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Museo della Forma Urbis

Isola Tiberina
Area del Campo Marzio
Templi di Largo Argentina
Museo Forma Urbis
Museo Forma Urbis
Museo Forma Urbis
Museo Forma Urbis

A stunning marble map providing a unique insight into the urban landscape of ancient Rome: the building of the Ex Palestra della Gioventù Italiana del Littorio within the Parco archeologico del Celio, reopened to the public thanks to the works carried out under the scientific direction of the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage of Roma Capitale, houses the new Museo della Forma Urbis, which preserves the surviving fragments of the famous Forma Urbis Romae, one of the rarest and most important testimonies that have come down to us from antiquity.

The gigantic marble plan was carved between 203 and 211 AD under Emperor Septimius Severus and probably had a propaganda function, celebrating power and the city’s grandiose monuments. It originally occupied a space of about 18 by 13 meters and was displayed on the wall of a hall in the Templum Pacis, later incorporated by the complex of Santi Cosma e Damiano in the area of the Roman Forum. The 150 slabs that made it up were attached to the wall with iron pins and were criss-crossed with an incredible multitude of subtle engravings depicting the floor plans of the buildings of Rome in the 3rd century A.D., with its districts, houses, porticoes, temples and shops, at an average scale of about 1:240.

After its discovery in 1562, many fragments were lost and dispersed. What remains today is about one tenth of the total plan: of the hundreds of fragments found over the centuries, only about 200 have been identified and ideally placed on the modern topography. The marble plan has been part of the Capitoline Museums’ collections since 1742. The last overall exhibition of the originals was made between 1903 and 1924 in the garden of the Palazzo dei Conservatori; then, until 1939, some significant fragments were visible in the Antiquarium del Celio.

Almost a century later, the new layout of the Museo della Forma Urbis allows to fully enjoy the marble plan, facilitating the legibility of a document that, due to its bulk and fragmentary condition, is difficult to immediately understand. On the floor of the museum’s main hall, the fragments of the Forma Urbis are superimposed on Giovanni Battista Nolli’s 1748 Pianta Grande, allowing visitors to take a real journey through the ancient city, and to appreciate the details of the plans at close quarters. The interior of the museum building also houses a substantial selection of architectural and decorative material from the former Antiquarium Comunale.

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Dal martedì alla domenica dalle 10.00 alle 16.00 (ultimo ingresso un’ora prima)
Chiuso il lunedì, 25 dicembre, 1° maggio

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Museo della Forma Urbis, Viale del Parco Del Celio, 20
Viale del Parco Del Celio, 20


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