Monday 25 January 2021 10:01
Set your calendars for March 1st: the Mausoleum of Augustus is back!
We had mentioned it here on this blog earlier last summer, here, that the Mausoleum of Augustus was about to reopen. There is finally an opening date announced: the long lost landmark is to be unveiled on March 1st. Previously, the announcement had mentioned a big event on April 21st, so as to have the […]
read the news on From Home to Rome
We had mentioned it here on this blog earlier last summer,
here, that the Mausoleum of Augustus was about to reopen. There is finally an opening date announced: the long lost landmark is to be unveiled on March 1st.
Previously, the announcement had mentioned a big event on April 21st, so as to have the opening match with Rome’s celebrations for “Natale di Roma”, the day when the city was founded, according to legend, by Romulus.
If you were to walk around the area now (or if you are already in Rome, indeed, and have passed by it!), you’d notice a flurry of activity, with workers and contractors coming and going: scenes that are a welcome change to what we saw last spring, when the lockdown had all but stopped the projects onsite.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore, the square owing its name to the great emperor, doesn’t look like much today. As impressive as it is, with the monument in its center and flanked on one side by the massive glass case containing the Ara Pacis altar-cum-museum, it’s a place that is seldom visited by locals – with the exception of those going to said museum, or rushing to board a bus at the terminal that lies on the other side of it.
As a matter of fact, go there any time of the day and you would notice how empty the square is, in spite of being minutes from the Spanish Steps or seconds from Via del Corso or Via Condotti.
It wasn’t always like this: up until Mussolini decided to re-build the area, it was one of the places where the “in” crowd assembled for nights out (a concert hall had been built over the tomb!) and a drink, late into the evenings.
This is why there are great expectations about the Mausoleum of Augustus reopening: residents as well as city officials hope to turn back the square into a lively meeting place.
We mentioned how a concert hall used to be on top of the Mausoleum of Augustus. You might know another similar building that was completely transformed from its original function: Castel Sant’Angelo, south from here on the other side of the river Tiber, used to be the tomb of emperor Hadrian.
So it shouldn’t really come as a big surprise that the Mausoleum suffered the same fate: over the centuries, it was a fortress, a church, even an orchard. Throughout all of this, the remains of Augustus and his descendants were plundered and lost, but the massive building hasn’t lost its eerie beauty and charm. We can’t wait to see what’s been unhearted there during the archaeological campaign there!
this site(in English) you can read more about how the restoration works were approached and conducted, thanks to a major contribution by Italian telecommunications company TIM.
The newly renovated site will be free to visit throughout 2021, while the idea of extending the free entrance to the year 2022 is being discussed.