Uh oh… New subway line in Rome

Rome has only 2 subway lines, and they’re old and crappy and don’t hit many of the most famous locations in the center of town because it’s basically impossible to dig in the historic center without encountering structures of immense archaeological value.

The laws on the subject are strict: the city’s archaeological superintendency decides the fate of any archaeological find.

Most of them remain in place, with the new construction either changing route or going up around the ancient. Some are moved.

Some are even be destroyed, don’t ask me why. They let this Roman villa get split in two by a parking ramp. Go figure.

Anyway, since 2006 so far the subway digs have come across:

  • mosaics
  • aqueducts
  • an ancient arch
  • Roman Villas
  • the foundations of an imperial Roman public building
  • dating back to imperial times,
  • parts of a monumental complex built by Augustus’ partner Marcus Agrippa
  • Roman taverns near the ancient Forum
  • remains of 16th-century palaces
  • Roman tombs
  • A sixth-century copper factory
  • medieval kitchens still stocked with pots and pans

It remains to be seen what becomes of these treasures. The authorities are looking into the planned route to see if it can be made to snake around finds, but it seems to me no matter where they go, they’re going to find other stuff that needs snaking around.

I think they should include them in the build of the subway. Like box them in plexi or something. That would be coolest subway ever. People could get an education just taking the train.

One thought on “Uh oh… New subway line in Rome

  1. ACtually, I like that idea. I was gonna say, before coming to the last sentence, I am personally sort of split between historic preservation, and future advancement. Both have their merits.

    More subway lines in large cities such as Rome, the more people will use mass-transit. The more people using mass-transit, the less people driving around in cars. Which in turn translates into less fuel consumption.

    The fuel used at the electric power generator to power subway lines, is far more efficient to transport a hundred people around per train, than it is for each individual person to drive a car.

    It would be REALLY cool if they carved a tunnel in such a way that an old foundation that has been dug out, it left in situ with all the clay pots still in place, with the space roped off, and/or a “guide” explaining to those interested what that building used to be.

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