Today we headed out to the Appian Way, starting with a look at Porta S. Sabastiano in the Aurelian Wall (which was about half the height and width of what we see now when it was built in the 270s). We also saw the so-called “Arch of Drusus,” which carried a branch of the Aqua Marcia called the Aqua Antoniniana to the Baths of Caracalla. Our first stop on the Appian Way was the Villa of Maxentius, finished between 306-312. We went inside the Mausoleum of Romulus, Maxentius’ son who died in 309 (where there was a nice dog and a great Will & Ted photo op). We also walked around the Circus (slightly smaller than the Circus Maximus and with relatively limited seating, but still crazy!) and talked about the palace proper. Next up was the Tomb of Caecilia Metella (apparently the wife of the triumvir Crassus’ son), similar to, but smaller than, the Mausoleum of Augustus. Finally, we visited the Villa Dei Quintili, which came into the possession of the emperor Commodus in the 180s and has some nice views from its hilltop position.
When we returned to the Centro (we were on a charter bus today), I ate some lunch and went shopping for weekend supplies (mostly lots of fruit) before trekking over to the area of the Vatican to do some shopping for Jamie. For dinner, we had green beans, yummy pasta with crushed red pepper, parsley, and olive oil, calamari with marinara sauce (I didn’t think I’d like this, but it was great!), and chocolate cake.