Pyramid of Cestius is one of the Best-Preserved Ancient Buildings in Rome:
An unusual sight in the south of Rome is the Pyramid of Caius Cestius (Piramide di Caio Cestio in Italian), one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. This Egyptian-style tomb can be found near the Porta San Paolo, a castle-like southern gate in the 3rd century Aurelian Walls of Rome.
Covered in white marble, the imposing Cestius Pyramid is an unmistakable landmark. It stands about 36 metres high and according to an inscription, it was completed “in accordance with the will, in 330 days…”.
The pyramid is a funerary monument which was built for Caius Cestius, a wealthy Roman magistrate who died in 12BC. Inside the Pyramid is the burial chamber which when it was discovered in 1660, was found to be decorated with frescoes. The tomb had been sealed when it was built and with no exterior entrance, there was no access to the interior.
The Cestius Pyramid was much admired by architects in the past and during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was an essential sight for those who undertook the Grand Tour. It has also inspired poets and novelists to write about it.
Getting to the Cestius Pyramid on the Metro is easy. Catch the Blue line in the direction of Laurentina and get off at Piramide. Nearby is the Protestant Cemetery where English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley and a few other famous individuals are buried.
Map of Pyramid of Cestius and Protestant Cemetry