Pyramid of Cestius

Funerary Art

A truly evocative guided tour, which will allow us to enter inside a tomb dating from the 1st century BC, the famous Pyramid of Cestius, built between 18 and 12 BC by Gaius Cestius as his mausoleum. The monument, the only survivor of a series of pyramids to be built in Rome during the same period, is a testament to the fashion of funerary buildings of the time. It was built in Rome following the conquest of Egypt in the year 31BC, as a reference to the Egyptian pyramids but with a self-congratulatory intent, a combination of influences that characterizes this stimulating period in the history of Roman art and architecture.

Before embarking on an analysis of the monument it will be necessary to reconstruct the story of the man who demanded it’s creation, and understand through the reading of the inscription on the façade, the will and intent behind it. However, it is also important to highlight the role played by the ancient Via Ostiense, the road along which the Pyramid was built. We will then admire the building by focusing on the majestic external structure, over 36 meters high, resting on a square base of about 30 meters per side, through reconstructions and images we will try to decontextualize it from the Aurelian walls that in the 3rd century AD altered it’s appearance.

Finally we will enter into the heart of the Pyramid to be impressed by the lively frescoes painted in the third Pompeian style that animate the small burial chamber that housed the remains of Gaius Cestius. We will focus on the construction techniques used to make it a vestige of greatness but also a melancholic and romantic one of a kind.

Don’t Forget

On the first Saturday and Sunday of the month admission is free upon reservation.

  • Certified Guide
  • Complete Assistance
  • Personalised Tour
  • Tickets must be pre-booked
  • Entrance Tickets: €1.50
  • Group Ticket: €30.


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