During this 8-day tour we will take you hiking on the six best stretches of the Via Appia and definitively to some fantastic places of the beaten path. To make this tour complete we will take you to Hadrians Villa on the first day and to Pompeii on the seventh day of our tour. Since hiking all the best stretches of the whole Appia will take more than 13 days we have created this shorter version of eight days during which we will take you from Rome to Benevento then to Pompeii and back to Rome.
Apart from beautiful hikes we will also take care of the eno-gastronomic aspect during your stay as we will lunch and dine in carefully selected restaurants and trattorias. Our company has a 10-year experience as online dining guide for high level restaurants in Rome and Italy. Depending on the season we will make sure to let you taste typical Italian or local delicacies.
Walks & Hikes; our company has an experience in hiking since 1994 when we started with local guides to explore the Roman countryside. During these hikes we discovered many fantastic short trails with Etruscan, Roman and Medieval ruins hidden in the beautiful Italian landscape. In 2022, Robert the founder of Italian Adventures who always was and is intrigued by ancient roads, walked most of the 532,7 km of the Via Appia Antica with four friends, from Rome to Brindisi.
The Via Appia is the oldest long paved road in Europe and is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who ordered the construction of the first section of this magnificent road to Capua to be used as a swift military passageway to the south in 312 BC during the war that erupted between Rome and the Samnite people.
Since all four participants of our first walk and exploration in 2022 have a passion for ancient Rome they decided to do the walk in authentic Roman clothing and on Roman shoes. A guideline for this venture was the book APPIA written by the journalist and writer Paolo Rumiz, he had walked the Via Appia before us in 2015 also with four friends. By the hand of that book Robert plotted every stretch, short or long, where to turn, difficulties, river crossings, and Roman monuments on Google Earth. This digital roadmap is what we consulted during our walk, however we got lost on various occasions anyway because in 7 years that separated our walk from that of Paolo Rumiz the path that they had taken had changed or disappeared under topsoil or vanished in impenetrable shrubbery.
Now, one year later we are ready to present you with our Best of the Via Appia and Pompeii tour.
Meet your tour guide
Your tour guide : Robert Schmits
Robert is the founder of Italian Adventures. He spent 7 years in the Royal Dutch Navy as an engineer and more than 20 years as technician and manager in the international oil business.
In 1983, during an assignment in Italy he met his wife Anna and in 1987 they finally settled in Rome. With a lifelong passion for history and archaeology, he started extensively to explore and to study the Roman archaeological sites in the city. He also started hiking and got to know most of the fantastic hiking trails north and south of Rome in Latium and Umbria.
These trails are exceptionally beautiful and interesting being a mix of a spectacular nature with hidden Etruscan and Roman ruins to which, over the years, he has taken many friends and clients. All persons he guided there remained astonished since they had no idea of these interesting and mystical archaeological objects that are hidden in the green countryside around Rome.
Robert speaks Dutch, English, French, German, Italian & Spanish.
Start & end Location
Rome International airport Leonardo da Vinci
Upon your arrival in Rome
You will picked up by us at the airport
8 days – 7 nights
Moderate hikes, with during the Appia Hike a maximum of 700 feet elevation gain only once.
Airport or train station transfers on the first and last day of the tour.
4-star hotel in Rome and excellent hotels or B&Bs in the countryside.
An expert tour/hiking leader to lead you to some amazing archaeological places.
A wonderful cultural and off-the-beaten-path experience.
All breakfasts, 7 dinners and 5 lunches in selected restaurants and one lunch in the field/picnic.
All entrance fees and tips.
Upon your arrival at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport or at the Termini train station, our staff will be waiting for you and bring you to the hotel where you can relax until shortly before dinner time. Around 7 pm, we will gather, welcome you to Rome and explain to you some ins and outs about the hotel, the area of Rome where the hotel is located and some other things regarding logistics and safety in Rome and in Italy. It will also be a moment to meet your guides and the other persons on this tour.
Further, we will explain to you how your week with us will evolve. After this welcome to Rome and Italy we are off to take a short walk towards our dinner location. On this walk we will descend from the famous Spanish Steps, admire the Pantheon, cross Piazza Navona and arrive at Campo de’ Fiori where we will have dinner. After dinner we will return on foot to the hotel following another route to discover some more of Rome.
After a good rest and breakfast, we will start the day by visiting the Museo Nazionale Romano where will see amazing sculptures of the emperor Augustus as Pontifex Maximus, the famous bronze statue of the Boxer and beautiful frescos from some of the rooms of the Villa di Livia at Prima Porta. From there we will cross the street to enter the Baths or the Terme di Diocleziano where we will learn how a Roman spend his day at the Baths and see many other Roman artifacts concerning the art of writing, witchcraft in ancient Rome and the story of the first settlers that lived here before the foundation of the city.
