at around the 5th mile just after No 251. The villa was built by Maximus and Condinus Quintilii. The emperor Commudus liked it so much that he put the brothers to death in 182 A.D. and took it for himself. A museum has friezes and sculptures from the villa. The nypheum, the tepidarium and the baths may also be visited. At Appia Antica 251 is Santa Maria Nova, a farmhouse that has undergone many reincarnations since being originally constructed on top of a Roman cistern that was probably used by Villa dei Quintili.

Capo di Bove

This is a recently opened archaeological site displaying the thermal baths of the villa of the wealthy Herod Atticus. Also in the complex is a restored villa, until recently a private residence, that has an exterior completely covered with pieces from Roman ruins, including pipes used in the baths. There are some very helpful staff to show you around, although they only speak Italian. An interesting photographic exhibition in the house traces the development of the Appian Way over the last century. Almost opposite the entrance to the baths is a ruined tower known as the Torre di Capo di Bove.

Jewish Catacombs

These are underneath a property known as Vigna Randanini. The catacombs are much smaller than the Christian catacombs and much less easy to visit. Groups are limited to twelve people at any one time and you need to take your own lighting! Contact details are available from the Catacombs Society[].Tours are also organized by “Tour in Rome” [] {{dead link|May 2016}}. At Euros 229 for up to six people for a one and a half hour tour this is clearly a tour for the specialist.

Domine Quo Vadis

This is not the real name of the church on the corner by the main entrance to San Callisto but it is universally known by this name. By legend it is located on the spot where Saint Peter had a vision of the risen Christ while fleeing persecution in Rome. According to the tradition, Peter asked Jesus, Domine, quo vadis? “Lord, where are you going?” The current church is from 1637. Inside is a copy of a stone said to contain the imprints of the feet of Jesus; the original is maintained in San Sebastiano, further along the Appian Way

SEE   —  Map

Museum of the Walls

Porta San Sebastiano is a gate in the amazingly well-preserved Aurelian Walls. Inside and upstairs is a museum dedicated to the construction of the walls and their recent restoration. You can take a walk along the top of the walls. At the museum you can also arrange to visit the Tomb of the Scipios (Sepolcro degli Scipiani) and a nearby Roman Columbarium (tomb for cremated remains), the entrance for which is situated 200m back towards Rome along the Via Di Porta San Sebastiano. ''No wheelchair access''.

Sanctuary of Divino Amore.

This is an important place of pilgrimage for Catholics because of the supposedly miraculous powers of an image of the Virgin Mary. The first miracle was in 1740 when a traveller being attacked by a pack of dogs called out to the Virgin’s image for rescue and the dogs calmed down. More recently, the image was moved to Rome in the Second World War and is credited with saving the city from destruction, as a result of which Romans vowed to construct this new sanctuary.

SEE   —  Map

San Paolo fuori le Mura

Also known as St Paul Outside the Walls. This is on the outskirts of Rome in an otherwise drab modern neighborhood. The enormous basilica is a faithful reconstruction, finished in 1854, of the ancient basilica which burned down in 1823. Parts of the original interior were rescued from the fire and have been extensively restored. Visiting in the afternoon may avoid the tourist coaches. Don't miss the medieval cloister, which survived the fire.

SEE   —  Via Ostiense 186

Abbey of the three fountains (Abazzia delle tre fontane)

A truly quiet oasis close to the hustle and bustle of EUR. There are three churches in this complex and the doors are open all day, unlike city churches. The monks produce a range of products such as liqueurs, chocolate and honey, as well as a cure for the illnesses Romans suffer when the Scirocco wind blows in from the Sahara. These are on sale at a shop at the Abbey.

SEE   —  Via Laurentina

Casal Rotondo

Casal Rotondo is the biggest mausoleum on the Appian Way, at about the sixth mile. It now incorporates a small private villa, originally a farmhouse. It is not known for whom it was built. The wall of fragments next to it, constructed by Luigi Canina, has ruins refering to the Cotta family but this family is now believed to not be associated with the Casal Rotondo.

SEE   —  Appia Antica 291

Hotel Capanelle

Convenient for the Appian Way park and if you want to go to the races at Capannelle horse track. Short walk from Parco degli Aquedotti and Villa dei Quintili. Easily reached if you are coming from the south by car. Well-rated hotel but you will have to rely on an infrequent shuttle or public transport if you want to use it as a base for exploring downtown Rome.

