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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Rome opens new museum and archaeological park on Caelian Hill

Parco Archeologico del Celio and Forma Urbis Museum open to public from 12 January.

Rome has opened a new museum and archaeological park in a forgotten corner of one of the capital's famed seven hills - the Caelian - against the backdrop of the Colosseum.

The Parco Archeologico del Celio and the Museo della Forma Urbis were inaugurated on Thursday by the city's mayor Roberto Gualtieri ahead of their opening to the public on Friday.

The museum houses the remaining fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae, the giant marble map of ancient Rome engraved between 203 and 211 AD under Emperor Septimius Severus. 

The last time the remains of the ancient map were seen by the public was a century ago when they were on display in the garden of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitoline Hill.

The map, which originally measured 18 by 13 metres, was mounted on an interior wall of the Temple of Peace before being destroyed during the Middle Ages when the marble was used as building materials or for making lime.

Isola Tiberina. Museo Forma Urbis.


The layout of the new Forma Urbis Museum allows visitors to fully enjoy the marble map, with the original fragments placed under a glass floor which is superimposed with Giovanni Battista Nolli's 1748 Pianta Grande map of Rome.

The Celio Archaeological Park is located beside the Case Romane underground complex, with entry from Clivo di Scauro, the little arched road between the churches of S. Gregorio and SS. Giovanni e Paolo.

Located between the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus, the newly-opened park contains a wealth of epigraphic and architectural material, placed here after being unearthed as part of excavations around the city at the end of the 19th century.

The site is rich in archaeological history, containing the perimeter foundations of the Divo Claudio, or Temple of Claudius, dating to the first century AD.

The park is also home to the Casina del Salvi which the city says is destined to return to its original function as a coffee-house for visitors as well as becoming part of Rome's network of museum buildings offering study rooms to students.

The project is part of a broader transformation of the Caelian Hill, with works to soon get underway to reclaim the capital's former Antiquarium which has been in a state of abandonment for almost a century.

The new park and museum will also form part of the city's New Archaeological Walk linking ancient Roman sites around the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Baths of Caracalla and Circus Maximus, incorporating the Caelian, Palatine and Capitoline hills.

How to visit Parco Archeologico del Celio and Museo della Forma Urbis

Access to the park is from Viale del Parco del Celio 20, Viale del Parco del Celio 22 and Clivo di Scauro 4.

The park is open for free every day, except 25 December and 1 May, from 07.00 until 17.30 (winter timetable) and from 07.00 to 20.00 (summer).

The Museo della Forma Urbis is open Tues-Sun 10.00-16.00 (last entry one hour before closing). Closed 25 December and 1 May.

Museo Forma Urbis on the eve of its opening

Tickets are required for the museum (but not the park): €9 full price for non residents of the city (discounted €6.50), while Rome residents pay €6.50 (or €5.50 reduced).

The museum is free to holders of Rome's MIC museum pass.

For more information tel. 060608 (daily from 09.00-19.00) or see the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali website.

General Info

Address Clivo di Scauro, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome opens new museum and archaeological park on Caelian Hill

Clivo di Scauro, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia