There are some huge projects underway in Rome to unveil ancient sites never before seen and which have been recently discovered. The thought of seeing these never before seen treasures (except when they existed in their heyday) is SO exciting! Can you imagine seeing frescoes and mosaics dating back thousands of years? According to Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, there are over 100,000 archaeological treasures in “storage” and hundreds of sites yet to be excavated!
Mayor Marino visited the Italian Consulate in San Francisco recently and showed the audience present several until-now unseen ancient Roman archaeological treasures. One of these hidden wonders was the Cryptoporticus beneath Trajan’s Baths. This buried gallery, which predates the baths, is covered in frescoes that depict a walled port city of the ancient world. Whether the city is real or just a project design, is up for discussion and being studied, I’m sure! Definitely an archaeologist’s dream!
Another hidden gem are the gladiator barracks next to the Colosseum where modern day visitors can walk the same steps taken by those brave men so long ago. The mayor has already done much in Rome to bring back the layout of Ancient Rome (like banning car traffic from the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum), but he wants to do more to return the archaeological fabric to the Eternal City. Among these are to remodel the Via dei Fori Imperiali (constructed by Mussolini in the 1930″s and which divides the Roman Forum from the Forum of Augustus) and the ancient Via Alessandrina. These two renovations would help to make the area around the Forum the largest archaeological park in the world!
Lastly presented, but definitely not the last of the excavations, is the retrofitting of the largest round tomb in the world – the Mausoleum of Augustus. The vision would be to allow visitors to be able to walk into this giant structure to view it’s massive construction and marbled beauty.
“We must not only work so next generations can see what we see today, but also so they can see what we cannot see today.”