SLEEP   —  +39 06 710600 —  Via Siderno, 37

Villa EUR

Very quiet and stylish in midst of a park. You can reach it from the subway by a 5 min walk. The hotel has a small bar, excellent breakfast and a restaurant. In the vicinity of the hotel you can find an excellent restaurant '''La Taverna de Porto''' if you want to go out eating. There is also a tennis court, a gymnasium and even an Aikido Dojo.

Tomb of Cecilia Metella

The mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, who died in 69 BC, is the best preserved monument on the Appian Way and dominates the surroundings. In the Middle Ages it was transformed into a fortress and battlements were added. At that time there was considerable competition for ownership because of its strategic location.

SEE   —  Via Appia Antica 161

Gelato di San Crispino

By common consent one of the best, if not the best, ice cream maker in Rome. From humble beginnings here, San Crispino has expanded and you can now buy special packs at Fiumicino airport to take home with you. Pure ingredients; good selection of fruit sorbets (flavours according to the season) and ice creams.

EAT   —  Via Acaia 56


Really good and fresh food, this place is run by young people who make extensive use of fair trade food. They have very good dressed potatoes and salads, bruscetta and sweet cakes. Mid-range at lunch and cheap at dinner. Don't miss it if you visit the nearby Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura.

Centrale Montemartini Museum

This delightful museum provides an interesting juxtaposition between the buildings and equipment of Rome's first electricity generating plant and the exhibits, which are mainly from excavations of Roman sites. A combined ticket with the museums on the Capitoline Hill provides big reductions.

Tomb of Priscilla

A First Century tomb surrounded by two farmhouses from the Middle Ages, one of which used to be a cheese store. Rather hidden behind a high wall, the tomb is rarely open to the public. You might be lucky on a Sunday: on the third Sunday of every month there is a guided tour at 11.00.

SEE   —  Map

Fosse Ardeatine

This was the site of the slaughter in 1944 of 335 Italians, including many Jews from the Ghetto, in retaliation for a Partisan attack on German troops in Rome. The caves where the massacre took place are now a National Monument and Memorial Cemetery and can be visited daily.

SEE   —  Via Ardeatina 174

Bibelot Arthè

Cozy tea room.They offer free table games and serve excellent milk and fruit shakes as well as tea and coffee blends. Prices are mid-range to expensive, but the place is very nice and well furnished. It's possible you'll find a queue around 11PM. Perfect for couples.

Trattoria Zampagna

Good Roman fare. One of the owners can speak English so that's helpful. Many interesting varieties of pasta along with traditional main courses such as ox tail. The owner has been known to take the time to introduce each of the dishes on the menu to the guests.

Excel Hotel Ciampino Rome

Via Appia Nuova, 160, Marino. Four star hotel just south of Ciampino Airport with 76 bedrooms of different size, private bathroom, spa centre, business services, restaurant, free shuttle to Ciampino airport and breakfast buffet. Double: €53 Triple: €59.

SLEEP   —  +39 06 935 41170/40021 —  Map

Hotel Abitart

A "boutique" hotel that really merits the name. You'll have to stay in one of the eight themed suites to get the full effect but the whole hotel is covered with works of art of a surrealist nature, with considerable homage paid to Rene Magritte.

Caffarella Park

Caffarella Park covers an area of 339ha and is part of the larger Appia Antica park. It contains both a working farm and numerous Roman ruins, some quite well preserved and is a great place for a stroll or cycle away from Rome’s traffic.

SEE   —  Map

The Catacombs of San Domitilla

The Catacombs of Domitilla are considered to be the best preserved of all Roman catacombs. They are the only ones still to contain bones. Domitilla also has a subterranean basilica, much of which was reconstructed in 1870.

Museo della Civilta Romana (Museum of Rome's Civilization)

Perhaps most famous for a large model of imperial Rome, but also has a large display of various aspects of ancient Rome, using plaster casts, models and reconstructions of works found in museums throughout the world.

