The Forma Urbis Romae, a marble-engraved map of ancient Rome, is now available for public viewing
The Museo della Forma Urbis just opened to the public on January 12, 2024, in the brand new Archaeological Park of the Celio. Visitors can now get an up-close look at the recovered parts of the marble-engraved map of ancient Rome that has not been visible to the public for almost one hundred years.
The grand opening of this museum is part of a larger initiative to enhance the entire area of the Celio through the redevelopment program of the Monumental Archaeological Center promoted by the city of Rome. With the help of Jubilee Interventions, this showcase in the Archaeological Park of Celio marks the beginning of numerous upcoming exhibitions featuring a diverse range of artefacts.
What is the Forma Urbis Romae?
The Forma Urbis Romae is a marble map that was engraved sometime between 203 and 211 AD under Emperor Septimus Severus. Originally, the large Forma Urbis was hung on the wall of a room in the Forum of Peace.
It was comprised of 150 marble slabs held together by iron pins, and spanned about 18 meters by 13 meters. This important artefact of history was discovered in 1562, but much of the marble has been lost over the centuries and it has not been displayed for public viewing since 1939.
Only 10% of the original Forma Urbis Romae still exists today. Miraculously the fragments are still in good condition and easily readable. The fragments alone would be difficult for the individual to make sense of, but the museum overlaps the lost section of the map with the “Pianta Grande”, a map by Giovanni Battista Nolli created in 1748.
The arrangement is on the floor of the museum for a fully immersive experience in which guests can walk this layout of ancient Rome. The exhibit allows for visitors to stand on the glass that reveals these extraordinary fragments beneath your own feet. The display illuminates the ancient marble pieces in all their glory. To walk upon these two intertwined maps is to feel completely transported to the world of Ancient Rome!
A collection of architectural and decorative artifacts from the former Municipal Antiquarium are now housed in the museum of Forma Urbis and can also be appreciated alongside the Forma Urbis Romae.
Best museums in Rome
The Archaeological Park of the Celio can be visited every day with free admission. The Museum of the Forma Urbis, on the other hand, is closed on Mondays and requires an entrance ticket, except for MIC Card holders who can also access the museum space for free.
Museo della Forma Urbis
Viale di Parco del Celio, 20
Tuesday – Sunday
10:00am – 4:00pm
Residents: Full €6.50, Reduced €5.50
Non Residents: Full €9.00, Reduced €6.50
Free with MIC card