Liepa Valiulytė

Exploring Mausoleum of Augustus

Step back in time at the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome's Centro Storico, an ancient tomb of Rome's first emperor.

Attraction Centro Storico
Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome


The Mausoleum of Augustus is one of the most impressive and historic monuments in Rome. It was built by the first Roman emperor, Augustus, as his final resting place and a symbol of his power and glory. The mausoleum has been recently restored and reopened to the public after decades of neglect and decay. In this article, you will learn about the history, architecture, and significance of this ancient wonder, and how to plan your visit to this remarkable site.

Setting Expectations: Downsides and Time Considerations

The Mausoleum of Augustus is not a typical tourist attraction. It is a solemn and sacred place that requires respect and reverence from its visitors. You will not find any flashy displays or interactive exhibits here, but rather a simple and austere structure that evokes the spirit of ancient Rome. The mausoleum is also not very large, and you can explore it in about an hour or less. However, it is worth taking your time to appreciate the details and the atmosphere of this unique monument.

Tips for your visit of the Mausoleum of Augustus

  • Book your tickets online The mausoleum has a limited capacity and requires advance booking. You can reserve your tickets online through the official website or through authorized partners. The tickets are free until April 2021, but you still need to book a time slot.
  • Download the app The mausoleum offers a free app that you can download on your smartphone or tablet. The app provides an audio guide, a map, and additional information about the mausoleum and its history. You can also scan QR codes inside the mausoleum to access more content.

If you want to learn more about the mausoleum and its context, you can also visit the nearby Ara Pacis Museum, which houses a monumental altar dedicated to Augustus and his achievements. The museum also has a multimedia exhibition that illustrates the life and times of the first emperor.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: The mausoleum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 7 pm. The last admission is at 5:30 pm.

How to Get There: The mausoleum is located in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, in the historic center of Rome. You can reach it by public transportation, such as bus, tram, metro, or taxi. The nearest metro station is Spagna (line A), about 15 minutes walk away.

Price: The admission fee for the mausoleum is 10 euros for adults, 5 euros for students and seniors, and free for children under 18. The ticket also includes access to the Ara Pacis Museum. As mentioned above, the tickets are free until April 2021.

Crowds: The mausoleum is not very crowded, as it has a limited capacity and requires advance booking. However, you may encounter some queues at the entrance or at the security check. It is advisable to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time slot.

Weather Considerations: The mausoleum is mostly indoors, so it is not affected by the weather conditions. However, some parts of the mausoleum are open-air, so you may want to bring an umbrella or a hat if it rains or if it is sunny.

Photography: Photography is allowed inside the mausoleum, but without flash or tripod. You can also take videos, but without sound or commentary.

Accessibility: The mausoleum is accessible for people with disabilities or reduced mobility. There are ramps, elevators, and toilets available for them. There are also wheelchairs that can be borrowed at the entrance.

Facilities: The mausoleum has a cloakroom, a bookstore, and a café. You can leave your bags, coats, and umbrellas at the cloakroom for free. You can buy souvenirs, books, and postcards at the bookstore. You can enjoy a snack or a drink at the café, which has a terrace overlooking the mausoleum.

Tours: The mausoleum does not offer guided tours, but you can use the app or the audio guide to learn more about the mausoleum and its history. You can also join a guided tour of the Ara Pacis Museum, which is included in your ticket.

Bringing Children: The mausoleum is suitable for children, as it is not very long or difficult to visit. However, it may not be very engaging or entertaining for them, as it is mostly a historical and cultural site. You may want to prepare them beforehand by telling them some stories or facts about Augustus and his mausoleum.

Bringing Pets: Pets are not allowed inside the mausoleum, except for guide dogs or service animals.

These details are subject to change; please check the official website for the latest information

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Mausoleum of Augustus?

    The Mausoleum of Augustus is a large circular tomb built by the first Roman emperor Augustus in 28 BCE on the Campus Martius in Rome. It was the burial place of Augustus and his family, as well as other prominent Romans. The mausoleum was surrounded by a landscaped park and decorated with bronze statues and plaques.

  • How can I visit the Mausoleum of Augustus?

    The Mausoleum of Augustus is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 7 pm. You need to book your ticket online in advance on the official website: The ticket costs 10 euros and includes access to the interactive history experience, the mausoleum, and the Museum of the Ara Pacis.

  • What can I see inside the Mausoleum of Augustus?

    Inside the Mausoleum of Augustus, you can see the original structure of the tomb, which consisted of several concentric rings of earth and brick, faced with travertine on the exterior. You can also see the vaults that held up the roof and opened up the burial spaces below, where there was a chamber with three niches to hold the golden urns enshrining the ashes of the imperial family. You can also see some fragments of the bronze plaques inscribed with the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, the document describing Augustus' accomplishments and victories.

Must see

  • The bronze statue of Augustus

    On top of the mausoleum, there used to be a huge bronze statue of Augustus, which was a symbol of his power and glory. The statue was probably removed or destroyed in late antiquity, but you can see a replica of it at the Museum of the Ara Pacis, which is located next to the mausoleum. The museum also displays other artifacts related to Augustus and his era, such as sculptures, coins, and reliefs.

  • The twin pink obelisks

    Flanking the arched entryway of the mausoleum, there were two pink granite obelisks that were brought from Egypt by Augustus. They were part of his display of conquest and exoticism. The obelisks were removed in the 16th century and relocated to different places in Rome. One now stands at the Piazza dell'Esquilino, near the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the other at the Quirinal fountain. You can visit them and admire their ancient inscriptions and hieroglyphs.

