The history of the Aurelian Walls on display at the Ara Pacis Museum
Built as a defense wall from the outside and then incorporated into the city tissue, the Aurelian Walls with their prominence accompany the streets, glimpses and horizons of the Eternal City. With over 12 km of length on which they still develop, they are the largest monument of Imperial Rome and the longest, oldest and best preserved urban city wall in history. Designed by American architect Richard Meier and built in steel, travertine, glass and plaster, the Ara Pacis Museum plays host to a world-class exhibition entitled The Walls of Rome, an inspiring selection of 77 large-format color photographs by Rome-based artist Andrea Jemolo.
From the monumental Porta del Popolo to Villa Dominici, to some of the city’s best-preserved arched gates (Porta Metronia, Porta Latina, Porta San Sebastiano), each snapshot tells the uniqueness of a piece of history and everyday life. Some stretches of walls still stand out solemn and solitary, others have been incorporated by city life made of palaces, cemeteries, construction sites, workshops and large roads, other sections continually try to repossess the nature, with shrubs, flowers and climbing plants. In some photos, taken outside the ramparts, visitors can see the different techniques used over the centuries: from clay bricks, to tuff, to marble reuse materials, while others tell the “inside” of the walls, with glimpses of walkways, doors and towers.