Area Sacra di Largo Argentina

Discover some of the oldest ruins in the city and see the place where Julius Caesar was murdered.

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina is a fascinating archaeological site, featuring columns and altarpieces that date back as far as the 4th century B.C. Though now occupied by a colony of stray cats, the site was once inhabited by the Romans who built several temples here. Explore the remnants of these structures and the remaining ruins of the Curia of Pompey, where the ruthless Roman general Julius Caesar was killed.

Unearthed during building work in the 1920s, this ancient site holds four Republican-era temples. Although it is no longer possible to go inside, you can still see the high columns, stone walls and ancient staircases clearly from the road outside.

Examine the surviving columns and building materials, which once belonged to several ancient temples. The best preserved of these is the largest rectangular-shaped building at the northern end of the site. Standing on a raised platform, two rows of columns lead towards an arched altarpiece at one end.

Little is left of the two southernmost buildings and the shape of the rounded temple in the middle of the Area Sacra is easier to identify. Look for the stairs that lead up to where several columns form a circular shape.

Wander around the pavement outside and look for the collection of rugged white stones, which are lined up against the eastern wall. These once formed a part of the vast Curia of Pompey, where the senate would meet, and the adjoining theater. This impressive structure is best known as the spot where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C.

To get to the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina, catch a bus from the city center to the square at Largo Di Torre Argentina. Viewing is free. If you have some time to fill, pay a visit to the nearby cat shelter, which cares for the more than 200 felines that inhabit the ruins. The volunteers here work tirelessly to keep the cats healthy and are always appreciative of support.

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