Experience a bit of ancient Rome along the famous Appian Way. Once the main route for travel and trade between Rome and southern Italy seaports, the pathway dates back to 312 BCE. The route’s importance to ancient Roman life is legendary. It’s the site of Spartacus’ slave revolt, and it’s where Peter had a vision of Christ after the crucifixion. It’s also lined with the tombs of many important Roman families, and it offers access points for several catacombs, including San Sebastian and San Callixtus. Today, you can stroll the Appian Way or take a bike tour of the pathway. Capitol Hill is the ideal starting point if you’re staying in the center of Rome, but you can also join the Appian Way at the Roman Forum, the Palatine, Circus Maximus or Caracalla’s Baths. If you’re taking advantage of our discounted tickets on last minute flights to Rome, be sure to schedule a half-day to explore this historic and beautiful ancient road.
Once you’ve pampered yourself a little with discounted tickets on first class flights to Rome, head to the Baths of Diocletian to see how ancient Romans pampered themselves. The largest of Rome’s Imperial baths, the Baths of Diocletian were built in the late 3rd century on the smallest of Rome’s seven hills. The baths were defunct by the mid-6th century, but religious uses took their place. Today, the massive structure still houses some of the original bathing rooms, as well as Michelangelo’s Cloister, the Protohistoric Museum and the Epigraphic Museum. In all, about 400 sculptures are contained within the structure, including “Aphrodite of Sirene.”
Art, history and religion through the ages come together in one of Rome’s most spectacular settings: the Vatican Museums in Vatican City. Where else can you admire the vivid colors of Raphael’s “Transfiguration” and “Adoration of the Magi” as well as Etruscan pottery and the ancient Egyptian “Book of the Dead?” One of the world’s largest museums, the Vatican Museums encompass dozens of galleries, including magnificent ancient Greek and Roman statues such as “The Three Graces” and “Prima Porta Augustus.” The pièce de résistance at the conclusion of the museum tour is the revered Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s famed ceiling. Unsurprisingly, lines for the Vatican Museums can be long, so use the museums’ online ticketing option to save hours of waiting in line. Use part of the money you saved on our business class deals to purchase special guided tours of the museums. These tours provide more personalized attention as well as entry to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
While other travelers flock to the tried-and-true Roman landmarks, you can explore the less-traveled path at San Pietro Basilica. Here, you can marvel at the magnificent artwork, including Michelangelo’s "Moses" sculpture at the tomb of Pope Julius II. Don’t let Michelangelo’s work overshadow some of the church’s other revered artifacts though. The church also holds Saint Peter’s imprisonment chains in a bronze and crystal reliquary beneath the altar. It boasts a mosaic of St. Sebastian created in the 7th century, and it’s also home to the tombs of many venerated cardinals and artists. These tombs are adorned with beautiful frescoes and statues. The church itself was built in the 5th century, so it’s a wonderful place to explore early medieval architecture and style. As soon as your business class deals are confirmed, be sure to place the basilica on your itinerary. If you schedule at least a few hours for the site, you may even have time to visit the nearby Domus Aurea palace built by Emperor Nero.