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Rome swaps asphalt for cobblestones on Aventine Hill

City paves street between Circus Maximus and Aventine Hill.

Rome is replacing an asphalt-covered road on the Aventine Hill with traditional sampietrini cobblestones as part of a slew of public works projects in the city ahead of Jubilee Year 2025.


The project involves more than 100,000 sampietrini, or sanpietrini, being installed along Clivo dei Publicii, replacing the asphalt on the winding street that links the Circus Maximus to the Aventino.


The route, a popular stroll with Romans and tourists, leads past the city's rose garden up to the Giardino degli Aranci, the churches of Santa Sabina and Santi Bonifacio e Alessio, and the famed keyhole on the summit of the hill.

As part of the same project the city recently repaved the sampietrini on one side of Via dell'Ara Massima di Ercole, under the pine trees at the northern end of the Circus Maximus, across the street from Clivo dei Publicii.



The city says that around half of the cobblestones being installed on the Aventine hill will be "recycled" after they were removed two years ago from nearby Via della Piramide Cestia.


The move is part of a plan to replace sampietrini with asphalt on busy streets and doing the opposite on asphalted streets with little or no traffic.

After a number of prominent cobblestoned streets in the capital were asphalted in recent years - including Via Nazionale, Via IV Novembre and Viale Aventino - the first street to undergo the reverse process is Clivo dei Publicii.


The project on the Aventino is being coordinated by the city's department of public works department and is set for completion this summer, in time for Jubilee 2025.


Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri said the sampietrini project "will revive an extraordinary historical walk", while the city's public works councillor Ornella Segnalini said the aim is "to make Rome more liveable and more beautiful, even after the Jubilee".


Cover image Clivo dei Publicii. Photo Wanted in Rome, 8 April 2024.
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