After visiting this beautiful museum which is housed in the Baths of Diocletian, we will depart to the Via Appia to have lunch in a famous Trattoria. After lunch we will take you to the town of Tivoli to visit Hadrian’s Villa which lies to the east of Rome, close to the first hills of the Apennine mountains. Hadrian’s Villa is more like a small town than a villa and we will spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful and immense grounds, buildings and the museum. After Hadrian’s Villa back to Rome for some rest at the hotel and dinner nearby.
In the morning after breakfast, we will check out from the hotel and load all our luggage in our minivan or minibus. Our first stop and visit will be the Colosseum, the Palatine and the Roman Forum which we will visit extensively and explain to you. After having reached the end of the forum, close to the capitol hill, we will commence our first hike on the Via Appia from the Milliarium Aureum or the golden milestone that the emperor Augustus had erected. He intended it to be the starting point of all the Roman roads throughout the empire. From what is left of this milestone we will follow the Via Sacra or holy road and exit Rome through the only city gate that is left in a piece off the Servian walls and head towards the start of the Via Appia. About 5 km on the Via Appia, we will stop for lunch in the restaurants near the Tomb of Caecilia Metella.
During this walk, before and after lunch, we will pass many famous buildings, tombs and funeral monuments like the family tomb of the Scipios, the city gate or Porta San Sebastiano, the first Roman milestone on the Via Appia, the tomb of Priscilla, the catacombs of San Calisto, the Catacombs of San Sebastian, the Tomb of Caecilia Metella, the Triopium or tenement of Annia Regilla, the monument to M. Servilius Quartus and to the children of Sextus Pompeus Justus, the Sepolcro dei Rabirii, the Sepolcro dei Festoni, the Villa dei Quintili and many more tombs of which the inscriptions have been lost.
After lunch, we will continue our hike towards Albano Laziale where we will arrive late afternoon. Our minivan or minibus will be waiting for us to bring us to the hotel for relaxation and dinner.
During the first part of this morning, we take our minivan or minibus to drive to the Nemi Lake to visit the important temple of Diana entwined with the book the The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer, and the Museum of the ships of Caligula. After these visits we will commence the first hike of today starting at the funeral monument to the Horatii and Curiatii to walk, shortly after commencing, on the first traffic ramp in a road constructed in Europe. After we arrive in Genzano di Roma, we will board our transport to the countryside for our second hike on the Via Appia. Halfway during this hiking stretch, we will have lunch and some relaxation in the field. We will then continue our hike until we will arrive at asphalted stretch of the Via Appia about 3 km before Cisterna di Latina.
By using our transport, we will head towards the oldest and longest strait road in Europe which is of course our Via Appia. At the start of this straight piece, we will make a quick stop for a view standing outside the fence of “Tres Tabernae” a Roman post station. “Tres Tabernae” was the first mansio or mutatio, that is, halting-place for relays, from Rome, or the last on the way to the city. After having a peek at “Tres Tabernae” we will leave towards the Temple of Anxur which is located on a hill above Terracina. The largest temple was dedicated to Jupiter while a smaller temple dedicated to Venus Obsequens (“Indulgent Venus”) sat next to it. This place is a nice belvedere from where we can see Fondi our destination for tomorrow, Sperlonga and the island of Ponza. After visiting the site of the temple, we will head down from the hill to our hotel and dinner.
After breakfast, we will checkout from the hotel and visit the cut of the Pisco Montana Hill. To speed up traffic on the Appian Way, Trajan is credited with the cutting of the Pisco Montano, an impressive engineering work, executed to a height of 128 Roman feet (37.88 m). This work enabled the new route of the Appian Way, known as the Via Appia Traianea, which, by preventing the climbs of the Ausoni Mountains, connected localities not crossed by the previous Via Flacca and stimulated travel and communication.
After visiting this immense civil work, we will start our hike on the old Via Appia and pretend that the cut of the mountain by Traian does not exist. We w ill have to gain height in the last stretch of the Ausoni mountains to go around Terracina and meet up with the Via Appia on the other side towards Fondi. During this walk we will see many pieces of the old roman road and have a beautiful view of Fondi in the distance and the Tyrrhenian Sea. After lunch we will head for the second short hike of the day on a well-preserved piece of the Via Appia that starts just a little bit outside Fondi. It is a stretch of the Via Appia that connected Fondi to Itri and it runs parallel to today’s modern Via Appia.
