The Sacred Area of Sant’Omobono was discovered in the years 1936/1937 during roadwork for the opening of the Via del Mare. It is situated in front of what is now the Palazzo dell’Anagrafe (Registry Office) in an area formerly known as the Forum Olitorium, which was Rome‘s vegetable market. Highlights of the archeological area are the Temple of Fortuna and the Temple of Mater Matuta. The first one is the only one that is completely visible.
Sacred Area of Sant’Omobono Rome
Opening Hours and Admission
The monument can only be visited as part of a guided tour. Admission: 4 Euro (concession 3 Euros). A reservation can be made by calling (+39 060608, from 09.00 till 19.00). Rome residents enter for free on the first Sunday of the month. The tours are organized by so-called centri culturali. Their fee varies and is not included in the entrance price.
Address and public transport
The address of the Area Sacra di Sant’Omobono is Vico Jugario, 4 – Rome.
History and description
The discovery of the Sacred Area of Sant’Omobono was especially important since it brought to light the oldest Tuscan temple in Rome, which is attributed to King Servius Tullius (4th century B.C.).
The excavations revealed even older artefacts, including objects from the Bronze and the Iron Age as well as Greek ceramics from the 8th century B.C. and objects proving the existence of another cult, that must have blossomed around the beginning of the 6th century B.C.
The temple dedicated to Mater Matuta, goddess of navigation, closely linked also to the market area, was destroyed when the Tarquinians were expelled from Rome (6th century B.C.) and in the beginning of the 5th century two new temples were built on its ruins. The western one was dedicated to Fortuna and the eastern one still to Mater Matuta. In front were two altars and a circular donarium (the part of a temple where votive offers were made) with bronze statues, only the base of which is left.
The holy buildings were restored and rebuilt several times between the 3rd century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D and in the 6th century a church was built on top of the temples. In the 12th century this church was restored and a cosmatesque style floor was added. Another restoration saw the church dedicated to San Salvatore in Porticu (1482) and a final dedication in the 18th century resulted in the Church of the Saints Omobono and Antonio.