Insula dell'Ara Coeli
Insula dell'Ara Coeli
4
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural Buildings
What people are saying
Mairwen1
By Mairwen1
Rare Example of Ancient Roman Apartment Block Right Beside Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.
4.0 of 5 bubblesJun 2022
Most people will at some stage find themselves very near these ancient ruins but will probably not realise they are there. I only recently found them and that was by accident because I happened to walk right past. They sit just around the right hand corner from the large and un-missable Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. It's just a very quick diversion and will only take a few minutes. What you see here are the ruins of what was essentially an ancient block of apartments. They date back to the first 2 decades of the second century AD and give an amazing example of how the normal Romans lived in ancient times. It is estimated that about 350 - 400 people lived here. If you look down from the street level, you can see quite a lot. Originally there would have been 5 floors in total. Shops were located on the ground floor (9 metres below the current ground level) and residential housing sat above that. What’s left is a pretty substantial structure, considering its age. A large amount of ancient brick walls are still standing. So are the portico arches where the shops would have been, as well as columns and doorways. Most striking is the bell tower and a fresco, both of which can be clearly seen from the pavement. The fresco is still quite distinct and shows Christ descending from the cross, with Mary and St John on either side. A large information board provides a brief description, some photos and a floor plan.

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Neighborhood: Campitelli

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles40 reviews
Excellent
12
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24
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4
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Malgorzata
12,086 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Insula dell'Ara Coeli is a remnant of the second century building that served as the residence of city residents. These blocks are called the Italian Insula Romana and literally mean the "Roman island". This remnant is an example of public housing that was common in ancient Rome. It is estimated that around 400 inhabitants lived in this block of buildings. It is a beautiful place.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,946 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Most people will at some stage find themselves very near these ancient ruins but will probably not realise they are there. I only recently found them and that was by accident because I happened to walk right past. They sit just around the right hand corner from the large and un-missable Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. It's just a very quick diversion and will only take a few minutes.
What you see here are the ruins of what was essentially an ancient block of apartments. They date back to the first 2 decades of the second century AD and give an amazing example of how the normal Romans lived in ancient times. It is estimated that about 350 - 400 people lived here.
If you look down from the street level, you can see quite a lot. Originally there would have been 5 floors in total. Shops were located on the ground floor (9 metres below the current ground level) and residential housing sat above that. What’s left is a pretty substantial structure, considering its age. A large amount of ancient brick walls are still standing. So are the portico arches where the shops would have been, as well as columns and doorways. Most striking is the bell tower and a fresco, both of which can be clearly seen from the pavement. The fresco is still quite distinct and shows Christ descending from the cross, with Mary and St John on either side.
A large information board provides a brief description, some photos and a floor plan.
Written June 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alessandro F
Milan, Italy31,964 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Solo
This ancient apartament blocks is a rare example of an Roman Insula dated back on 2nd century and rediscovered under an old church in 1930.
Four floors remain with the ground floor consisted of shops that faces the surrounding streets.
Written November 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelerCentralFLA
Clermont, FL1,717 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Family
The Insula dell'Ara Coeli gives an idea of what it was like for the poorer classes in Ancient Rome. An Insula was an apartment building. Unlike our modern apartments, the higher floors were not more desirable. In the case of a fire it was very hard to get out of the higher floors. Also there were not kitchens in the ancient buildings. You had to find somewhere else to prepare your food if you lived in an ancient Insula.
This is located near the Victor Emmanuel Monument and the Capitoline Museum. It gives a nice glimpse into everyday life in Ancient Rome.
Written April 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin S
Pontypool, UK2,324 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Couples
Roll back the years where the lower cast would reside and then go to the local cafe to meet friends.
Apartments from Roman history.
Would recommend a visit.
Written August 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SuperTed19
Madison, WI746 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
Sometimes the rush forward is paused to consider the value of saving something precious and unique. This is one such example, and is worth stopping to appreciate.
Written July 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia49,858 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
Insula dell'Ara Coeli is the site where ruins were found of a building dating back to the second century. It was discovered back in the 1920s when work was being undertaken for the huge monument just above it! It is meant to be an example of city planning at that time in Imperial Rome. Quite interesting.
Written November 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Spanish Steps Apartment
Rome, Italy33,015 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Friends
Found when buildings were being destroyed or moved in order to build the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, these are ancient Roman residential buildings -- basically apartments -- with the traditional commercial space on the ground floor, now far below the modern ground level. You can see how the buildings were added onto over the centuries -- there is a third century religious fresco from a church, as well as a medieval bell tower. Interesting glimpse into ancient Rome, how buildings were repurposed over time, and how modern Rome literally sits atop countless structures from ancient times.
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ITRT
Virginia44,720 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
The Insulae in Rome was discovered in 1927 when a church was destroyed to build a monument to Victor Emmanuel, the first king of Italy. The Insulae is example of a condominium/apartment building build of brick instead of wood. It dates back to 2nd century AD. It was originally a five story building but only four stories remain probably because a result of a fire. The lower level floor is underneath the ground. You will notice the rooms on the fourth floor tend to be smaller in size. According to my research, these were rented out to poorer people because these rooms were less desirable due to frequent fires and building collapses. It could have housed up to 350 people. When you are in the area, take the time to see the Insulae.
Written September 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

on_the_go_98765
Tucson20,597 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
Somehow the massive Monument project did not gobble up (and spit out) this 2nd century treasure. It abuts the gigantic Monument to the first king of Italy, that big, white wedding-cake construction with the elevator up to the top. Modern construction and appetites often destroy ancient treasures ... been going on forever.

So, this brick structure is small and locked up but it's still here. Of the medieval construction, only the tower bell framework and a fresco still survive: Jesus is going to be buried, he is flanked by his mother and St. John.

The "insula" was discovered between 1931 and 1942. It may have been between 4 - 6 floors high with residential units (like today's condominiums) on the upper floors. Maybe 380 people could have resided here.

A really big wish on my own personal wish list would be to have an opportunity to tour the inside. This is undisturbed and archeologically significant. Maybe it is best left alone.
Written September 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Insula dell'Ara Coeli - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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