Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roman Apartment House

Nestled against the west side of the monument to Victor Emmanuel II in Piazza Venezia is the site of an ancient Roman insula, or apartment house. Excavated in the early 20th century, it is possible to identify all five floors of this 2nd century AD building that contained the apartments for about 380 people.

Two levels below the current street level are visible, exposing original Roman street. The street level of the building contained shops. The apartments of the store keepers were on the floor above. Further up you can identify a bell tower from the medieval church of Saint Biago. In the 17th century another church (dedicated to St. Rita) was built on top of everything. This church was removed in 1927 during the excavations.

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