Some journeys merely give you a glimpse back in time. Others affect your spirit as well. This was one of those latter journeys. In 1958, at the age of 13, Lorraine saw a picture of the ancient Roman road, the Appian Way (the "queen of the long roads" -Statius) in her Latin book. She made a vow that some day she would stand on that same road. To make this dream come true, we had to wait two extra days for rain showers to clear out. After all, this ten plus mile round trip walk would not have been enjoyable in the rain. We followed the Tiber River south, past the Circus Maximus, the Palentine Hill (home of the Emperors), and the Baths of Caracalla, until we reached the Porta di San Sebastián along the Aurelian wall (the defensive wall protecting Rome). We had finally arrived at the Appia Antica, the old Appian Way, one of the earliest and most strategically important roads for the old Roman Republic. This 350 mile long road linked Rome with the harbor town of Brandisi but more importantly was the main military supply route for the army bases along the way. Construction began in 312 B.C.
A little way into the Appian Way, we came across the church of Domine Quo Vardis (..."Lord, where are you going?"). Legend has it that St. Peter met a vision of Jesus here while Peter was fleeing persecution in Rome. He asked Jesus the above question to which Jesus replied he was returning to Rome to be crucified again. St. Peter then returned to Rome himself.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.