Sometimes antiquity comes so close to you in Rome that you feel like you're breathing the very air of the ancients themselves. Here, just steps from Piazza Venezia, the modern world retreats into the background as the breathtaking columns of the ancient temple of Apollo Sosianus rear into vision. The first temple to Apollo was built here in 433 as thanksgiving for the end of a deadly plague, and rebuilt in the first century BC in honour of the new emperor Augustus. The massive arches one the left meanwhile belong to the imposing Theatre of Marcellus, an open-air theatre inaugurated by Augustus in 12 BC that could hold an audience of up to 20,000 people during its theatrical spectacles.
Tip: today you can walk right through these ancient ruins for free - walk down from the Via del Teatro di Marcello along the Via del Foro Piscario (so-called because this was once the site of Rome’s fish-market), and emerge on the other side in the heart of the historic Jewish Ghetto on Via del Portico d’Ottavia.
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