Parco degli Acquedotti (Aqueduct Park)

This pleasant park contains very well-preserved ruins of two aqueducts and some of the original surface of the Roman Via Latina. Gets crowded on Sundays but almost empty the rest of the week. Good place for joggers.

Chapel of Reginald Pole

A strange building, constructed by Reginald Pole, an English cardinal and later Archbishop of Canterbury, allegedly on the spot where he was able to escape from assassins sent by the English King Henry VIII.

SEE   —  Map

Circus of Maxentius

This well-preserved Roman circus was built at the beginning of the fourth century. It was part of an imperial villa built by Maxentius and the complex also contains the Mausoleum of his son, Romolo.

Il gelato

Nice place to have some weird flavor of ice cream. You'll choose among maybe 50 different and sometime unusual flavors (such as Gorgonzola or Mortadella). Great variety of chocolates and fruits.


Soft ice cream made by an innovative approach that produces it to order. A bit off the beaten track unless using the metro to visit the Parco degli Acquedotti, but well worth a visit.

Al peperoncino

This pizzeria has a good Roman style pizza (the thin one) and also a good choice of fried vegetables and appetizers. Price is low to mid-range, food quality and service are medium.

Antico Ristoro

Slightly overpriced but good restaurant in the centre of the main attractions of the Appian Way. Shares the same grounds as a garden center. Euro 45-50 for three-course meal.

Jubilee Church

A modern church designed by the world-famous architect Richard Meier. Completed in 2003 and built as a project to socially revive the surrounding Tor Tre Teste area.

Square Colosseum

Constructed around the 1940ies as the centrepiece of the EUR, but unused for a long time. It was restored before 2015 when the luxury fashion label Fendi moved in.

SEE   —  Map

Mama Che Pizza

Worth stopping by if you're close to the EUR and it's cheap. They also own the deli right next to it, where you can also get miniature pizzas and breads.

L. Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography

An ethnographic collection of around 60,000 pieces from European indigenous cultures. Documents evolution from the Palaeolithic age to the Iron Age.

The Catacombs of San Callisto

Although started in the 2nd Century, San Callisto has had many more recent burials, including 16 popes. The burial arcades are almost 20km long.

Le Bistrot

Creative French and vegetarian cuisine with a very kind staff and a homey environment. Better to reserve.

Hotel EUR American Palace Rome

This four star hotel has been recently refurbished to offer large and well decorated bedrooms.

Hotel Caravel

Cheap hotel: a bit off the beaten track but there are good bus connections.


East Mediterranean tastes and spices, CousCous, Shawarma, Kebab, Baklava.


Rent a bike and explore the many remains of the Appian Way park area.

DO   —  Map

Cecilia Metella

Well-known restaurant on a hill overlooking the Appian Way.

Rome's Planetarium

Regular shows plus an excellent astronomical museum.

SEE   —  Map

About Rome/South

EUR: The Square Colosseum
EUR: The Square Colosseum
EUR was built in the first years of the 1940s. It was built in a perfect fascist architectural style, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fascism (Mussolini came to power in 1922, becoming Prime Minister). Its name means "Esposizione Universale di Roma" (Universal Exposition of Rome); in fact it was also designated to host the International Exposition in 1942, but this exposition didn't take place because of the war.

San Paolo is a residential area not so far from the center. Today it hosts several buildings belonging to the RomaTRE University and a very noticeable piece of art, the "Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura" which certainly deserves a visit. For the rest, it is just a residential borough.

Via Appia, or the Appian Way, was one of the earliest and most important Roman roads. It connected Rome to Brindisi, in southeast Italy, primarily as a route for troops and military supplies. The main part was started and finished in 312 BC. The original route can be followed for 10km or so, much with little or no traffic. It is lined with tombs and in places the original stones used for the road’s construction are exposed. The Appian Way passes close to three catacombs, the Villa dei Quintili and many other important architectural sites. If you are in Rome for a week or so, an exploration of the Appia, with a visit to some catacombs, is a great day out! Many photos of what can be seen are available at

The Catacombs of Rome were for underground burials. Primarily for Christian burials, they were also used for pagan and Jewish burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together. They began in the 2nd century, due both to a shortage of land and for persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The Christian catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano are on the Via Appia and those of San Domitilla are nearby. There are also Jewish Catacombs.

Source: wikivoyage