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Insula dell'Ara Coeli, Rome

4.3
#207 of 524 in Historic Sites in Rome
The Insula dell'Ara Coeli is a rare surviving example of an insula, the kind of apartment blocks where many Roman city dwellers resided. It was built during the 2nd century AD, and rediscovered, under an old church, when Benito Mussolini initiated a plan for massive urban renewal of Rome's historic Capitoline Hill neighbourhood.
Four floors remain. The ground floor consisted of shops that faced the surrounding streets, with the owners using ladders to access living quarters immediately above. A mezzanine lay above the shop level. The two remaining floors seem to have been designed for human residence. The third floor seemed to be large, spacious apartments. The fourth floor had a corridor with a series of three room suites leading off of it. Archeologist Andrew Wallace-Hadrill suggested that with a little imagination, these suites are comparable to apartments in which many 21st century Roman families live. Archeologists believe the structure was originally built with at least five stories.

It has been evaluated that the insula romana could host around 380 people.
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  • Insula dell'Ara Coeli is a remnant of the second century building that served as the residence of city residents. These blocks are called the Italian Insula Romana and literally mean the "Roman...  more »
  • This ancient apartament blocks is a rare example of an Roman Insula dated back on 2nd century and rediscovered under an old church in 1930. Four floors remain with the ground floor consisted of shops....  more »

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