8. Rome: E-Bike Tour of Appia Antica, Aqueducts, and Caffarella
When the Italian economic miracle ignited during the '50s, owing to the funds of the Marshall Plan and the creativity of its citizens, a large part of the country's historical, archaeological and environmental heritage became endangered and at risk of extinction, in the name of progress, modernity, and economic growth. In the case of Rome, the greatest threat came from the housing industry that was gulping down the countryside around the city's center at impressive speed. If it were not for the obstinate determination of one man, Antonio Cederna, a great Italian archaeologist, urbanist, journalist, and politician, who made it his life's mission to preserve it from uncontrolled building speculation and waged a personal war on the potent housing industry of his time, the Appia Antica, the first highway ever to be built, would be no more. Thanks to this great man, to whom the Appia Antica Archaeological Park is dedicated, we can still admire the unique beauty and the great treasures of Europe's first highway, which led from Rome to Brindisi and whose construction began in 312 BC by the Roman Censor Appius Claudius Caecus. Our electric bike tour will begin from our company's venue, situated in front of the Circus Maximus, the largest Stadium ever to be built, that could hold 300.000 spectators for the chariot races held in it. On the way to the Ancient Appian, we'll visit more "modern" places, like the Garden of Oranges and the Cavalieri di Malta Square, view the majestic Caracalla Baths, a suitable introduction to the Roman water system, a topic that'll be thoroughly covered once the tour reaches the Aqueducts Park and from there on to Porta San Sebastiano, where our guests will familiarize with the fortification of Rome and the Aurelian Walls. Along the way, we'll ride past incredible places such as the Church of Quo Vadis, the Catacombs of Saint Callistus, the Residence of Maxentius, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, the Tumulus of the Curiazi, and Villa Dei Quintili, all of which are concentrated in the first few miles of Via Appia Antica and which will be explained by our knowledgeable tour guides. Our cross-country archaeological e-bike ride will then proceed to the breathtaking scenery of the ancient Roman Aqueducts, which supplied the city with an unsurpassed amount of water, and then, following the Almone River down into the Caffarella Valley, where you can encounter horses, sheep, goats, and pigs, literally at a stone's throw from the city's center. Finally, the grace of the Nymphaeum of Egeria, which presumably belonged to Herodes Atticus's villa, in the vicinity. The tour is a unique combination of sightseeing, naturalistic and archaeological tourism, and cross-country e-bike riding. Our company-owned fleet of state-of-the-art, quality electric bikes completes the puzzle of a genuinely sustainable and environment-friendly experience that will most certainly be the highlight of your visit to Rome.