Campo Cestio, Rome

Etching of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome

We stumbled upon Campo Cestio by chance. As we were looking for “the pyramid” of Porta San Paolo we wandered down a quiet street that was flanked by a very tall wall. It’s sort of an unwritten rule that tall walls hold either prisons or very wealthy mansions, museums or something else requiring privacy. We meandered down the road trying to peak in when we arrived at an amazing gate that took my breath away. Beyond was a sprawling cemetery filled with graves belonging to foreigners and some of my favorite literary figures like Shelley and Keats. There were a surprising number of authors buried here and a whole lot of cats wandering around which of course made our day. We do miss the cat when we travel. If you are curious about who lies interred you can find a grave here!

The pyramid was interesting in and of itself and has been a Roman landmark since 18 BC! It’s hard to imagine a place with more history stacked one layer upon the other. It absolutely sparks the imagination. Here are some pictures of the cemetery, pyramid, cats and the area around Porta San Paolo. Enjoy.