In Rome, you are surrounded by ancient ruins and basilicas. Sometimes you walk quietly down a street and come across a place with a memorable past. This is exactly what happens to many tourists who see Largo di Torre Argentina without looking for it.
As a history buff, I had checked this place in my program and my visit was the result of my will. What did we think of it?
Largo di Torre Argentina: why is this place so special?
The Largo di Torre Argentina, often summarized as “Largo Argentina”, is a square in Rome with an archaeological area dating back to the Roman Empire.
This square includes four Roman temples (classified as A, B, C and D by archaeologists) and the columns of the Hecatostylum. Specialists do not know everything about this place, but they date the construction of the different temples between the 4th century BC (for temple C) and the 1st century BC (for temple B).
But the Largo Argentina square is often known as the place where Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Indeed, Julius Caesar died in Pompey’s Curia, which is behind temples B and C.
The historical facts behind this small square are fascinating. I strongly advise you to read up on the Largo di Torre Argentina before going there, otherwise you might pass by without any real interest.
The Wikipedia page on the subject is complete.
Where is the Largo Argentina square located?
The area is located in Rome. It is not the most touristic place in the city even if it is close to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. From the Forum, the distance on foot does not exceed one mile.
With Amélie, we visited it after our tour at the Circus Maximus and stayed a few minutes around the square before going on our way.
How much cost the visit of Largo di Torre Argentina?
From the sidewalks you have a direct view of the square which is below street level. You can walk along the edges of the square, but access below is not allowed. The view of the Largo Argentina square is therefore free.
Is the visit to Largo Argentina worth it?
The place is full of history. If being at the place where famous Romans existed and where Julius Caesar died is important for you, you must see it.
Otherwise, the interest is rather limited for several reasons. First of all, the square is small, the maintenance is average and while you are looking at the ruins, you have a lot of pedestrians and heavy traffic next to you. So it is not a place that makes you want to admire and contemplate the ruins.
There are some interesting information signs present on one side, in the cobblestone street, and a few benchest. Several ruins appeared to be under renovation, but no workers were there during our visit. So, we had some construction materials lying around amidst the ruins.
Normally, this place is now a heaven for cats. In fact, dozens of feral cats have taken to living there. Cat lovers may be happy to see felines roaming around, but this is not really what we expect from the sight of Roman Empire ruins .
In most cities in the world, such a place would be a real attraction. Rome having so many great historical monuments, leaving this place like this seems normal to them.