Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Muro Torto (meaning, "askew wall") is an ancient Roman supporting wall located behind the Pincian hill, that cuts through the Villa Borghese, running all the way from Via Veneto to the Piazza del Popolo.
Don't be fooled by this picture, weekday traffic here is always bumper-to-bumper. There are actual sayings to that effect, like for example, "Jammed like the Muro Torto at rush hour..." or, "Growing old on the Muro Torto," etc. I'm kidding, the maxims don't exist. But the traffic is indeed very real.
The wall–dating to the end of the Republican era (509 BC to 27 BC)–supports the sloping hillside that once housed many patrician mansions, like the ones belonging to the Anicii, the Acilii and Pinci families.
The wall was later included in the monumental Aurelian Wall complex; and in the late 1800s this is where suicide victims, thieves, vagabonds and prostitutes were buried.
For more interesting history and lore surrounding the Muro Torto, you can read this very well-written article (in Italian) by Domenico Augenti.