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Ancient Rome Tips (86)

Ara Pacis Augustae

The New Museo dell'Ara Pacis opened in 2006. It's at Lungotevere in Augusta, corner of via Tomacelli. To help you situate yourself right off the bat, it's beside the Mausoleum di Augusto by the Tiber. The general area would be Metro Spagna.

I was attracted to it by a giant poster advertising an exhibition on Fabrizio de André, a poet and chansonnier from Genoa, whose Creuza de mä album accompanied me throughout my year in China and made me feel as though I was home... and in Genoa all at the same time.
I was in fact most attracted to this intriguing, scaled contemporary building by the Tiber. And happy that I went in, the visit is very worthwhile!

I discovered the Ara Pacis inside, an classical era altar to Peace celebrating the Emperor Augustus, ensconced in a spatial and light design that took my breath away with its majesty and splendour. Very powerful monument, in a contemporary setting (at last!)

The architecture is by Richard Meier, an American architect reputed for his museums. The Ara Pacis was preserved inside the construction. Open environment, joined to neo-classic churches in front by a wide staircase where passers-by sit and rest their feet. Mostly, the place attracts a vibrant crowd, and inside too. Outside, there is a fountain to remind us of Porto di Ripetta, a former port in Rome, closed down by the construction of Ponte Cavour nearby.
There is also a column measuring from the Ara the ssme distance which separated it from the obelisk of the Great Meridian, in the time of August.
From the Museum terrace, there's a view on the Mausoleum of August. See also the remains of the Muro delle Res Gestae.

The marble is the same as that used by Richard Meier for the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The system was carefully engineered to maintain an ideal microclimate inside -- and I can attest to a most comfortable, pleasant visit.

Near the entrance, a small library, inviting and filled with light. It has a text of the Res Gestae & many works on classic architecture & Roman history. Mainly, it offers books on contemporary architecture & modern design.

While I was there in May, there was a controversy over the building's location in the Baroque historical centre of Rome, and talk of reconstructing it elsewhere. Hopefully this has quieted down and the high rate of support for the Museum by the population will allow it to remain where it stands.

alza's Profile Photo
Oct 03, 2010

View the Roman Forum from the Tabularium

When you visit the Capitoline Museums, take the underground passageway between Palazzo Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo. Admire the interesting fragments with inscriptions along the tunnel, but also be sure to take the side stairs and you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Roman Forum. You are standing in one of the arches of the Tabularium, which is where the ancient Romans kept their official records. Look to the right and see the Temple of Vespasian and the Temple of Saturn. To the left you will see the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Church of Santi Luca e Martina. We were lucky enough to visit at dusk and get a couple of reasonable time exposures that show off the dramatic monuments.

the_ancient_mariner's Profile Photo
Sep 09, 2010

Capanne di Romolo


On the Palatine hill, next to Casa di Augusto


Capanne di Romolo, or 'the House of Romulus', if the place, where, according to the legends, Remus and Romulus where brought up. While it would be difficult to establish who exactly did the house belong to, according to archaeologists there was a hut on the spot in 9th century BC, so who knows?

Maria81's Profile Photo
Jan 03, 2010


This ancient Monument is often never seen by many Tourists because it is not on the main Tourist Routes. It is really easy to find and worth a quick look. Just get off the Metro at the Piramide stop and there it is outside! There is a theory that it has survived because it became part of the Aurelian Walls. It is just to the right of the Porto San Paulo gate, which is the start of the Via Ostiense route.

The Pyramid is the tomb of Caius Cestius, Roman Praetor, tribune and wealthy man. It was built in the year 12 A.D. in about 300 days. It stands 27 meters high and the east side is inscribed with part of his will outlining which relatives benefited from his death. It is amazing that this monument was not looted over the years for building materials. Many other ancient monuments were looted as Rome expanded. It is made from brick and covered in marble.

Directions: Metro Stop Piramide on Linnea (Metro) 'B'

You can't miss it!

DAO's Profile Photo
Dec 15, 2009
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Sala della Minerva

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.

Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
Aug 16, 2009

Via Appia Antica

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.

icunme's Profile Photo
Jun 11, 2009

Pie di Marmo: Getting a Kick out of Rome

“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.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Mar 19, 2009

Foro Italico : Stadio dei Marmi

“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.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Jan 15, 2009
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"R O M E"
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"Roma - Città Eterna"
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"Roma, una citta stupenda"
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"Rome : A Surpise Around Every Corner"
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LOTS OF CATS at Largo di torro Argentina

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.

Turska's Profile Photo
Oct 12, 2008

Mausoleo di Augusto

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!)

Turska's Profile Photo
Oct 12, 2008

Baths of Caracalla

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.

gigina's Profile Photo
Aug 31, 2008

Ponte Rotto

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.

craic's Profile Photo
May 23, 2008

Things To Do Near Rome

Things to Do

Trevi Fountain - Fontana di Trevi

more pictures of the renovation of the famous fountain when we visited last year. The trevi fountain was fully restored in August of 2015 and I hope to com back again to see it this time in it's full...
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Things to Do

Fontana del Facchino – ‘The Porter’

One of the things we loved in Rome was the fact that in between 2 major sites we were facing here and there some beautiful corners, small details on the walls, sculptures, beautiful facades of unknown...
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Things to Do

Time Elevator

If you're hot and tired and feel like resting your feet for a while, the Time Elevator is an entertaining distraction. You are seated on a moving platform and experience an audio visual show. The...
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Things to Do

Piazza Barberini

After checking in at the hotel we took the metro into the city center and Barberini square was the first thing we saw. Piazza Barberini was created in the 16th century and took its name from the...
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Things to Do

Museo Delle Cere

Think we paid Eu7 entry August 2009 I understand was Eu8 by 2010. Could walk through in 10 minutes! Figures likenesses range from the unremarkable to the fairly bad. There is a 1940s ensemble of...
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Things to Do

Chiesa San Ignazio di Loyola

Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola was built in 1626 by pope Gregory XV on the site of an older church. It is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, and is thus a...
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Getting to Rome


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