At the end of this hike, we will use our transport and head towards to the outskirts of Formia to visit the tomb of Cicero. After visiting his tomb and remembering this Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, writer, academic and his violent death we will pass Formia and continue by transport to visit the excavations of the Roman town of Minturnae.
From Minturnae we will head to our hotel, relax and prepare for dinner.
This morning we will leave from our hotel directly to Capua to visit the famous Amphiteatro where Spartacus is believed to have fought. The Campanian amphitheatre of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, the second in order of size after the Colosseum, was built between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. After the Amphitheatre we will visit the mithraeum of Capua which was discovered in 1922 and excavated in 1924. Inside the Mithraeum we will explain you this mysterious cult in detail.
Once we have surfaced from the underground mithraeum we will start short hike to the Basilica di Sant’Angelo in Formis or the Temple of Diana Tifatina a Roman divinity derived from the Greek god Artemis. After visiting the Basilica di Sant’Angelo in Formis we will head back to the Amphiteatro for lunch and rest.
Being close to Caserta, after lunch we will continue the Via Appia heading towards the Reggia di Caserta. This palace has not much to do with the Romans except for the fact that the via Appia runs in front of the main gate but it is so magnificent that it would be a shame to pass it by. In April 1945, the palace was the site of the signing of the unconditional surrender of German forces in Italy and in 1998, the palace was a filming location for Star Wars Episode One. This former royal residence was constructed by the house of Bourbon-Two Sicily’s as their main residence as kings of Naples.
After visiting the Reggia we will drive head to Benevento. We will stop before the city limits to enter the city walking and by crossing the Sabato river on the Ponte Leproso to head straight for a short visit of the roman theatre. After that we are off to our hotel, a rest and then dinner.
After breakfast we will travel with our transport direction Naples. Once we arrive in Naples, we will visit the Archaeological Museum of Naples (Mann) or as it was formerly called the Real Museo Borbonico since it was Carlo VII, the Bourbon King of Naples who in 1748 took an interest in Pompeii and had excavations started which initially produced the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum and many artefacts. At the museum we will see Roman and Greek art and other interesting finds from Pompei; you can also visit the secret cabinet (Gabinetto Segreto) which holds the collection of erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum. After the museum, we will have lunch in Naples.
After Lunch we will board our transport and head to Pompeii to make an extensive visit of the city. Once arrived in the city we will make a tour to see the most important buildings and sites like the Forum, the Forum Baths, the Amphitheatre, the Brothel, the Palaestra, the Large Theatre, the Gladiator Barracks, the plaster casts and the Villa Dei Misteri. After Pompeii we will head to our hotel to relax followed by our farewell dinner.
In the morning checkout from the hotel followed by a transfer to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, to the Termini train station or to any other place along our route.
Not sure if this tour is right for you?
Or do you have a question?
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Frequently asked questions
- Airport transfers on first and last day of tour
- Minivan or minibus travel throughout the tour
- Accommodation in Rome 4-star hotel in the centre of Rome
- Accommodation during the hike, excellent B&B’s
- All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- An expert hiking guide
- All entrance fees and tips
The longest hike is 15km and the maximum height difference is 700 feet. All hikes are light to modest difficulty.
Apart from our guides, there will be a minimum of six to a maximum of twelve participants on each tour. On our tours you will meet people from various parts of the world and therefore with different backgrounds, most will be in the 40-75 age range. The persons that book our tours are curious and probably well-read who want to explore history, archaeology, and the delicious food of Italy.
Your safety is our biggest concern. Our tours have been carefully selected to be pleasant and never dangerous. All our guides have been trained to live by the “Safety First” rule while guiding. On each hike there will be at least one guide who has had First-Aid training.
Insurance is not included. Adequate business travel insurance is a condition of your contract with us. You must be satisfied that your business travel or other appropriate insurance fully covers all your requirements including pre-existing medical conditions, cancellation charges, medical expenses and repatriation in the event of accident or illness. If you choose to travel without adequate insurance cover, we will not be liable for any losses howsoever arising, in respect of which insurance cover would otherwise have been available.
We recommend you bring a good pair of hiking shoes, a small bag or backpack and a cap or hat for the sun and a rain jacket just in case. We can provide you with a walking stick, in case you need one. If you join us on a trip in spring or autumn pack raingear and a fleece to keep you warm. We advise people who wear spectacles to bring a spare pair just in case.
Please click here, this link will open a page of the Italian Ministry of Foreign affairs where you can check if you require a visa.
If your flight gets cancelled or delayed, you can contact us by phone or email and we will reschedule your pick up from the airport.