In the archaeological park on the Appia Antica is now possible to visit the impressive monument
The Sepolcro dei Corneli – Corneli’s tomb – is also known as Tomba Barberini – Barberini’s tomb -, because the Barberini family was the last one to own the land corresponding to the archaeological park area where the tomb is.
This jewel of the Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica is opening for the first time to the public after a two-year-long major restoration realized with an investment of 250,000 Euros. The work of the archaeologist on the Sepolcro dei Corneli – from which in the seventeenth century the Barberini family took a splendid, and famous, sarcophagus with scenes inspired by the myth of Protesilao and Laodamia (now on show at the Vatican Museums) -, made possible to secure the building and make it accessible by recreating, with metal grids, the flooring of the first floor that over time had collapsed, to add a staircase to access the upper floor, and to realize the lighting system.
It is now possibles to book guided tours to visit the brick building with polychrome decorations on the façades – where archaeologist have found traces of lively colors such as yellow, red, violet and gold – and indoors frescoes dating back to II century AD. Francesca Montella, the archaeologist in charge of the renovation, pointed out that “The monument is well preserved, as it has always been used as a shelter for agricultural and livestock farming activities for centuries, up to 1800s.”
Rita Paris, director of the Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica, said that the next project the archaeologists are going to work on will involve the Basilica di Santo Stefano, the only Christian church in that area.
Ilona Catani Scarlett