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Monti / Colosseo / Esquilino

Via dei Fori Imperiali - A Walk in Imperial Rome

25/01/2016
Via dei Fori Imperiali - A Walk in Imperial Rome

The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most well known landmarks. The grand theatre of Nero has become a tame mascot of the former imperial city. However, ancient Rome shouldn’t be reduced to the Colosseum, not even for iconographic purposes.

It’s a pity to give but a single image for such a faceted and diverse reality; past or present as it may be. The entire underground area of Rome is an archaeological site and mere portions have come to light, more or less randomly. One of the best places for experiencing the magnitude of the empire that was, right in the middle of contemporary Rome.

Via dei Fori Imperiali is one of the most photographed streets of Rome, having on one end the Colosseum, on the other Piazza Venezia, and on its sides the archaeological remains of the Imperial Forum that the road practically cuts in two.

The Forum used to be the very heart of Imperial Rome, just like the Roman Forum was the centre of the Republican era of Ancient Rome. Though today the two different forums are difficult to distinguish, partially due to the street that despite motions to remove it, has become a fundamental artery in central Rome.

The road was build on top or and eradicating a neighbourhood with renaissance origins, following the modus operandi of the architects of the Vittoriano monument on Piazza Venezia. The parade street was one of the many ways in which the fascist regime tried to visually connect itself to the bygone glory of the Roman Empire.

Today the street is loved for its scenic potential, couples come here for a stroll by the former temples and grand palaces and many nightwalkers enjoy the sight of the softly illuminated wonders that the forum and the visible parts of the Palatine offer.

Still today the street is used for grand parades such as the one celebrating the national day of the Italian Republic on June 2nd. And yearly the Rome marathon starts and finishes here, in the very centre of republican, imperial and modern Rome.

 

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