The tomb of Augustus, the first Roman emperor and nephew of Julius Caesar, is re-opened to visitors last week, and tickets are already sold out through June at the site, which was closed to the public in the 1970s.
The tomb, originally built on the banks of the Tiber, is now mostly underground because of land changes over the years, and, legendarily, Augustus order that a barrel of earth from every province of his empire be placed on it. Over the centuries the large halls were used as a fortification, a storehouse and even a bullring; a century ago a concert hall was built over it.
The restoration, which took several years, was funded by a €6 million grant from Telecom Italia, following a pattern of major companies paying for restoration or renovation of major Rome landmarks, including the Colosseum. While much of the original building is gone, even what remains is impressive.