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“Ara Pacis: For Roman History Buffs”

Museo dell'Ara Pacis
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Ranked #136 of 1,735 things to do in Rome
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Owner description: The ceremonial dedication of the Altar of Peace, took place on the 30th January in the year 9 B.C. It seems, according to the evidence provided by the historian Cassius Dione (LIV, 25.3), that at first the Senate had planned to build an altar within their own building, the Curia, but the idea was not followed through and the northernmost part of the Field of Mars, which had recently been urbanized, was chosen instead. The altar dedicated to peace came, therefore, and not by chance, to be built in the middle of a vast plain, on which, traditionally, the man oeuvres of the infantry and the cavalry took place, and, in more recent times, the gymnastic exercises of the Roman youth.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Caesar Augustus's altar of peace -- built, consecrated (13 BCE), buried, discovered, broken up, and partially reconstructed -- finally has the spiffy home it deserves, a lovely modern building built around it, since it was deemed too fragile to move. This museum is dedicated solely to the altar and provides extensive description of its original construction, discovery, and reconstruction, as well as its fabulous ornamentation ("one of the most beautiful examples of ancient Roman relief carving to have survived" (Blue Guide). The museum includes a number of interactive displays that greatly enhance one's understanding. Descriptive signs in English as well as Italian. Very helpful audio guide as well. There is a small store at the entrance and free lockers for storing coats and backpacks. Located off the Via di Ripetta near the Ponte Cavour bridge, this gem should delight any serious history or art history buff. The entrance is via a lovely set of steps; there may be an elevator, but we didn't see one.

I've given this site a rating of 3 only because it wouldn't be among the top Rome sites I'd recommend for first-time tourists, but for repeat visitors interested in the classical, this is definitely worth a visit.

Thank Eclipsegroupie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 19, 2013

It's a bit out of the way, and easily seen from outside through the glass walls. I wouldn't bother paying to go in. If you pass by take a quick look from outside.

1  Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

When I was last in Rome this was a building site and under development. The resulting building by Richard Meier is a triumph itself and showcases the Ara Pacis to perfection. The display is thoughtful and well captioned and the staff were both informative and helpful. A retrospective of the work of Vittorio De Sica was being held and this was thought provoking and really interesting. I just wish that my Italian was better to be able to keep up with reading subtitles on some of the films. The only sign in English was "Do not lean"!! Given the international appeal of De Sica, perhaps there could have been some translations - but I accept that this is a very small point.

Thank Skippy50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013 via mobile

For essentially one item the 11 Euro cost is way too expensive. Capitoline Museum is 12 and you could spend hours there. While I appreciate its a great relic, a lot of it is restoration. We spent at most 10 minutes here.

Thank maxfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Despite the awkward building surrounding it, the Ara Pacis is a beautiful structure from the time of Augustus, whose tomb is nearby. This is an enclosed, roofless altar where sacrifices could be performed. The bas-relief carvings on all sides show a delicate sensitivity. The building unfortunately has many vertical and horizontal elements which cast shadows on the carvings, dividing them up in strange ways. There are several displays and videos to watch.

Thank romanesque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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