Carcere Mamertino


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Just off the steps leading from the Capitoline hill down to the Roman Forum, the Mamertine Prison was waiting for anyone thought to pose a threat to the security of the ancient Roman state. A dank, dark, tiny underground dungeon, its lower level (built in the fourth century BC) was once only accessible through a hole in the floor. The innumerable prisoners who starved to death here were tossed into the Cloaca Maxima, the city's main sewer. The most famous of the prison's residents, legend has it, were Saints Peter and Paul. Peter caused a miraculous well to bubble up downstairs in order to baptise his prison guards, whom he converted by his shining example.

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Carcere Mamertino details

Clivio Argentario 1

Area Rome

Transport Bus 60Exp, 81, 85, 87, 117, 175, 810, 850.

Telephone 06 679 2902

Open Apr-Oct 9am-7pm daily. Nov-Mar 9am-5pm daily.

Admission donation expected.