This is the first in a series I’ll be posting about Rome’s various green areas.
On Mother’s Day this year and with an entire day to have my
minions children and husband at my disposal, cater to my every whim, all to myself, I decided on lunch at my favorite restaurant and a bicycle ride. We don’t all have our own wheels, so we reserved some bicycles to rent.
I found on-line the kind folks at Fuori di Ruota, a cultural association in a private residence. Reservations are mandatory and it’s possible to just send a text message or email and they speak multiple languages including English, Spanish and French. They responded very quickly to our request.
We picked up our bicycles and directly across the street was the Parco degli Acquedotti, but were informed that the Via Appia was a 25 minute ride away. Since we had very limited time and the Via Appia definitely deserves at the very least 2 hours, we decided to just ride within the park.
The park gets its name from the two aqueducts in the park – the Acqua Claudia and the Acqua Felice. Near the entrance to the park across from Fuori di Ruota one can also see the remains of the Villa delle Vignacce, once a very large private residence that was built in the 2nd century AD. It’s also possible to see a section of the Via Latina – one of the original Roman roads that was built in the 300s BC and once stretched for 200km.
The park is truly spectacular – incredibly green and the dirt paths are well-maintained (by Rome standards). On the weekends you’ll get an eyeful of everyday Rome – folks having a picnic, jogging, strolling, cycling, having a picnic or an amorous cuddle. Since it’s a protected area, there is no development within the park and you’ll even see sheep herders and their flocks grazing in the fields.
Despite some mention of it in various guidebooks such as Rick Steves, most visitors to Rome don’t head this way. The park is easily reachable by public transit and there are two metro stops nearby – Lucio Sesto (15 minute walk) and Giulio Agricola (10 minute walk) both on the red line/Line A metro in the direction of Anagnina.