“Bellissima” is the italian word for “very beautiful”. But until…
Rome conquered Egypt by its army, but Egypt conquered Rome by its culture. We owe to this cultural influence the still standing pyramid in Rome located slightly outside the beaten tourist tracks although not far from the core area. A strange story lays behind its construction. Roman dignitary Cestius wanted his heirs to build this unusual funeral monument in a very short time lapse, on pain of excluding them from his testament.
Some more pyramids should have been built in the Eternal City around the I Cent BC under Egyptian inspiration, but this is the only one survived, probably due to the fact that since the III Cent AD it was guzzled in the Aurelian Walls as a bastion, which contributed to prevent its ruin and devastation by robbers.
Piramide di Cestio is one of the less known ancient monuments in Rome, and it’s certainly worth a visit, being so close to a couple of notable spots: the Protestant Cemetery (where big names such as Shelley and Keats rest) and – on the more mundane side – Eataly: the world renowned market for Made in Italy original food.