Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it was a website run by the SSCol, an agency of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism. The site covered archeological locations, museums, and exhibits around Rome. Today, any attempt to find Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it returns the message, “This site can’t be reached.”
We took some time to find out what could have happened to the website by following its history. We then focus on the 10 most famous archeological sites that SSCol manages. For each archeological site we feature, we will provide a brief history, look at why it is interesting, and then link to websites that provide more information about the attraction.
The SSCol Mandate
The Special Superintendence for the Colosseum and the Archeological Heritage of Rome is an agency of Italy’s Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism. It is responsible for safeguarding, studying, disseminating knowledge about, and promoting the rich archeological heritage of Rome’s metropolitan territory (Source).
On a more tangible level, SSCol is also responsible for conserving and maintaining archeological sites, cultural symbols, and monuments. Historical buildings, where museum collections are exhibited and stored, are also part of its mandate. This is a task that the Superintendence addresses with both short-term and middle- to longer-term interventions (Source).
Hence, the organization states that its mission is to “protect, maintain, restore, promote, value and keep accessible to the public a lot of differentiated sites, complexes, structures, artifacts and also many notable museum collections, located in the historical city center”(Source).
One of the crucial tasks of SSCol was to run Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it, which in turn covered many archeological sites and museums.
The History of Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it
The website, Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it appeared on the internet for the first time in August 2007. In its early days, it provided general information about historical sites and events. There was also a space for public notices, press releases, and the services provided by the Special Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome.
Around 2017, Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it started redirecting to another website. However, in early 2018, the redirect failed, and the site is now inaccessible.
There is very little information available about what happened to the site. Perhaps the failed redirect is simply a technical error, or perhaps the SSCol’s media strategy has simply changed.
10 Most Popular Historical Roman Sites Managed by SSCol
In memory of Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it, we identified the 10 pages about Roman historical sites that were most popular with other webmasters. How did we find them? We looked at the sites on Archeoroma.Beniculturali.it that received the most attention from Webmasters and editors through inbound links. We also provide links to current websites where you can get information about the 10 sites.
1. The Colosseum: The Experience of Monumentality
Also referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum, which loosely translates to “gigantic” in Latin, is located in the City of Rome’s archeological heart.
Today, in addition to the Colosseum being the largest amphitheater in the world, it offers stunning sceneries and services for spectators. Moreover, it hosts temporary exhibitions, especially those to do with the relationship between the contemporary and ancient world (Source).
The Colosseum was built at the behest of the Flavian dynasty’s emperors in the 1st century CE. It was named after another statue which, at the time, stood nearby.
2. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme: The Palace of Roman Evolution
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is a 19th Century palace built in the Neo-Renaissance style and located next to Termini Train Station. The palace houses some of the most important classical art collections in the world including the famous Lancellotti Discobolus (Discus Thrower).
The museum has four floors that house sculptures, jewels, coins, and frescoes, and mosaics. All these artifacts document the Roman artistic culture’s evolution from the Late Republican Age to the Late Antiquity Age (Source).
Besides, it has exhibitions that tell the Ancient Roman history and myths. On the museum’s basement there is a sizeable numismatic collection, jewels, grave ornaments, and the Grottarossa Mummy.
An article, produced by Andrea Zachrich for the University of California, Los Angeles, provides some tips for visiting.
3. Baths of Diocletian: Rome’s Largest Spa Facility
Built on a 13-hectare space between 298 and 306 AD, the Baths of Diocletian is Rome’s largest spa facility (Source). It can accommodate 3000 visitors and has a path winded between libraries, gyms, and a 3500-square meter swimming pool. Continue on this path, and you will experience the environments constituting the heart of all thermal systems, including the calidarium and the tepidarium.
Initially, Baths of Diocletian hosted the National Roman Museum from 1889 when it was established. However, it has undergone a restoration process at the end of which two exhibition sections of a more articulated museum and part of the monumental complex were reopened.
