Monte Testaccio

San Giovanni & Testaccio

In the heart of the eponymous neighbourhood, this grass-covered mount, known locally as Monte dei Cocci, is an artificial hill made entirely from the fragments of smashed amphorae (testae in Latin, hence the area's name, Testaccio).

Between the 2nd century BC and the 3rd century AD, Testaccio was Rome’s river port. Supplies of olive oil were transported here in huge terracotta amphorae, which, once emptied, were broken and the fragments stacked in a huge pile near the storehouses. Over time, this pile grew into a substantial 54m-high hill – Monte Testaccio.