Strolling around the Foro Olitorio (opposite the contemporary Palazzo dell'Anagrafe), you can admire, also from the outside, the archaeological area known as the Sacred Area of S. Omobono, from the church of the same name which rises above the ancient structures.
In the years 1936-1937, the works for the opening of Via del Mare brought to light a large foundation made of tuff blocks and, above, the remains of the two temples of Fortuna and Mater Matuta, dating back to the Republican age.
The foundation of the Church of Sant'Omobono also revealed a significant and complex stratigraphic sequence, datable between protohistory and the full imperial age: from the remains of a hut datable to the 8th century BC to a place of worship with altars and remains of bones, in which a fragment of a vase with one of the oldest Etruscan inscriptions, found in Rome, was discovered.
The establishment of monuments in the entire area took place in the 6th century, with the construction of the two temples, of which only one was found in depth and obliquely positioned below the foundations of the church. The finds of the large terracotta cladding slabs, the four spirals and the sculptural group of Heracles and Athena, placed to decorate the pediment, now kept in the Capitoline Museums, refer to the Etruscan-Italic temple, destroyed at the end of the sixth century.
After a century of abandon, the level of the area was raised by about 4 meters to rebuild the twin temples of Fortuna and Mater Matuta. Following fires and destruction, the buildings underwent numerous renovation, to be finally restored in Hadrian's Era (117-138 AD).
Today, the temple of Fortuna is still fully visible; the cell of Mater Matuta, in fact, was probably transformed into a Christian place of worship, at the end of the 5th century AD. During the Middle Ages, it was renovated inside with a raised presbytery covered with Cosmatesque floors. It is the church formerly known in documents as San Salvatore in Portico, on which, in 1482, a new place of worship was built - with opposite orientation to the previous one. Since 1575, the church is dedicated to Sant'Omobono, patron saint of tailors.
The monument is also visible from the outside
Open to organized groups upon reservation only.
Max 25 people per group.