The Necci Hypogeum in Rome’s Pigneto district

Necci’s Hypogeum, an unusual underground space, has been unveiled in the Pigneto district of Rome, inaugurated and shown to the public after more than eight months of recovery and restoration work on the underground rooms. The site was discovered underneath the historic Necci bar and restaurant, which opened back in 1924.
The owners, intrigued by the fact that the plants in the restaurant’s garden were not growing, explored the ground and to their amazement discovered an underground space, a quarry that had changed use over the millennia.
The underground space dates back to the first century BC and in Etruscan and Roman times was a pozzolana quarry.
Rome had a volcano on the north side outside the city that erupted for thousands of years, pouring out almost three hundred thousand cubic kilometres of lava that formed many underground quarries, of which the one under the Necci bar is one. Seven metres below the level of today’s street level, with walls about two metres thick, and a room height of two and three metres.
In the centuries prior to its current unveiling, it has undergone several eras and transformations.
It was mainly used as a cellar for the farm above, as can be seen from the chutes at the side of the stairs that were used to roll the barrels.
During the Second World War, it was used as an air-raid shelter.
The underground space has recently hosted the exhibition “Cosplay”, by Filippo Trojano, as part of the neighbourhood film festival, and last Saturday 25 September the Pigneto Film Festival presented the docufilm “Ericovero. Storia profonda del quartiere Pigneto” was presented.
Guided tours of the space can be booked by calling Bar Necci on +39 06 97601552

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