In a city that is usually a mishmash of burnt colors, architectural styles, and varying heights, the Ara Pacis stands out.
Pure white and glass.
It is a building you remember for its cool simplicity rather than its towering domes.
Inside, the museum is small and simple.
Because the main attraction is smack-dab in the middle:
The Ara Pacis is an altar of peace.
Dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace, the marble structure was once part of a massive complex.
Today, the altar has been gorgeously preserved and restored.
Built in 13 BC to mark the return of the Emperor Augustus to Rome, the altar was reassembled in its current location (about 1o minutes from the Spanish Steps) in 1938.
You can step inside and examine the nature-inspired reliefs more closely.
The architecture perfectly complements the ancient temple.
The museum is pretty much just the Ara Pacis itself, but on the lower floor there are changing exhibits.
Don’t tell anyone, but if you don’t want to spend the €13 entrance fee, you can always peer in the massive windows to get a good glimpse at the structure.
But because it is an ancient monument that is now INSIDE it is a pretty good option for rainy days in Rome.
Museo dell’Ara Pacis Augustae
Lungotevere in Augusta
00186 Roma, Italy (centro storico)
Tickets are €13, but are free for Rome residents with ID on the first Sunday of every month.
Open: Daily from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.