  • The landscaped parkland

    Surrounding the mausoleum was a beautiful parkland that offered a place of retreat and relaxation at the heart of Rome's busy Campus Martius. The park was planted with cypresses, laurels, roses, and other flowers, and featured fountains, statues, and benches. Some parts of the park have been restored and are open to visitors. You can walk around them and enjoy their natural beauty and tranquility.

  • The Mons Augustus

    Over time, the mausoleum became largely buried under earth and overgrown with trees, to the point where it was referred to as the Mons Augustus (the Hill of Augustus). A legend of the time said that Augustus ordered that a basketful of earth from every province of the empire was to be thrown upon his tomb, so that he could rest on the soil of the whole world over which he ruled. The hill became a popular spot for picnics, games, and festivals, until it was rediscovered and excavated in modern times. You can see some traces of its former appearance on some old maps and paintings.

Additional tips or recommendations for visitors: - Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as the mausoleum involves some walking and climbing stairs. - Bring a bottle of water and a hat, as the mausoleum can get hot and sunny in the summer. - Respect the rules and regulations of the site, such as not touching the walls, not taking photos with flash, and not littering. - Enjoy your visit and learn more about the fascinating history and culture of ancient Rome!

Lesser known stories and Interesting Facts

  • The Mausoleum was once a fortress

    During the Middle Ages, the Mausoleum of Augustus was transformed into a fortified castle by the Colonna family, who used it as a stronghold against their rivals, the Orsini. The castle was later destroyed by the troops of Charles V in 1527, during the Sack of Rome.

  • The Mausoleum hosted a circus

    In the 18th century, the Mausoleum was used as a venue for bullfights, fireworks, and acrobatic shows. It was also the site of a circus, where exotic animals such as lions, elephants, and camels were displayed. The circus was run by the entrepreneur Giovanni Battista Locatelli, who also built a theater and a coffee house inside the Mausoleum.

  • The Mausoleum inspired Mussolini

    In the 1930s, the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini ordered the restoration of the Mausoleum of Augustus as part of his propaganda campaign to link his regime to the glory of ancient Rome. He also planned to build a new imperial forum around the Mausoleum, but his project was interrupted by World War II.

  • The Mausoleum contains a time capsule

    In 2017, during the latest restoration works, archaeologists discovered a metal box hidden inside a cavity in the wall of the Mausoleum. The box contained coins, medals, newspapers, and documents dating back to 1938-1939, when Mussolini's restoration was carried out. The box was probably placed there by the workers as a souvenir of their work.

  • The Mausoleum is an interactive museum

    Since March 2021, the Mausoleum of Augustus is open to the public as an interactive museum, where visitors can learn about the history and architecture of the monument through multimedia devices and augmented reality. The museum also offers a virtual reconstruction of the original appearance of the Mausoleum and its surroundings.

Historical Background

The Mausoleum of Augustus was built by the first Roman emperor Augustus in 28 BCE, after his victory at the Battle of Actium over Mark Antony and Cleopatra. It was intended to be his final resting place and that of his family and successors. The Mausoleum was located on the Campus Martius, a large open area that Augustus transformed into a monumental complex dedicated to his political and cultural achievements.

The Mausoleum was a circular structure made of concrete and faced with travertine marble. It had a diameter of 90 meters and a height of 42 meters. It consisted of several concentric rings that created different levels of burial chambers. The entrance was flanked by two pink granite obelisks brought from Egypt. Above the door, there were bronze plaques with the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, Augustus's autobiography that listed his deeds and reforms.

The interior of the Mausoleum was decorated with statues, paintings, and mosaics. In the center, there was a vaulted chamber with three niches that contained golden urns with the ashes of Augustus and his relatives. Among them were his wife Livia, his sister Octavia, his nephew Marcellus, his grandsons Gaius and Lucius Caesar, his adopted sons Tiberius and Drusus, and his great-grandson Germanicus.

The top of the Mausoleum was crowned by a conical roof covered with earth and planted with cypress trees. On the summit, there was a huge bronze statue of Augustus in military attire. The roof also served as an observation platform that offered a panoramic view of Rome.

The Mausoleum of Augustus was not only a tomb but also a symbol of imperial power and continuity. It represented Augustus's claim to be the founder of a new era of peace and prosperity for Rome and its empire. It also expressed his desire to be remembered as a great leader and benefactor of his people.

Nearby Restaurants

  • Gusto A trendy restaurant and wine bar that offers a variety of dishes, from pizza and pasta to salads and burgers. The restaurant also has a bookstore, a cheese shop, and a cooking school.
  • Ad Hoc A cozy and elegant restaurant that specializes in Roman cuisine and seafood. The restaurant also has a wine cellar with over 800 labels and a sommelier service.
  • Caffè Propaganda A chic and modern bistro that serves French-inspired cuisine and cocktails. The bistro also has a pastry shop, a tea room, and a chocolate factory.

Nearby Attractions

  • Ara Pacis Museum A museum that houses the Ara Pacis, an ancient altar dedicated to the goddess of peace by Augustus in 9 BCE. The museum also displays other artworks and exhibits related to the Augustan age.
  • Piazza del Popolo A large and elegant square that features an Egyptian obelisk, three churches, and two fountains. The square also hosts concerts, festivals, and events throughout the year.
  • Spanish Steps A famous staircase that connects the Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. The staircase is decorated with flowers in spring and summer and offers a scenic view of the city.


The Mausoleum of Augustus is a remarkable monument that reflects the life and legacy of Rome's first emperor. It is also a fascinating place to explore the history, culture, and art of ancient and modern Rome. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in the Eternal City, don't miss the chance to visit the Mausoleum of Augustus.