In 13 BC the Emperor Augustus marched home from three years of imposing peace on his formerly fractious empire, and the Senate promptly commissioned a monument to mark his achievements. Four years later, the Ara Pacis Augustae – the Augustan altar of peace – was inaugurated: a simple altar at the centre of four marble walls gloriously carved with friezes hailing the emperor, his family, piety, peace and the prosperity of the pacified Empire. The altar didn’t originally stand here: it was pieced together in the early 20th century from scattered fragments. Now housed in a hyper-modern (and widely unloved) outer shell designed by US architect Richard Meier, the Ara Pacis museum also doubles as an exhibition venue. The church of San Rocco, next door to the Ara Pacis, has a fine Baroque interior.

Lungotevere in Augusta, 00186
00 39 06 0608

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