Ancient Rome's Aventine Hill: Home to  Emperors, Knights and Monks with Livia Galante

Ancient Rome's Aventine Hill: Home to Emperors, Knights and Monks with Livia Galante


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The Aventine, one of Rome’s seven hills, is located just in front of the Palatine Hill and offers of the Eternal City’s most beautiful panoramas. When Romulus and Remus first built the city, Remus set up camp on Aventine Hill, while Romulus preferred Palatine Hill. 

Centuries ago, the hilltop lay just outside of the sacred boundaries of the city and was, therefore, a bit of a holding area for outside peoples and their religions before arriving in Rome itself. Its status changed when it was included in the Pomerium; rather than a place for outsiders or foreigners, it became a place for aristocratic residences and abodes of the nobility (sort of like ancient gentrification). Notable figures such as Trajan and Hadrian lived on Aventine Hill before their respective rules as Roman Emperors. 

There were not only rich domus in Roman times, but also spas, a fire station, and many religious buildings–such as the temple of Diana and that of Minerva, the temple of Juno the Queen, and that of Mercury towards the Circus Maximus. This new aristocratic status was probably the cause of its total destruction during the sack of Rome, which occurred at the hands of Alaric I in 410. 

Throughout the middle ages, churches were built, of which, S. Sabina, is the oldest early Christian basilica surviving, dated to the V C. The villa of the Grand Priory of Malta was built in 1700 AD. Through the famous keyhole of the villa’s door, it is possible to admire, with the dome of San Pietro, three different states simultaneously, Italy, the priory of Malta, and the Vatican! 

Led by an expert on Ancient Roman Topography, Livia Galante, this Conversation will focus on Rome’s Aventine Hill. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased comprehension of the rich history and transformation of this fascinating part of Rome. 

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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