Visitors can walk through site where Julius Caesar was killed.
Rome will open the archaeological site in Largo di Torre Argentina to the public for the first time on Tuesday following a major development project sponsored by luxury jeweller Bulgari.
The new itinerary offers information in English and Italian tracing the history of the ancient site down through the centuries, from the Republican age to the imperial and mediaeval times, up to its rediscovery last century with the demolitions during the Fascist period.
The so-called sacred area at Largo Argentina is best known as the scene of Julius Caesar's assassination, as well as being home to a popular cat sanctuary, however until now the public had to view the sunken site from street level.
Walking through history
Now, thanks to the works funded by Bulgari and overseen by Rome's superintendency of cultural heritage, visitors can "walk through history" on raised paths around the site.
The elevated walkways offer close-up views of the four Roman Republican temples, including the circular monument to the goddess of Fortune, and the remains of Pompey's Theatre.
In addition, there are two new exhibition areas in the portico of the mediaeval Torre del Papito and in the rooms below the street level on Via di S. Nicola de' Cesarini.
The spaces have been set up with a selection of finds from the excavations and demolitions from the last century, including fragments of epigraphs, sarcophagi, architectural decorations and two heads of colossal statues representing divinities once venerated at the site.
Paying tribute to Bulgari, the capital's culture councillor Miguel Gotor said: "One of the most beautiful and precious places in Rome is finally fully usable by Roman citizens and tourists, who from now on will be able to see from nearby wonderful archaeological finds from various periods of the history of our city."
Underlining the "deep bond we have with Rome", Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said: "We are proud to have contributed to finally making this archaeological and architectural jewel accessible to citizens and tourists, a precious testimony to the fascinating overlapping of eras and styles that makes the Eternal City unique in the world."
Rome superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce said "a very important area has been returned to the city, allowing everyone to admire a cross-section of history spanning more than two millennia."
Entry is from Via di S. Nicola De’ Cesarini, with tickets available at the Torre del Papito.
The site is open Tuesday to Sunday from 09.30 until 19.00 (16.00 in the off-season), with last entry one hour before closing time.
Visits last up to 45 minutes and tickets cost €5 (reduced to €4 for Rome residents), with various other reductions and exempt categories. For information and to make group bookings contact the call centre on tel. 060608.
Bulgari and Rome
The Bulgari brand, which was founded in Rome in 1884, has funded several important restorations in the Italian capital in recent years, including the Spanish Steps.
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Rome opens Largo Argentina site to visitors for first time
Largo di Torre Argentina, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
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