Archaeology / Cultural Heritage / History

[Archaeology] [twocolumns]

Anthropology / Human Evolution / Linguistics

[Anthropology] [twocolumns]

Palaeontology / Palaeoclimate / Earth Sciences

[Palaeontology] [twocolumns]

Evolution / Genetics / Biology

[Evolution][twocolumns]

Ruins, ghosts and cats: Rome's 'Area Sacra' to welcome visitors


History buffs will be able to roam the ruins of Rome's "Area Sacra", perhaps catching a glimpse of Julius Caesar's ghost, after the site becomes an open-air museum next year.


Ruins, ghosts and cats: Rome's 'Area Sacra' to welcome visitors
A view shows the Largo Argentina archaeological site on April 14, 2021 in central Rome
[Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP]

Work to adapt the Largo Argentina archaeological site for tourists begins next month, with upgrades to allow entry into the vast sunken square containing the ruins of four Roman temples, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi announced on Wednesday.


Today, the expanse of excavations in the historic site can only be gazed upon from street level. "With this work we'll begin entering into the area and... walk among the vestiges of our history," she said at a press conference.




Julius Caesar is believed to have been stabbed in the Curia Pompei, a Senate building, part of whose limestone foundation is still visible. But visitors are more likely to spot an apparition of the four-legged kind -- namely, a cat.


The ruins are the domain of a colony of hundreds of rescued cats, fed, sterilised and cared for by a private non-profit shelter, who scamper through the site, lounging atop truncated marble pillars or posing for tourist photos -- altogether unimpressed by the historical significance of their vast litterbox.


Ruins, ghosts and cats: Rome's 'Area Sacra' to welcome visitors
History buffs will be able to roam the ruins of Rome's "Area Sacra", perhaps catching a glimpse
of Julius Caesar's ghost, after the site becomes an open-air museum next year
[Credit: Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali]

The temples, which date to between the third and second centuries B.C., include a circular monument to the goddess of Fortune, whose colossal marble head now sits in Rome's Centrale Montemartini museum.


They were uncovered as recently as 1926 in an urban planning project when demolished medieval houses revealed ancient Roman ruins underneath.




The work, which is expected to take a year, will include elevated walkways, illuminated at night, footpaths, an elevator and a covered exhibition area along one side of the site.


The project is being financed by jeweller Bulgari, owned by France's luxury conglomerate LVMH, which donated about one million euros ($1.2 million). Bulgari was a previous sponsor on the restoration of Rome's Spanish Steps and an intricate mosaic floor within the Baths of Caracalla.


Ruins, ghosts and cats: Rome's 'Area Sacra' to welcome visitors
Work to adapt the Largo Argentina archaeological site for tourists begins in May 2021, with upgrades
 to allow entry into the vast sunken square containing the ruins of four Roman temples, Rome Mayor
 Virginia Raggi announced on April 14 [Credit: Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali]

Excavations and preparatory work for the project continued despite the coronavirus restrictions of the past year, but the expected opening of the site in 2022 will hopefully coincide with a new wave of post-pandemic tourism, said Raggi.


"We are preparing for the arrival of new tourists when Covid is over," she said.


But what about the cats?


The city said the new site would not affect the area "where the historic feline colony of Largo Argentina is housed."


Author: Alexandria Sage | Source: AFP [April 14, 2021]



Support The Archaeology News Network with a small donation!




TANN

Post A Comment
  • Blogger Comment using Blogger
  • Facebook Comment using Facebook
  • Disqus Comment using Disqus

1 comment :


Exhibitions / Travel

[Exhibitions] [bsummary]

Natural Heritage / Environment / Wildlife

[Natural Heritage] [list]

Astronomy / Astrobiology / Space Exploration

[Universe] [list]