Thursday, May 23, 2013

Museum of Roman Civilization

Last Sunday John and I visited Il Museo della Civita Romana in a classic Fascist-style building in the EUR district of Rome.
If you find yourself wondering what Rome with its many ancient monuments and ruins looked like in different periods, and just who was responsible for their construction, this museum is well worth a visit. It also gives you the chance to see what the overwrought grandeur of the Fascist architectural style looks like up-close and even inside. Let's have a look.
The museum uses scale models and plaster copies of sculpture from other collections to tell the story of the history of Roman civilization and empire throughout the ancient period climaxing in the reign of Augustus who was Mussolini's hero and personal model.
The Bronze Age city of Rome on the famous hills
4th Century Imperial Rome.
I'm looking at a model of the ruins of Roman baths in Asia Minor.
A model of the kind of Roman ship with oars which connected the empire throughout the Mediterranean.
The Colosseum
A Roman theatre in Libya.
The Ara Pacis, celebrating the end of the rebellions of the Augustan period.
Theatre of Marcellus
The Theatre of Marcellus as it appears today
One of the most amazing displays in the museum is the set of plaster copies of all the rings of Trajan's Column recording his victory in the Dacian Wars.
Here is the column as it stands today near the Imperial Forum.
And back in the museum
Busts and statues of famous Romans abound
Julius Caesar
Marcus Aurelius.
Antinuous, deified lover of Emperor Hadrian.
Most of all I was fascinated to see our own neighbourhood in Rome on the gigantic model of 4th century Rome.
On the bottom is the race track that became Piazza Navona, in the middle, the perfectly preserved Pantheon which we can see from our balcony and to the north the Temple of Hadrian which is now incorporated into the Rome stock exchange and its courtyard which is now Piazza di Pietra just doors down from our building. Amazing! What a town!


  1. Such luscious detail and photos! The work involved creating these models is astounding.

  2. Aren't the amazing, Shelley? They made such sense of things we see everyday in the historic centre.

  3. Just love your photos and the FOOOD!!! Thank you, thank you.
    But the history needs a little brushing. Trojan's column commemorates his conquest of Dacia (modern day Romania).

    Oh how I wish I was there to share with you. You know I lived there waaay back in 1973-4.

    Best Marjan.

  4. Glad you're enjoying our trip to Rome, Marjan. Such a rich, fascinating city. I've corrected my data on Trajan's column - thanks for the editing!