You know those times when you’re walking around Rome, looking at obelisks, and you’re all “these things are cool, but I just want something a little more iconically Egyptian”? In that case, get yourself down to Testaccio for some offal and pizza and to check out Rome’s very own pyramid.
What: The Pyramid of Gaius Cestius was built around 18 BC – 12BC as a tomb for the magistrate Gaius Cestius. Despite earlier commentary, the design is actually reminiscent of the Nubian temples of yore (a little steeper than those classics at Giza), suggesting that GC himself may have participated in Rome’s sack of Meroe (modern-day Sudan) in 23 BC. Fun fact, in the 3rd century the pyramid was incorporated into the construction of the Aurelian Walls, and as such stands as one of the best preserved ancient buildings in Rome – the remains of Porta San Paolo are just across the street. The area around the Pyramid is now Rome’s Protestant cemetery, final resting place of Keats and Shelley, so if you’re looking for some artistic inspiration grab some water and get to writing in the shadow of these Romantic luminaries.
Where: Piazza Ostiense
How: Right across from the appropriately named Piramide Metro B station, and also at the end of Via Marmorata, where countless buses run