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.
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