Rome's Piramide Cestia can be visited every Sunday in October.
Rome will open the Pyramid of Caius Cestius every Sunday in October with free guided tours, the city's archaeological superintendence said on Friday.
The decision to give access to Rome’s only surviving ancient Egyptian-style pyramid follows the success of the recent European Heritage Days initiative when 400 people visited the site.
The 36-metre high monument dates from the first century BC and was built as a tomb for the powerful Roman magistrate Caius Cestius.
The pyramid is among a series of normally inaccessible archaeological sites that are reopening following extensive work carried out by the Special Superintendency of Rome, according to Superintendent Daniela Porro.
The guided tours, coordinated by Barbara Rossi, the archaeologist in charge of the site, will be held every Sunday in October at 10.00, 11.00 and 12.00 for maximum of 25 people per shift. Booking is mandatory via the Soprintendenza website.
The pyramid is built into the Aurelian Walls and an inscription on its white marble façade states that its construction took 330 days.
In 2013 the monument underwent a major two-year restoration project whose €2 million cost was sponsored by Japanese entrepreneur Yuzo Yagi.
In addition to cleaning the exterior, the project included restoring the frescoes painted in the inner chambers of the pyramid whose grounds are home to a cat sanctuary.
Photos Fabio Caricchia, courtesy Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma.
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Rome reopens Pyramid of Cestius for free guided tours
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