Back on Via del Corso, on its left side, there is Piazza Augusto Imperatore. You can find there The Mausoleum of Augustus. This ancient monument was a tomb of the emperor and his family. Over the centuries the monument underwent various transformations. Let us tell you more about this hidden monument on one of our tours.
The Mausoleum of Augustus takes its place in the centre of the square. During the times of Roman Imperium, there was held the ashes of Emperor Augustus and his family. After the fall of the Imperium, the same destiny was happening also to the Mausoleum of Augustus itself. after the transformation into a fortress, it was used as a marble quarry. In the Middle Ages, they didn’t preserve the ancient monuments. They were stealing and “recycling” the material to build new palaces, hospitals and churches.
The Concert Hall
Later they transformed the building into vineyards and gardens. Have you ever heard of “Il Corea”? It was an amphitheatre made f this Mausoleum of Augustus. They held there the Spanish-style bullfighting and other shows to entertain the public. The last transformation of this place was into a concert hall. They called this hall Augusto. It was famous for its perfectly clear acoustics. They closed this concert hall in 1936 and since then they didn’t use the Mausoleum of Augustus anymore.
Unfortunately, since this year the Mausoleum of Augustus has been closed for the public. In 2017 the restorations have finally started. We will see how long it will take to open this place again. It would be quite nice to enter this ancient monument again and enjoy the feelings full of mysteries and secrets, right?:) Once they finish the works on the monument they will open a public park around it. To be sincere there is a lack of green lawns in the city centre. Let’s hope they succeed in opening this place to public soon:)!
The burial ceremonies
Ten feet below the current road level, between the Corso and the Augusto mausoleum, archaeologists have identified with certainty the site where the body of Augustus was cremated. Augustus died at the age of seventy-seven in Nola, while travelling. In the same place, many centuries later, they burned here the beheaded corpse of Cola di Rienzo. He was an Italian medieval politician a popular leader.
Mausoleum of Augustus was the largest circular tomb. The diameter was about 87 metres. The building was made of travertine. Basically it was the tomb with a decorated entrance in ancient roman style. There were two Egyptian obelisks at the entrance. They placed them here as a symbolic protection f the entrance. On top of the tomb, there were gardens in the shape of a hill. they were full of flowers and trees. At the very top of the monument, there was a statue of Augustus himself.
The Art of Aperitivo
When walking around Mausoleum of Augustus, you cand find some interesting facts and pictures on the fence which surrounds the monument. you can see there also a copy of the golden mask of Augustus. There is also a special outdoor exhibition here. The pieces of art will make a smile on your face as they are quite funny:)! Have you ever heard of “Aperitivo”? It is a very popular part of the day here in Italy. It is basically a drink with an open buffet. Italians love to spend these two hours in the afternoon and meeting their friends over a glass of prosecco. In this area, you can find many good places to have this Apperitivo. Ask our guides on the tour to recommend you some of them:)!