The temple precinct of Largo Argentina is in the middle of the busy square, a few metres below the modern street level. The name Torre Argentina is derived from a tower at the house of the papal master of ceremonies Burckhadt of Strasbourg, known as Argentoratum, who lived in house no. 44 in the nearby Via del Sudario at the beginning of the 16th century. However, an alternative explanation derives the name from the surrounding shops of the silversmiths, he argentarii.
At the centre of this large piazza (more commonly known as Largo di Torre Argentina) are the remains of the city’s four oldest Republican temples (4th-1st centuries BC).
The four temples that came to light during excavations between 1926 and 1930 form one of the few complexes from republican, i.e. pre-imperial, Rome.
The site contains the rectangular Temple A by the bus stop, of which 15 olumns are still visible and in which the now-destroyed church San Nicola dei Cesarini was built during the Middle Ages; the adjacent Temple B with six surviving columns, which once contained the statue of the seated goddess Juno; the sall- est, oldest and lowest-lying temple, the rectangular Temple C from the 4th or 3rd century BC; and Temple D, over part of which Via Florida runs. It is not clear to which gods the temples were dedicated.
In the Teatro Argentina, an 18th century theatre on the square, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville had its premiere in 1816.
Tickets & Tours for Your Trip: