Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’ To Become An Open-Air Museum

Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’

History lovers visiting Rome in 2022 will be able to walk through history, as the historic Area Sacra is made more accessible.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing, Rome hasn’t been sitting still. First, we reported that a retractable floor and other improvements were being added to the iconic Colosseum. Then we heard that the tomb of Ancient Rome’s first Emperor Augustus had been renovated ready to welcome visitors. Now, the latest improvements to Rome’s historic areas are at the Area Sacra in Largo di Torre Argentina. This is currently undergoing extensive restoration work to make it more accessible to the public.

Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’ Becomes An Open-Air Museum

In 2022, history lovers visiting Rome will have a chance to walk through history in the historic Area Sacra in Largo di Torre Argentina after the site is made accessible. This relates to the sunken area housing the remains of four Republican-era temples, all of which were built between the second and fourth centuries BCE.

Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’

The area also hosts the Theatre of Pompey, with the Curia of Pompey located at its entrance. The Curia used to be a meeting hall where Julius Caesar was said to have been murdered in 44 BCE on the Ides of March. These ruins were discovered between 1926 and 1930 after a series of medieval houses were demolished and the original buildings were revealed beneath.

However, the Area Sacra isn’t just about historic buildings, as it is also renowned for housing a colony of hundreds of Rome’s stray cats. The strays are cared for and fed by a local private non-profit shelter. Visitors are fond of capturing photos of the cats as they scamper through the ruins.

Walkways And An Elevator Added To Area Sacra

Currently, the ruins are off-limits to visitors and can only be viewed from street level. However, this will change once the renovations are completed. The work being performed on the archaeological site include seeing the site elevated, while an elevator, lit walkways, and footpaths are added, as well as a covered exhibition area.

Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’

The new renovations will then allow visitors to enter the sunken historic site to explore the ruined temples and the circular monument to the goddess of Fortune, Fortuna.

The renovation work, which is being co-financed by the Italian fashion company, Bulgari, is set to begin shortly and will take a year to complete. The aim of the renovations is to attract visitors to the Area Sacra once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and travel resumes in Italy.

For those concerned about the cat sanctuary, the city has offered assurances that the renovation work will not affect the area in which the cat colony is currently housed.

Visit Rome In 2022 And 2023

While the latest renovations to the Area Sacra will be finished in 2022, work on the retractable floor at the Colosseum will take at least one more year and will be complete in 2023. Meanwhile, renovations on the tomb of Ancient Rome’s first Emperor Augustus will be complete in 2021, some twenty centuries after the tomb’s original construction.

When all renovations are complete, Rome will be a destination to visit over and over again, to take in all the marvels of this historic city.

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