4. Palazzo Altemps: Property of Noble Families of the 16th and 17th Centuries
Palazzo Altemps derived its name from Marco Sittico Altemps, a cardinal from South Tyrol who purchased the palace in 1568 and made it his Roman home. The castle is home to significant collections of antiquities and Egyptian works.
Its rooms have Roman and Greek structures that belonged to the 16th– and 17th-century noble families. The most notable collections are those of the Boncompagni Ludovisi, Mattei, Del Drago, and Altemps families.
The statues housed in the palace were made by some the finest sculptors of the time, including Ippolito Buzio, Alessandro Algardi, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Source).
5. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: The Hill Where Rome Was Formed
Before it became the religious, administrative, and political center of Rome, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill was mostly an inhospitable marshland. Its reclamation in the late 7th century CE led to many monuments being built on it.
First, the buildings hosted religious, political, and commercial activities. Later, during the 2nd century BCE, civilian basilicas were built, and they mainly hosted judicial events (Source).
Towards the end of the Republican era, the Roman Forum had already been fully built. Only a few monuments such as the Basilica Maxentius, Arch of Septimius, Antoninus and Faustina, and the Temple Vespasian were added during the Roman Empire.
Palatine is regarded as the hill where Romulus founded Rome in 754 BCE (Source).
6. Pyramid of Caius Cestius: Surviving a Fashion Onslaught
In the 1st century, Rome had a series of monuments that were demolished after a new fashion found its way into architecture. The style arose in Rome after Egypt was conquered in 31 BCE.
Only the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, named after a Roman politician, survived this fashion onslaught. Cestius had, in his will, instructed that a tomb that resembles a pyramid be constructed within 330 days of his death.
The structure is 36.4 meters high, with a 29.5-meter square base. Its nucleus is made of concrete and bricks, while Luni marble is the primary material for its external cladding. SSCol restored the burial chamber in 2001 (Source).
Learn more about the history of this site here.
7. Crypta Balbi: The City Block of the Center of Rome
The Crypta Balbi is an annex of a theater built by Cornelius Balbus in 13 BCE. It is often referred to as a “city block of the center of Rome.”
The Crypta Balbi’s exhibitions include materials found during the Crypta excavation. They include Exedra, an Early Middle and Late Antiquity Ages’ deposit. Among these deposits are thousands of objects such as ceramics, vitreous objects, lead seals, coins, metal objects, ivory, bone, and precious stones, among others (Source).
8. Porta San Paolo: St Paul’s Gate
Porta San Paolo, which means St. Paul’s Gate in English, forms part of the Aurelian Walls complex. Erected in 275 CE, it is among the best-preserved city gates in the entire Walls’ circuit.
It derived its name from its proximity to St. Paul’s Basilica, which is just outside the walls. Today, Porta San Paolo hosts the Ostian Museum, which was founded in 1954 to illustrate the topography of the area between Ostia and Roma (Source).
9. Caracalla’s Thermal Baths: The Great Imperial Bathhouse
Caracalla’s Thermal Baths is a large and well-preserved ancient thermal complex in the southern part of Rome. Caracalla dedicated the complex in 216 CE, hence its name.
Its rectangular plan is typical of any great imperial bathhouse. It served as a building for sports, taking care of the body, and bathing. Also, it offered an ideal place for walking and studying.
Caracalla’s Thermal Baths’ original decorative scheme underwent a partial reconstruction to include a few more features. One such inclusion is Aqua Antoniniana, which was created to supply water to the complex (Source).
10. Villa dei Quintili: Views Inspiring Renowned Artists
The Villa dei Quintili is the largest Roman suburban residence. Now the property of the state since 1986, it was initially owned by the Quintili brothers, who were consuls in 151 CE. It underwent a significant expansion, courtesy of Emperor Commodus after it became imperial property.
Commodus’ love for the property was based on its thermal baths and countryside tranquility. This monumental complex, which has a series of terraced levels, offers a magnificent view that has, over the years, inspired many renowned artists (source).