Piramide Cestia near Porta San Paolo in Rome, Source: Depositphotos

Did you know that Rome has a pyramid? Plus, it's free to visit this month

Did you know that Rome has a pyramid? Plus, it's free to visit this month

Every Sunday in October a no-charge guided tour will be available three times a day at Piramide Cestia

If you live in Europe, you don’t have to go all the way to Egypt in case you’re itching to see an ancient pyramid up close and personal. The Italian capital – Rome – has had one of these architectural wonders for over 2,000 years now and we are talking about the Piramide Cestia.

Located opposite the aptly named Piramide metro station is a monument dating from the 1st century BC, which was built as a tomb to a magistrate from that time called Gaius Cestius.

It’s normally not very accessible. Reviewers on Google have stated that there’s a number you could call to arrange a visit twice a month. Following great interest in an open session during the European Heritage Days, however, the local authorities decided to make it easier for visitors to check out the interior of the monument.

That’s why, every Sunday during the month of October, there will be free guided tours, which will demonstrate the frescoes hidden in the inner chambers for curious onlookers and history aficionados.

The story of the Pyramid

The design of the tomb reveals its influence, and it will surprise no one to hear that it was built at a time when all things Egyptian were kind of fashionable in Ancient Rome. It took almost a year to build and back then it was located outside of the city walls surrounded by other tombs and statues.

With the growth of the city, however, its distinctive profile was incorporated into the Aurelian Walls as a bastion in the 3rd century. In the darkness of the Middle Ages, local residents forgot the true origin of the structure and believed it was the Pyramid of Romulus, one of the founders of the city.

It was only in the mid-17th century that, upon orders of Pope Alexander VII, that the site was restored to its glory, together with its story.

You can take part in the current guided tours, coordinated by Barbara Rossi, the archaeologist in charge of the site, every Sunday in October at 10.00, 11.00 and 12.00. Groups of 25 people max per tour can go in so, it's better to book early. You can reserve a spot on the Special Superintendency website (in Italian).



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