Rome’s Largo di Torre Argentina Where Cats Sunbathe Amidst Roman History

Growing up in Rome, I spent many an hour waiting for the bus at Largo di Torre Argentina, commonly referred to as Largo Argentina. My only thought about Largo Argentina at the time was that it was a convenient central bus hub to get all around Rome. It is and was easy to find because of the central square filled with a bunch of walled-off Roman ruins. It was not until a high school history class at the Overseas School of Rome (thank you Hiram Dewitt) when I learned that, right from my bus stop, I was looking at the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. by an angry mob of senators who purportedly stabbed him 23 times on March 15, a date on the Roman calendar referred to as the “Ides of March”.

Gazing down at the ruins you can see the remains of four Roman temples that were unearthed in the 1920s during building construction work. This remarkably important ruin, where Julius Caesar met his end and the Roman Senate revolted, is easy to miss on a busy sightseeing itinerary since there are no markers drawing attention to it. Chances are you’ll walk right by it at some point during your Rome visit and have no idea what it is. The site was opened to the public for the first time in 2023 after a major redevelopment sponsored by luxury goods purveyor Bulgari. The neglected ruins have been made tourist friendly with a new entrance, lighting, footpaths and restrooms.

In recent decades Largo Argentina has become known and loved for the many homeless and charmingly photogenic cats that lounge about, basking in the sun, practically posing for the cameras among the ruins. Local volunteers ensure the cats are fed and cared for, and you can find out more about them and even do a “distance” adoption to support the cat sanctuary here.

The location is conveniently central not just for the bus & tram lines but also because it is smack dab in the center, just minutes walk to Campo de’ Fiori, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Jewish Ghetto and many wonderful restaurants. It is also a short hop across the river to Trastevere on the tram line. For a quick and casual bite, stop in at popular Rossopomodoro pizzeria along the Largo Argentina, they serve good Neapolitan-style pizza, be prepared for the line out the door but it moves quickly.

Stop in Cafffè Camerino also on the piazza, where, as the owner once told us, “We were awarded an additional F in our name for quality!” See the sign in the image above with, count ’em, three F’s in the word cafe: Cafffè! Their cappuccino is excellent.

Italy rome vacation rental

Stay in the heart of Rome at the Sonata apartment rental!

We love everything about this charming neighborhood, which we call a hidden haven in the heart of Rome. Enjoy a stay in the area at our Sonata apartment, just around the corner from Largo di Torre Argentina or our Pasquino and Tartini Triumph apartments, which are just a few minutes’ walk from this historic location.

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