Roman Insula

Ancient Rome

At the foot of the Campidoglio, next to the Aracoeli staircase, you'll see the ruins of a 2nd-century apartment block (insula). The ground floor is thought to have served as a tavern, with four upper storeys given over to housing.

To visit you'll have to book a guided tour in advance (by phone), but you can get a pretty good idea of the cramped, squalid conditions many ancients lived in just by looking in from the street.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ancient Rome attractions

1. Cordonata

0.03 MILES

The most dramatic approach to Piazza del Campidoglio is via this graceful staircase from Piazza d'Aracoeli. Designed by Michelangelo, it was built with…

2. Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli

0.04 MILES

Atop the steep 124-step Aracoeli staircase, this 6th-century Romanesque church sits on the highest point of the Campidoglio. Its richly decorated interior…

3. Roma dal Cielo

0.05 MILES

This panoramic lift will whisk you to the top of the Vittoriano for sweeping 360-degree views of the city from the Terrazza delle Quadrighe.

4. Museo Centrale del Risorgimento

0.05 MILES

Inside the Vittoriano, this small museum charts the history of Italy from the late 18th century through unification to WWI. Exhibits include documents,…

5. Statue of Marcus Aurelius

0.06 MILES

In the centre of Piazza del Campidoglio, this equestrian bronze statue is a copy of a 2nd-century sculpture in the Capitoline Museums.

6. Palazzo Nuovo

0.07 MILES

Flanking Piazza del Campidoglio, this 18th-century palazzo (mansion) houses part of the Capitoline Museums and its outstanding collection of classical…

7. Vittoriano

0.07 MILES

You can't ignore the Vittoriano, built at the turn of the 20th century to honor Italy's first king, Vittorio Emanuele II.

8. Palazzo dei Conservatori

0.07 MILES

One of two palazzi housing the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo dei Conservatori dates to the mid-15th century when it was the seat of the city's elected…