Caligula’s Garden of Delights: New Discoveries Below Rome with Livia Galante

Caligula’s Garden of Delights: New Discoveries Below Rome with Livia Galante


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The wonders of Ancient Rome never cease to amaze. More than 15 years ago, the city began building an underground parking structure to support modern-day business in the city center–but work halted upon discovering a treasure trove of artifacts that had survived undetected below ground. The area where they planned to put up a parking lot was formerly Emperor Caligula's paradise.
During ancient Roman times, this hillside was occupied by many lavish residences, one of which belonged to Lucio Elio Lamia. At his death, in 33 AD, as often happened, the estate became imperial property, first of Emperor Tiberius and then Emperor Caligula.  Archaeologists have recently unearthed beautiful stone mosaics, remnants of painted walls, theatrical masks, home goods. But they have also cataloged remains of exotic plants and animals, such as lions, ostriches, and bears. More than one thousand oyster shells have also been discovered; evidence of the luxurious nature of these entertainments provided for the Emperors' enjoyment.
Our conversation will discuss these new revelations and virtually explore the newly opened space–Museo Ninfeo. The museum's collection offers us a unique vantage point to learn more about the aristocracy's daily life.
Led by an expert on ancient Roman Topography, Livia Galante, this conversation will focus on the Gardens of Caligula and the luxurious residence of the Esquiline hill. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of Rome's urban development and the lasting influence of Roman citizens who once occupied the land. We will also learn about the so-called "preventive archaeology" – policies and practices which are in place across Rome during construction and infrastructure projects within the contemporary city center.

Livia obtained a degree in Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome and has a Master's degree in the History and Conservation of Cultural Heritage from the University of Roma Tre. Her main field of interest is ancient Roman topography and early Christian architecture; however, she is an accomplished scholar whose teaching ability extends to the Renaissance and Baroque Rome. As a native Roman, Livia is very enthusiastic about sharing the deep love and knowledge she has for her hometown with clients.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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