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Rome moves closer to reopening Piazza Augusto Imperatore

Works in Rome piazza are well underway.

Rome is set to partly reopen Piazza Augusto Imperatore, the public square around the ancient Mausoleum of Augustus, by the end of this year, the city's mayor said on Tuesday.

The tomb of Rome's first emperor and its surrounding piazza have been at the centre of parallel restoration and redevelopment works, overseen by the city's archaeological superintendency, in a project that dates back almost 20 years.

Under the plans drawn up by the architect Francesco Cellini, the winner of an international design competition in 2006, the city is at work to reorganise the public space around the circular monument.

Cellini's plan involves integrating the mausoleum into an urban context by making the surrounding spaces fully usable and resolving the disparity in height between the ancient landmark and the square, originally designed by Vittorio Morpurgo in the 1930s.

The city says that the first batch of works, in the southern part of the piazza, are set to conclude by the end of December with the opening of new travertine steps allowing the public "to cross the square and reach the mausoleum level".

“We are giving back to the city and the whole world a hidden wonder, one of the most beautiful places of ancient Rome" - mayor Roberto Gualtieri said - "Not having the Mausoleum of Augustus accessible and integrated with the city represented a kind of black hole."

Gualtieri said that works are "already well underway" to reorganise the square by "reconnecting the contemporary area with the ancient one".

Describing it as “the largest archaeological site that has ever been opened in Rome”, the city's superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce said: "The extension of the intervention area around the Mausoleum is equivalent to six times that of Largo Argentina".

In a statement, the city said the new arrangement will also include the restoration of some archaeological finds unearthed during the works along with "a large service centre with café/info point/bookshop at the southern end of the monumental complex".

The second phase of redevelopment works, currently underway and expected to be completed by the end of 2025, includes the creation of a new pedestrian walkway to access the mausoleum from the street.

The first phase of restoration of the ancient monument was concluded in 2019, with the public first admitted on a limited basis in 2021.

The second phase of the works, which is expected to begin by the end of the year, will last approximately 18 months.

This will involve greenery, lighting, accessibility and the completion of the museum's interior design and display areas, entrusted to the celebrated Dutch architect Rem Koolhass.

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Address Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome moves closer to reopening Piazza Augusto Imperatore

Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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