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DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides: Rome by Reid Bramblett, Jeffrey Kennedy

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Ancient Rome

This area has always been a contrasting mix of the highest and the lowest, from the most extravagant luxury to the toughest work-a-day world. In ancient times, the emperor’s lavish palaces were built on the Palatine, but they weren’t far from the docks, where roustabouts heaved the tons of goods that were imported to the wealthy city from around the world. There are three hills in the zone: the Palatine and the Aventine are two of the original seven, but Monte Testaccio is entirely man-made. Legend has it that the Aventine was where Remus formed a populist settlement, to rival his twin brother Romulus’s dictatorial encampment (see Romulus and Remus). Over the centuries it has been an area inhabited by poor workers and religious ...

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