- Appia Nuova is often considered ‘on other side of the tracks’. The area, once considered outside of the city for its location outside of the ancient Aurelian walls in the southeast section of Rome, is now an intrinsic part of Rome itself. Developed and incorporated into the city proper in the 20th century, Appia Nuova can be considered a very ‘Roman’ neighbourhood, as the residential area is not touched by tourism. Busy with local shops and businesses, this area tends to keep to itself.
Located due south of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano and outside the walls, Appia Nuova is an odd-shaped area. The northern border (from north to southwest) is defined by the ancient wall. Its southern border runs along Via Latina, and its southern area is perimetered by Via Furio Camillo. The heart of the neighbourhood is the major thoroughfare Via Appia Nuova that bisects the neighbourhood. Midway along via Appia Nuova is the large Piazzale Re di Roma, a useful landmark for getting around the neighbourhood.
Neighbouring areas include Testaccio/Aventine, Monti and Esquiline to the area’s north and west. These neighbourhoods are distinct by their landmarks - ancient monuments and the central station, and decisively separated from Appia Nuova by the Aurelian wall. To its east and south are the expansive and residential areas East and South.
Know your neighbours
Appia Nuova is a busy neighbourhood, choc-a-bloc with stores, markets, cafés, piazzas, offices and local businesses. This means there are a lot of people around, and the majority will be Roman. You will begin to get to know your neighbours the minute you set foot in Appia Nuova as the area is heavily trafficked with people who will want to know what you are doing here.
Appia Nuova is a fairly large area so it is safe to say you will most likely be able to find what you need – supermarkets, clothing, pharmacies, hardware and electronic stores – wherever you are. If you are looking to kill some time window shopping, head to Via Appia Nuova which is a long stretch of shops in almost every range, from discount to close-to-high end.
Located at the south-eastern end of Rome, Appia Nuova is easily connected to the centre and has links to outlying areas via metro and bus. It is not a pedestrian’s paradise and the only walkable area is the adjacent southern end of Monti, where the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is located. The Metro A (red line) runs through the area with stops at San Giovanni, Re di Roma, Punto Lungo and Furio Camillo. The red line metro is a direct conduit to Termini, Rome’s historic centre and even the Vatican. It also has connections to Ciampino airport. Several buses run through the neighbourhood including 87, 360 and 590. These buses connect to the Ancient City, historic centre, Parioli, and Termini Station.
- Appia Nuova requires a bit of investigation. The busy neighbourhood hides many top-notch pubs and restaurants, however, they are not well promoted and are hard to find. In addition, Appia Nuova is not considered a prominent cultural area. Talking with your neighbours will give you the most reliable insight as to what is going on in the neighbourhood.
Though Appia Nuova begins outside the city walls at Porta San Giovanni, two major Roman basilicas just within the walls are intrinsically linked to the neighbourhood. Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano, which gives name to the entrance gate into Rome, is Rome’s Cathedral church and official seat of the Bishop of Rome, aka the Pope. The 4th-century church is one of Rome’s four principal churches and was built on the grounds of a late 2nd-century fort. You should investigate the entire complex as its title of ‘Seat of the Pope’ means that there are ancient baptismal fonts and historic Christian relics such as the Scala Santa, where Christ walked.
Nearby is the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, a 4th-century church as well with relics of the Holy Cross. Behind the church and integrated into the ancient walls is the Amphiteatrum Castrense, a 3rd-century arena visible both from inside the basilica, as well as outside along the ancient wall.
Eating out and nightlife
Dining in Appia Nuova can definitely be defined as very Roman since the area is replete with Roman pizzerias, restaurants and ice cream shops. What does this mean? Roman cuisine is very basic - pizzas, suppli (rice balls), pasta made of simple ingredients and meats. Places to look for include Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere, La Battilonta Trattoria and Gelateria Petrini. Nightlife may be best left to the Centre and Testaccio areas, but there are some fun pubs like The Blind Pig and Latte Pìu, a bar inspired by the film Clockwork Orange.
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