Fodor's Expert Review Portico d'Ottavia

Jewish Ghetto Religious Building/Site/Shrine
Free Fodor's Choice

Looming over the Jewish Ghetto, this huge portico, with a few surviving columns, is one of the area's most picturesque set pieces, with the church of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria built right into its ruins. Named by Augustus in honor of his sister Octavia, it was originally 390 feet wide and 433 feet long, encompassed two temples, a meeting hall, and a library, and served as a kind of grandiose entrance foyer for the adjacent Teatro di Marcello. The ruins of the portico became Rome's pescheria (fish market) during the Middle Ages. A stone plaque on a pillar (a copy; the original is in the Musei Capitolini) states in Latin that the head of any fish surpassing the length of the plaque was to be cut off "up to the first fin" and given to the city fathers, or else the vendor was to pay a fine of 10 gold florins. The heads were used to make fish soup and were considered a great delicacy.

Religious Building/Site/Shrine Archaeological Site/Ruins Plaza/Square/Piazza Free Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Via Tribuna di Campitelli 6
Rome, Latium  00186, Italy

What’s Nearby