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Roots of the present

Radici del Presente (Roots of the Present) is a project which stems from a desire to support and enhance Italy’s historic and archaeological heritage by setting up a museum at Assicurazioni Generali’s historic head office in Rome’s Piazza Venezia facing the Fori Imperiali and Trajan’s Column.

© Mauro Mezzarobba

Opened in 2012, the museum exhibits a collection of archaeological artefacts found during excavation work for the construction of the head office, which are displayed in an innovative way that is conducive to learning. The finds are displayed in an immediate and absorbing narrative system which creates a direct relationship with the city and its centuries of stratification.


The originality of the exhibits and the museum’s educational value were recognised by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), which in 2013 made the museum and the exhibition part of its summer international master’s course.

The DAI (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut) also recognised the singularity and scientific value of the collection, sponsoring a conference in Rome that focused on the museum.


© Mauro Mezzarobba

In the first hall, the museum reconstructs the events that saw Piazza Venezia assume its current guise, detailing the construction of the Assicurazioni Generali building in the early 1900’s before focusing on the archaeological finds uncovered during the excavation of the site.

The collection is made up of over 300 exhibits, all of which Roman and dating to between the 2nd and the 5th century A.D. with the exception of a 4th century A.D. Greek relief; the most valuable pieces include a bust of the Emperor Gallienus and a fragment of relief depicting Aeneas fleeing from Troy.

Thanks to the works, photos and documentary evidence, this exhibition will make it possible to discover the history of this area for the first time, an area that has been central to life in Rome since ancient times. The educational dimension was developed with the aim of bringing visitors into close contact with the exhibited materials, reconciling the fascinating complexity of the ancient artefacts with their ability to stir the curiosity of young visitors. To this end, the exhibition of the artefacts is broken up by five “living displays”, spaces where the archaeological artefacts and the archive documents make it possible to immerse oneself in the past and retrace the 2,000 years that separate us from the age of Ancient Rome.

These sets facilitate interaction with the visitors and make the museum a place of learning for both young people and adults.


Admission is free for all visitors, by appointment. Specifically trained tutors guide visitors during their visit to the museum sullying all the information for a profitable use of the exhibition.


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