Villa dei Quintili

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Villa dei Quintili

Even in ruins, this once splendid villa gives a real sense of ancient Rome's opulence, and the small on-site museum includes archaeological finds that add to the vision. Even today, two millennia later, it remains clear why Emperor Commodus—the villain in the 2000 film epic Gladiator—coveted this sumptuous property. To get the villa from its owners, the Quintili, he accused the family of plotting against him and had them executed, before moving in himself. He may have used the exedra for training for his fights with ostriches back in the Colosseum. Note that the villa is best included in a separate itinerary from the catacombs, being 5 km (3 miles) away. It is accessible from both the modern Appia Nuova and from the Appia Antica, the ancient road ((by bicycle or on foot only).

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