Sunday mornings on the Appia Antica, the old Appian Way, reveal a more serene side of the Italian capital. The fabled road, constructed for the transportation of troops and military supplies in and out of Rome in 312 BC, is a two-mile pedal from the Colosseum and closed to traffic on Sundays.
The farther you go, the larger and more ancient the cobblestones become (thankfully, there is a dirt path paralleling the road to ride on), and the more you are surrounded by rolling farmland, ancient ruins, and views of the Castelli Romani, hilltowns outside of Rome. Along the way, cyclists pass by the catacombs, stop-worthy restaurants, well-guarded villas, and even a cricket pitch.
When it’s time to turn back, just go straight: From here, all roads do lead to Rome.
Bike rentals are $12.50-$28
a day: near the Colosseum (Via dei Quattro Cantoni 40, 011-39-06-4882893, www.topbike
rental.com) and two blocks west of Stazione Termini at
Bici Baci (Via del Viminale, 011-39-06-482-8443, www.bici
baci.com). Hotels such as Hotel Hassler (www.hotelhasslerro
ma.com) and Hotel Locarno (www.hotellocarno.com), both in the historic center, offer guests free use of their bicycles. Top Bike Rentals, Roma Bike Tour, and Italy by Cruiser Bike give guided tours of the Appia Antica. If you want to tour on four wheels, open-air Archeobus will transport you from
the center to the Appia Antica every day. www.trambusopen