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Is the cat sanctuary in Rome (Torre de Largo Argentino) really by appointment only?

Is the cat sanctuary in Rome (Torre de Largo Argentino) really by appointment only?

Apr 7th, 2006, 06:52 AM
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Is the cat sanctuary in Rome (Torre de Largo Argentino) really by appointment only?

My kids love cats, so I put the cat sanctuary at Torre de Largo Argentino on my list of things to do in Rome. However, my DK Eyewitness Guide to Rome says it is by appointment only. Is that true
missypie is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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No, you don't need an appointment. It's open daily to the public from noon to 6 pm. The entrance is at the southwest corner of the square (where the ruins are), at the corner of Via Florida and Via Arenula. You'll see a gate there, and you walk down the stairs to the shelter.

Your visit there will both make you happy (because the cats and volunteers are wonderful) and break your heart (because there are so many homeless cats). I make a point to visit at least once every time I'm in Rome.

Their website is www.romancats.com, and their email is [email protected] if you have any questions for the volunteers who run the sanctuary.
DejaVu is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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I wasn't aware that it was, but it has been a few years since I was there. They have a website at http://www.romancats.com/

The sanctuary is mostly below road level, so you can stand on the outside and play "cat spotting" among the ruins.
willit is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Hi Missypie,

Their website doesn't say that you need an appointment, but you can email them and check:

[email protected]

Just be careful, you may want to take one home!
cris2 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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I was just there and it looks like you can just show up. They have opening hours and do give tours but I don't think a reservation is always needed. Unfortunately I couldn't take the tour because I was there in the evening, but I loved it. I am a cat lover with three at home, and I probably spent a good hour there watching all the cats as I walked around the perimeter of the sight.

tcreath is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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I saw my little kitty's Italian cousin there when we went in Feb. Looked just like Mia except much larger.

Cats in Rome, dogs in Pompeii . . .
LCBoniti is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Many people are unaware that this area contains the ruins of Pompey's Theater where Julius Ceasar was killed on the Ides of March by Brutus and the other Senators.

The Senate building in the forum area was under repair and the Senate was using Pompey's Theater as their temporary meeting place when the assassination took place.

One of the pivital moments in history took place here and people walk by daily without knowing.....
KE1TH is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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KE1TH, interesting you say that because my DH and I had a conversation about it as well. I love cats so obviousy I liked that part of it, but cats aside I also thought the ruins were fascinating. As history lovers my husband and I were really amazed at the ruins but how little they are advertised. Some of it is better preserved than areas of the forum, yet very little is ever written in guidebooks about this area. We stumbled acrossed it by accident one evening as we were looking for a bus stop, and didn't even realize it was the cat sanctuary at first. I think the area would be equally as interesting for a non-cat lover.

tcreath is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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I suggested to a friend with children that her family might enjoy a swing by the Torre de Lago Argentino to see the cats, because a neighboring had once told me that as a child she had been taken to Roma and all she remembered of the trip was the cat sanctuary. Still, I was surprised when the family returned from Roma that the cats had turned out to be the site that delighted the children above all.

I agree, cats aside, it is a rewarding site for anybody interested in Roman history, but apparently those cats exert a special magic on children.
nessundorma is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Actually, the ruins visible there are three of four early Republican temples, among the oldest ruins in Rome. (Temples A and C date ca. 300 BC)The fourth is under the street in the approximate area of the cat shelter. In fact, the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma has tried to kick out the cat shelter for that reason before.
DejaVu is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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I went back and read the description in the DK guide again and thanks to your input, it all makes more sense. The guidebook's description is of the ruins themselves. It mentions at the end that there is a cat sanctuary on site. I think that if you want to tour all of the RUINS, you have to write/fax ahead for an appointment.
missypie is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Unless the ruins of Pompey's Theatre have moved recently, they're a couple of blocks west of Largo Argentina, just SW of Sant'Andrea della Valle.
KT is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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I'm sorry I missed seeing the cat sanctuary on my recent trip to Rome. I remember passing some ruins with sign in front that said Sacra Area--is the sanctuary nearby?
nini is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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KT; You are correct about the *actual* theatre but the Theatre of Pompey Complex reached as far as those temples in Largo di Torre Argentina.

This model shows the theatre at the bottom, going up from each side of the theater is the Porticus of Pompey which then turns 90deg and connects to a bldg in the middle.
That bldg is the Curia Pompey where Julius Caesar was murdered (inside in the back section).

nini; The 4 Temples behind that bldg are what you saw, it is called the 'Area Sacra/Sacra Area' aka in guidebooks as the 'Four Republican (Victory) Temples'.

The last temple on the right is where the Cat Sanctuary is, it is just the temple's foundation and it actually goes under the modern sideway & street. That section has been excavated and forms an underground room where the cats are kept.

If they are open they definitely want walk-ins, that is where they get their donations to support their work .

I detail the Julius Caesar assassination location on this post.
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Definitely stop in to see the cats, buy their little book that helps support the volunteers' efforts and then stop by the frullati bar on the street between Feltrinelli book shop and Delfino bar. More info & articles on insiders' Rome on www.elegantetruria.com
How things go around...I wrote the "Rome with children" section for the DK Rome guide years ago.
Enjoy your trip!
vetralla is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Oh yes, the children's book they sell there (written and illustrated by two of the volunteers) is wonderful (but sad--it made me misty-eyed!!) and you should definitely get one to support the cause. It's called "Nelson the One Eyed King." I got one for myself (no kids).

DejaVu is offline  
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