Rome is an open air museum, a city in which every corner is a witness of time and every stone has a story to tell. This is true of its archaeological heritage, but also of its natural areas; these cover 67% of the municipal territory and reveal precious signs of the city's history.
One of the largest is the Appian Way Regional Park, 3,500 hectares that are ideal for long walks or bicycle rides surrounded by ancient ruins and medieval buildings.
The remains of the Ager Romanus, that extended as far as the Colli Albani to the south-east, now include a stretch of the historic Appian Way, the Caffarella valley, and the archaeological areas of the Park of the Aqueducts and of the Via Latina, the Tenuta di Tormarancia and the Tenuta Farnesiana.
The area hosts exhibitions and cultural events in summer, and is a historical and natural heritage that is unique in its kind. Starting from the seven ancient aqueducts, six Roman ones and one built by the papacy during the Risorgimento, all still working.
The elegant silhouette of the aqueducts is a perfect background for outdoor picnics and walks, among vegetable gardens, orchards, farmsteads and a rural landscape with the Tor Fiscale, the symbol of the neighbouring park, clearly outlined.
A little further north, the Caffarella valley unfolds, the site of myths and legends. The Almone river, considered sacred by the Romans, runs through it, along the former Cartiera Latina, an industrial structure that is now used as a multi-functional centre and hosts exhibitions, festivals and educational activities.
There are numerous archaeological remains in the valley, from the Catacombs of San Calllisto, to those of Domitilla, San Sebastiano and Pretestato, to the 16th century Vaccareccia estate, including Villa di Massenzio.
The Casale di Santa Maria Nova, one of the latest jewels to have been restored in the area, hosts the Appia Self-Portrait exhibition until 30 September, with historic photographs alternating with snapshots by 20th century photographers, from Elliott Erwitt to Milton Gendel.
The 3,500 hectare park is ideal for long walks or bicycle rides surrounded by ancient ruins and medieval buildings
In neighbouring Villa dei Quintili, until 29 September, visitors can admire site-specific installations by Ailanto<3, an itinerant project that can adapt like a plant to different exhibition environments.
Two exhibitions that instigate a dialogue with the landscape, for a perfect blend of art, history and nature.
Parco degli Acquedotti
Courtesy Elina Brotherus and gb agency, Paris
Pag. 1 e 4
© Archivio Parco Regionale Appia Antica, di Luca Battaglia
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