Ara Pacis

Price guide: Mid-range

Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome, 00100

Price guide: Mid-range

Ara Pacis
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#10 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Rome
Expert overall rating:4.8 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Education

Expert review of Ara Pacis

An exquisite ancient altar in a striking contemporary setting.

Now resplendent in its new 'container' – a shell designed by American architect-superstar Richard Meier – this magnificent 1st-century-BC Altar of Peace was built to celebrate the victories of the Emperor Augustus during his campaigns in Spain and Gaul (France). In fact, the altar had been dismantled and lost for centuries before an international treasure hunt in the 1930s brought as many pieces as possible back to Rome, where it was reassembled in its current location overlooking the River Tiber on one side and Piazza Augusto Imperatore – with Augustus' round mausoleum at its centre – on the other.

A jigsaw it may be, but the altar, with its exquisite carvings of Augustus and his family, is quite lovely. The museum also contains interesting displays on the growth of the ancient city, plus shows on far more contemporary themes in its downstairs exhibition space.

Meier's shell around the altar replaced a smaller one built in the 1930s, and not everyone was happy with this intervention by a contemporary architect in the city's centro storico. Continuing protests mean that one of its most loathed features – the wall which separates the museum's front terrace from the river-side road, hiding two churches and the piazza behind – is due for demolition.

Price advice: 

Gerneral admission is 8 euros and 6 euros for reductions.

More information on Ara Pacis:

Price guide:
Architectural site, Landmark / monument, Museum
Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome, 00100
06 67106756
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Tue-Sun 9am-7pm. Closed Mondays.

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