The Auditorium di Mecenate is a small monument near the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II in the Esquilino neighborhood of Rome. The monument is located inside a small public garden, which is never open. The monument, which was found in 1874, used to be covered by a vaulted ceiling, but now has a modern roof. The main hall measures 13 by 24 meters and ends in a semi-circular apse. The entire interior of the complex is covered with frescoes.
Auditorium di Mecenate Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Largo Leopardi – Rome (tel. +39 06 0608). Admission: 6 Euros (concessions: 5 Euros). The monument can only be visited with a guided tour, organized by one of the various “cultural associations” of Rome. The cost of the tour is not included in the ticket.
History and description
Gaius Cilnius Mecenate was an influential man at the court of Emperor Augustus. Around the year 30 BC he commissioned the construction of a large villa with a number of gardens, most of which is now buried underneath the surrounding buildings.
The Auditorium is the only part of the villa that can be viewed. It was discovered in 1874, when the Via Merulana and the Largo Leopardi were constructed.
It is assumed that the Auditorium was meant for poetry readings and theatrical events. Poets like Horace and Virgil dedicated several works to Mecenate, whose name still lives on in the word Mecenas, patron of the arts.
There are some barely visible traces of frescoes on the walls of the Auditorium, the most striking of which shows a drunk Dionysus who can only stand on his feet with the aid of a satyr.