The Ides of March — An Ode to Largo Argentina

We know when Julius Caesar was assassinated and why. But do we know where?

If you visit the Roman Forum, you’ll find the senate building — the Curia.  A remarkable building indeed.  But it wasn’t here where it happened.

The Ancient Roman Senate — the Curia. Not where Caesar was assassinated.

There is the modern day senate building, but it wasn’t here either.  If you visit Piazza Navona, you will almost certainly walk by Palazzo Madama.

The Senate of Italy, a.k.a., Palazzo Madama (photo courtesy of Cezar Suceveanu).

 

Piazza Navona

It was in 2012 when archaeologists announced the discovery of where they firmly believe Caesar was actually assassinated.  And you don’t have to pay to see it.

Largo Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina is often overlooked by visitors assuming it’s just another bit of exposed Roman history. But this is one of my favorite spots in the Eternal City.

Largo Argentina — not named in reference to the country — is centrally located. It is close to many places for visiting, eating, and refreshment. It also sits at a node for several modes of transportation: a tram line’s terminus, a stop for several bus lines, and a taxi stand. And it’s walking distance from several popular sites of the Historic Center.

Largo di Torre Argentina’s central location in Rome

Mostly, though, this is a wonderful spot for some peace and quiet in the middle the city’s bustle.

It’s small and easily accessible. You can walk around the entire area in a couple minutes as it sits in the middle of a city piazza.

Large Argentina is also home to a cat sanctuary.  If you like, you can visit the felines (just keep your head down if you’re taller than average).

One of Largo Argentina’s feline denizens

When passing by, I can’t help walking up, leaning on the railing, and looking out over the excavation. If in a philosophical mood, I will appreciate the contrasts below: the litheness of the feline movements against the stillness of the ancient world; and, the stark stones of the ancient remains amid the trees and green of the lightly trampled grass.

But whatever mood I’m in, Largo Argentina is a perfect rest stop to enjoy some gelato. It so happens that one of our favorite gelato shops, Vice, is just around the corner.