Ancient Rome, Rome
On the right side of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs there were the gym of the thermae of Diocletian. It is called Sala della Minerva (Room of Minerva, in English).
Italo Gismondi turn the room in the planetarium of the town in 1928.
Immerse yourself in ancient, Christian Rome along the Appian Way. HISTORY – In 71 BC six thousand slaves rebelling under Spartacus, having been captured after his final defeat and death, were crucified along this road by Marcus Licinius Crassus.
The Appian Way was begun in 312 BC by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus over an existing track that connected Rome with the Alban Hills. Supposedly, to be the one that originally brought Latins from Albalonga to Rome when it was founded.
The original path of the Appian Way connected Rome (heading in the area of Baths of Caracalla) with Ariccia, Forum Appii, Terracina, Fondi, Formia, Minturnae (Minturno), Sinuessa (Mondragone) and finally Capua – extended in 190 BC to Benevento (Beneventum) and Venosa which was founded at that time and populated by 20,000 Roman farmers – then to Taranto (Tarentum) and Brindisi (Brundisium).
Via Appia Antica was the most famous of all road that led to Rome, stretching all the way from Rome to the seaport of Brindisi, which accommodated trade with the colonies in Greece and the East.
A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784. After the fall of the Roman empire, the road was not as used as before; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought it into new use.
You will see many tombs and catacombs of Roman and early Christian origin along the road close to Rome with great monuments and ancient tombs of patrician Roman families. Burials were forbidden within the city walls as early as the 5th century B.C. and, beneath the surface, miles of tunnels were hewn from tufa stone.
Also the Church of Domine Quo Vadis is in the first mile of the road. It was along the Appian Way that an escaping Peter encountered the vision of Christ, causing him to go back to the city to face subsequent martyrdom.
These tunnels, or catacombs, were where early Christians buried their dead and, during the worst times of persecution, held church services discreetly out of the public eye. A few of them are open to the public, so you can wander through mile after mile of musty-smelling tunnels whose soft walls are gouged out with tens of thousands of burial niches (long shelves made for 2-3 bodies each). In some dank, dark grottoes, you can still discover the remains of early Christian art. The requisite guided tours feature a small dose of extremely biased history and a large dose of sermonizing.
“It is certain that only being in Rome gives you an idea of what school this is. I really have to say that when we are born again our old ideas look like the shoes we wore when we were children.”
— Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) from “Viaggio in Italia”
As you walk the streets of Rome on your way to visit its world-famous sites your path will take you past countless offbeat antiquities. If you aren’t paying attention, or if you do not know where to look, you could easily miss these amusing treasures.
One such archeological find is tucked away on one of the city’s many narrow streets, paved with granite bricks, not cobble stones. It is a large marble foot wearing a sandal! It is thought that the foot is all that remains of a temple statue of an Egyptian god.
You can find it on Via del Pie di Marmo (Marble Foot Street) near to the church of the Dominican monks, Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The foot is at the corner of Via Santo Stefano del Cacco and Via Piè di Marmo
Via Piè di Marmo stands between Piazza Santa Caterina di Siena and Piazza della Minerva.
“The fate of nations is intimately bound up with their powers of reproduction. All nations and all empires first felt decadence gnawing at them when their birth rate fell off.”
— Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
Il Duce built Foro Italico, a sports complex in the north of Rome, in the 1920s as a testament to the culture of power and strength as exemplified through athletic prowess.
Although Foro Italico is located outside Rome's historic center, it is nonetheless easy to reach by public transportation. And it is well worth the small amount of effort needed to get there if you enjoy sculptural art as much as I do.
Take the No. 2 tram from just outside the Porta del Popolo. The stop is to the left and across the street as you exit the gate. Ride the tram to the very last stop. You will need to cross the River Tiber but from the last tram stop you can easily walk to Foro Italico.
See von.otter’s Rome Travelogue, 'Marble Athletes', for more details and more photos, about the stadium.
Visit the place where emparors once ruled,and cats now regin.Dozens of cats live where use to be temples of Ceasar!We walked by every day,and allways I had to check how many cats are outside right then.Once we even went inside,and bought something to my mother in law,how is a"cat-person"and collects things with black cat pictures on.We found those there of course.And it was nice to buy something here,when money oes to medicines and food of the cats,and people who take care of them.Amazingly the cats seem to stay at area,and not go outside,even if they could go easily.They say,that you shouldn´t touch a cat without asking the staff-some of them are not as friendly than others.
There is also tours around the ruins,if you are interested.
I was hoping to get in here,or at least to walk around,but it was under renovation,and I had to watch through a hole in a fence.Maybe it will be open to public some day.I have understood,that it hadn´t ever been.For some reason I found it interesting-maybe because it is like forgotten there,not too renovated like many other.
It´s at Via Tomacelli,same street that you´ll find Ferrari-store(where everything costs a lot-a keyring was 17e!)
The immense remains of the baths of the Emperor Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla) are a little outside the usual central tourist circuits. Located a short walk from the Circus Maximus, the ruins stand in a peaceful spot where, despite adjacent roads, it is hard to imagine you are in the heart of a major city. Caracalla built a huge public baths complex, of which the standing walls are a powerful reminder of the sheer scale of ancient Rome. Sculptures found here are now on display in other musuems, but some black and white mosaics are still in place, and help the visitor to picture the original state of the baths.
This is one of my favourite things in Rome. Perhaps because the name seems funny to me - even though it simply means broken bridge. Which is what it is. One span was swept away in a flood in 1598 and the other span went in the 1880s.
