History buffs will be able to roam the ruins of Rome's "Area Sacra," perhaps catching a glimpse of Julius Caesar's ghost, after the site becomes an open-air museum next year.
Work to adapt the Largo Argentina archaeological site containing the ruins of four Roman temples for tourists begins next month, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi announced.
"With this work we'll begin entering into the area and... walk among the vestiges of our history. Meanwhile, people can observe the site from its surrounding without stepping in it, because it's located few meters under the ground surface," she said at a press conference, AFP reported.
Julius Caesar is believed to have been stabbed in the Curia Pompei, a Senate building, part of whose limestone foundation is still visible.
But visitors are more likely to spot an apparition of the four-legged kind – namely, a cat.
The ruins are the domain of a colony of hundreds of rescued cats, fed, sterilized and cared for by a private non-profit shelter, who scamper through the site, lounging atop truncated marble pillars or posing for tourist photos – altogether unimpressed by the historical significance of their vast litterbox.
The temples, which date to between the third and second centuries B.C., include a circular monument to the goddess of Fortune, whose colossal marble head now sits in Rome's Centrale Montemartini museum.
They were uncovered as recently as 1926 in an urban planning project when demolished medieval houses revealed ancient Roman ruins underneath.