From Palatino to Ara Pacis

Palatino, Foro Romano, via del Corso, Ara Pacis

After the visit to the Colosseum, let’s continue towards another obligatory stop: the Palatino, the location where Romolo built the Eternal City (Rome) in 753 b.C. According to the story, it was at the feet of this hill that a shepherd found the two twins, Romolo and Remo, while a female wolf was suckling them.

Few feet behind the Palatino there is the entrance to the Foro Romano, the most important archeological area in Roma. This used to be the political, economic, and religious center of ancient Rome: a walk on Via Sacra gives you the opportunity to wonder through millenary monuments that are the foundation of the civilization we have inherited today. Towards the end of the Roman Empire, the Foro Romano was inadequate to address all the administrative functions necessary to maintain the Roman Republic; to address these growing needs, Caesar started building the Fori Imperiali.

You will need a bit of creativity to connect the old Foro with the other beautiful ruins since approximately 80% of the ruins rests underneath the homonymous boulevard which was built in 1933. The parts of the ruins that were brought back to life reveal traces of grandiose monuments and palaces that are a mandatory stop for all tourists.

Continuing towards piazza Venezia, on our right, the journey takes us to the Mercati Traianei, between the Foro Traiano and the Quirinale. These markets are considered among the marvels of the classic world. The whole structure was the size of an entire city block organized around Via Biberatica, on which you could find taverns and shops selling pepper and spices. You could find anything in this market: fresh fish, spices from the Middle East, fruits, flowers, and silk. In short, this was a true shopping center ante litteram (before its own time).

After a nice walk through the center, crossing Piazza del Collegio Romano and via del Corso, or one of the parallel streets, we will arrive to Lungotevere Augusta where the new futuristic pavilion, designed by the American architect Richard Meier, houses the Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar Augustan Peace).

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