I like it because it would be very difficult (though not impossible) to get there. So weeds grow as they please and birds land there in perfect safety. It would be hard to tell you why I like it so much.
Near Isola Tiburna.
It used to be called the Pons Aemilius. Before it rottoed.
I suspect many people don't really explore this area. Certainly every time I've been there there have been just one or two other couples/small groups pootling around.
The area has been sorted out a bit snce my last visit in 2004, although there are still piles of seemingly random stones around, safety fencing and poor signage. But it's worth a wander, not least for the typically Roman fusion of old and new. You'll see more modern structures on top of the ancient theatre (it was utilised as a fortified palace for sundry families in Medieval and later times), more buildings using what remains of the Potico d'Ottavia (a poorly-preserved gate dating from the second century BC), and what seems to be the remains of a Roman temple incorporated into the sides of San Nicola de Carcare.
Linking this area with an exloration of Rome's Jewish district (see tip) is worth an hour or so of your time.
The easiest way to find it is to walk down the Via Del Teatro di Marcello from Piazza Venezia (where the huge 'wedding-cake' monument to Victor Emmanuel is).
It might seem a bit of a trek to get to the Via Appia Antica (although you can use he Archaeobus hop-on, hop-off service if you are willing to pay a bit extra) but it really is worth going if you can.
I like to combine it with a visit to the catacombs (S. Sebastiano is the nearest). Walk from there up the ancient roadway, which becomes narrower and almost traffic-free as you leave Piazza S. Sebastiano.
You'll pass many tombs; Roman law prevented burials within towns and cities, apart from infants less than 10 days old, so all the roads were lined with tombs, mausoleums and graves.
The Circus of Maxentius is one the left: visit when it's empty (as I did) and you can still, almost, hear the roar of the crowd as they watched the chariot-racing. Look carefully and you can still see large terracotta amphorae placed above the stands: they functioned as an amplification system, to make the cheers and roars of triumph even louder.
The tomb of Cecilia Metella, with its huge brick-built drum-shape, was a Roman landmark for centuries. And then you are on the Via Appia proper, its road-stones much as they were when the hundreds of crucified slaves who took part in Spartacus' slave revolt lined it. The road leads out into the countryside: hiring a bike, or planning a long walk, will bring you eventually to the Villa Dei Quintilli.
If the weather's good, take a picnic and make a day of it (avoid weekends if you can, for Romans like to visit here too). It's a completely different side of Rome, away from the crowds and fumes, taking you back into what once was.
You can take bus 118 or 218 from P. S. Giovanni in Laterano. The 218 stops at S. Callisto catacombs (walk up through the entrance and then turn right down the main drive towards S. Sebastiano..maybe 10 minutes walk), the 118 at P. S. Sebastiano.
It is located in Trastevere(Via della Settima Corte)
Situated about eight metres below the modern street level, the building was discovered in 1865-66 during the excavations financed by two collectors of works of art: G.Gagliardi and A.Ciocci. The public still remembered the enthusiasm over the discovery in 1849 (in Vicolo delle Palme, today Vicolo dell'Atleta) of numerous, valuable statues.
These included a copy of the Athlete ("Apoxyomenos") by Lisippos later displayed in the Vatican Museums a horse and a bull in bronze now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitoline Hill. f the above circumstances were the principal motive for the research, the point of reference was an ancient wall which emerged in the garden of a private home on Piazza Monte di Fiore opposite the square of the church of St. Crisogonos. Both squares were eliminated the recent urbanistic arrangement of the neighbourhood.
This site is not open to the public but you can take part to a private visit organized by the well known Pierreci company. Reservation is essential and I suggest to call at least 10 days in advance. Visits are available the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 11am.
There are many other sites not open to the public that you can be visited the same way and they are all included in the "Archeologia Nascosta" programme (find full listing on the web site)
The pyramid of Cestius was built during the reign of the emperor Augustus, probably between 18 and 12 BCE. It is a remarkable monument, made of white Carrara marble and exactly 100 Roman feet (30 meters) high.
Address:Aventine Hill, Rome
I visited Trajan's Market as an after thought. It was not high on my list of to do things in Rome. There are so many ruins in Rome that it is so easy to overlook a few. It seems that many tourists do (this is the advantage of traveling solo, you hit the unjustly overlooked). Here there were more cats than tourists.
Trajan's Market has an interesting history for it survived as a place of civic importance beyond the days of the Roman Empire. The market was designed by the Emperor Trajan's favourite architects, Apollodorus of Damascus, in the early days of the 2nd century A.D. It is semi-circular in shape and multi-leveled. In many ways it was used as we today use a modern shopping mall. There were many shops here selling all kinds of foodstuffs and clothing. These products came from the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire. Unlike many of the other ruins in Rome, it survived the empire and was restored many times. During the Medieval Era, additional buildings overlooking the market were built. My big complaint about the Trajan Market was that there was nothing in the way of information provided such as brocheres and signage to let you know what it is you are exploring.
Trajan's Market is located at Via Quattro Novembre 144 which in just north of the Colosseum.
Castel Sant'Angelo (12th Century) was originally Hadrian's Mausoleum of 123AD. I was very impressed by this monument and could have spent a lot longer there...........so if you think that you are anything like me set aside one whole day for this place. I would have loved to have spent more time looking at the art and museum rooms where lots of bits and pieces are stored. It is also full of passageways that definitely need investigation...................... enjoy yourself.