The narration proposed through the exhibition tells of the intense relationship between Rome and the sea: the maritime aspect of the great power that built its Mediterranean Empire along the sea and along rivers. The 5 sections of the exhibition present visitors with several variations of these water landscapes, starting from the life and mythography of the sea (Section 1) to the description ofthe waterfronts of the peninsula and of those protagonists of the geopolitical history of Rome that were its ports: junctions between land routes and waterways, also inland (Section 2). One main narrative focal point is the story of an ideal, virtual, and virtuous journey along the waterway axis of theTiber river, among the ports of Rome, starting from the sea (the Ports of Claudius and Trajan) and reaching the PortusTiberinus (the earliest port in Rome) in the heart of the city In ascending the great river, visitors will be able to enjoy a detailed reconstruction - both physical and digital - of the Villa Pietrapapa , set in the suggestive wings of the river bank.The city centers and ports of the Vesuvian are will act as a counterattraction to Rome - Pozzuoli, with its famous monuments, and Baia, with its thermal baths and the nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio - thanks to 3D reconstructions and original findings, such as the statue of Dionysus in the nymphaeum. A major role is reserved to ships. Thanks to epigraphs, iconographic images, and monuments, the exhibition puts emphasis on military ships, several highly representative elements of the ships of Caligula from LakeNemi, and merchant ships, also narrating life aboard these vessels. The exhibition illustrates the variety of goods - from basic necessities to luxury goods - that were transported in the holds of ships from one point to another of the Mediterranean (Section 4). The displays are extraordinary stills of routes, of preferential circuits, of lucrative investments, of daring trade transactions, and of excellent artisanal and artistic skills, and dedicated to navigation in the Mediterranean and to its multiple trade, military, “civilian”, and mythological aspects, displaying a selection of coins and medals from the very rich numismatic collection of the Medagliere in the National Roman Museum. Images of memories impressed in that small, round piece of metal. Precious testimonies of a civilization where past and present alternated, in pursuit of a single leitmotiv: the sea. During the time of the papacy, the new structures of the ports of Civitavecchia, Anzio, and Terracina, as well as ships echoed the ancient Ports of Claudius and Trajan depicted on Roman coins. A rich iconographic structure poses as a background for the numismatic images, emphasized by 3D reconstructions and by multimedia installations that will take visitors on a suggestive journey into the past, through the waters of the Mediterranean. The final part of the exhibition (Section 5) recounts underwater archeology. Discoveries, but also the methodology of scientific research and new frontiers of the deep sea, with a series of videos and films.
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