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Carcere Mamertino, Rome

2.4
#154 of 252 in Historic Sites in Rome
The Mamertine Prison, in antiquity the Tullianum, was a prison located in the Comitium in ancient Rome. It was located on the northeastern slope of the Capitoline Hill, facing the Curia and the imperial fora of Nerva, Vespasian, and Augustus. Located between it and the Tabularium was a flight of stairs leading to the Arx of the Capitoline known as the Gemonian stairs.The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami now stands above the Mamertine.Name and originThe origins of the prison's names are uncertain. The traditional derivation of "Tullianum" is from the name of one of the Roman kings Tullus Hostilius or Servius Tullius (the latter is found in Livy, Varro, and also Sallust); there is an alternative theory that it is from the archaic Latin tullius "a jet of water", in reference to the cistern. The name "Mamertine" is medieval in origin, and may be a reference to a nearby temple of Mars.According to tradition, the prison was constructed around 640–616 BC, by Ancus Marcius. It was originally created as a cistern for a spring in the floor of the second lower level. Prisoners were lowered through an opening into the lower dungeon.
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Carcere Mamertino Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
161 reviews
Google
3.9
TripAdvisor
  • August 17, 2017
    For the second time we decide to stop after a long journey, to Rome to visit this place full of history. We plan costs, schedule and prepare our children of 5 and 8 years. We walk with them for an hour, stirring them up because exhausted under the heat. We arrive to the prisons at 16. The Lady at the checkout calculates mechanically costs without asking us the age of the children. We inform you and find that the smallest wouldn't pay. We also updated at that time that access to the site is allowed only with credit card payment. For a mix up our paper was jammed and recharge the rechargeable would require a time we didn't. The only option that is available to accommodate us and ask for a tourist to pay for us to then repay in cash, a solution which humiliates us and disgusts us. Let's go away disappointed and angry. In any other site we paid in cash without problems and also what is not reported anywhere. The first time a Tuesday in August 2016 the probation officer of the Church told us that the prisons were not visited that day and we were suggested to choose another one. We headed back towards Turin disappointed but willing to try again the following year. Never again, this is not the proper management of a cultural object that has been closed for years, this is not welcome due to tourists. We don't feel so to recommend it but we would like to warn you so that you can possibly arrange ...
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  • August 10, 2017
    Rome never ceases to amaze! Legend has it that Peter and Paul were imprisoned, the two Apostles were miraculously lead to a pool of water, "tullus". Under the Church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami is the oldest, and for a long time the only prison in Rome.
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  • August 8, 2017
    The probable prison of St. Peter is well worth the 7 Euro visit fee, especially to view the frescoes on the wall that were painted 1200-1500 years after Peter's alleged imprisonment. The museum staff ...  more »
Google
  • There is a 10Euro admittance to get down to Sts Peter & Paul Prison Cell. It is one of my favorite tour.
  • An amazing historical experance. Being able to see the prison where St. Peter was imprissond, to look down the hole that he spent so many years in. And beyond that, to get to go down into the prison itself was like a biblical time travel. Even if you are not religious, getting to see the ancient prison is very cool.
  • Me and the wife went into the ticket office in the early morning and purchased a colosseum, forum and prison ticket for €20 (an extra 8 for the prison). We left straight for the forum and arena as low on time, we were most interested in these. The queues at the colosseum when we got there were phenomenal, boy were we glad we already had a ticket! Went straight in we did, past all the queues. Once finished we returned to the centre and on the way used our ticket to get into the prison. WOW! What a load of crap.... a few pots and pans and sweaty cellar. 8 Euros for this, you must be having a laugh! That said, due to the extreme crowds present on the day I was glad for our pre purchased ticket so if you've got a spare 8 euros and don't want to queue, go for it (reason for 2 stars). But save yourself 5 mins and bin the prison ticket.
  • There is not too much going on here. You don't need a lot of time. It is cool to see where Peter and Paul were imprisoned. You go down into a dungeon. I did not go the dramatized tour.
  • Connect to the sewer. So the bodies were thrown after excecutions.

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For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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