AUDITORIUM OF MECENATE – UNDERGROUND ROME TOUR
Visit an underground site in Rome, made by “Maecenas”, a man close to the roman “Emperor Augustus”.
Visit the “Auditorium of Mecenate”, an ancient underground “nymphaeum” in Rome.
The Auditorium of Mecenate underground Rome tour will let you visit an ancient underground site in Rome. This underground site also has beautiful frescoes that will let you feel the atmosphere of the ancient Roman Empire. When the “Auditorium of Mecenate” was discovered, people believed that it was a “theater”. Now we know that it was actually a “nymphaeum”, a place dedicated to the “nymphs”, mythological creatures of ancient Roman and Greek folklore....
The “Auditorium of Mecenate” is located inside the public park in “Largo Leopoldi”, where it was discovered in 1874 during some construction work. This underground building was made by an influential ally of “Emperor Augustus”: “Mecenate”, or “Maecenas”. This building, originally a “nymphaeum”, belonged to him, and it was a place where people could come to relax, drink, eat, and talk. “Mecenate” lived in Rome during the first century BC, and he was a patron of the arts and the equivalent of a culture minister in Ancient Rome. “Mecenate” is remembered for supporting the “Augustan poets”, including “Virgil”, who wrote the “Aeneid”, the story of the founding of Rome.
The “nymphaeums” were places dedicated to the “nymphs”, mythological creatures that looked like beautiful young women and lived near streams, rivers, lakes, and the sea. In a “nymphaeum” one could always find a basin filled with water. In the “Auditorium of Mecenate” the water came out of the large fountain you can see today, which was initially mistaken for a small theater. The best feature of the “Auditorium of Mecenate” is the “frescoes” that were painted here during the first century. The “frescoes” are placed in huge alcoves in the walls so that they resemble open windows through which you can see trees, fields, blue skies, and birds flying around. In the site there is an inscription with words of the Greek poet “Callimachus”, where you can read about the joys of love and wine. This is another hint to the fact that this place was used as a meeting place for intellectuals where they came to talk and relax.
The “Auditorium of Mecenate” originally had a vaulted ceiling, but now it is covered by a modern roof. The entrance was on the other side of the “fountain”, which is the first thing you will see when you enter the “Auditorium”. This large room was originally partly underground, and experts believe that it used to be part of a larger and luxurious residential complex that “Mecenate” had built here.
With the Auditorium of Mecenate underground Rome tour you will be able to see an ancient nymphaeum with a unique fountain and beautiful frescoes on the walls. This building was made by a very important man who greatly influenced the culture of the Roman Empire.
If you want to visit another important underground archeological site in Rome, you can visit the “Balbi Crypt”, a museum situated underground with a vast complex of buildings. If you would like to see another “nymphaeum”, we suggest you go to the “Nymphaeum of Anniballis”, where you will be able to see unique decorations of seashells and mother-of-pearl. You can find both places in the underground tours section on our website.