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This place belongs to the group:
Symbols: TRIPLICE CINTA (triple wall)


Article and pictures of Angelo Camilli -
Translation by Ilaria La Porta -

The numerous tombs, isolated and organized, testify  the intensity of the population in the Roman area during the late-republican and imperial time. The tombs found were made with different techniques and styles that reflected the status of the deceased and are located primarily along the major roads, the Appian Way is the consular that has kept more than others these characteristics.

On the Via Salaria, after Salario Bridge, stands a mausoleum dating to the first century. B.C. Erroneously attributed to Caius Marius, as mentioned in literary source regarding Salaria, it was desecrated by Sulla, his opponent, who ordered to throw his ashes into the nearby river Aniene. The mausoleum with a rectangular tower, made ​​of tufo (volcanic stone) was covered with blocks of travertine outside and inside, of which little remains from the Roman period. In the course of time has undergone numerous depredations, especially in the period between 1597 and 1598, during the restoration of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and now retains only the core cement and some portions of its original cover in place made ​​of square blocks of travertine

The structure, transformed, according to the Roman historian Procopius in 537 AD, in a  watchtower (called the Tower Loader), is 22 meters high and has windows on four floors. As evidenced by the representation of the Alexandrinus Cadastre in the seventeenth century, the coverage was formed originally by a structure with a barrel vault enriched with battlements. In 1396 it is mentioned in a deed of sale of a Roman nobleman (Buzio Ranieri Cola)  from the Column district and in 1539 became the property of Crescenzi family. More recent surveys have found that the soils of the site would be owned by the Monastery of St. Sylvester di Capite and then to St. James Hospital for the Incurables. Some iconographic representations of the seventeenth century. certify that the tower was leaning against a house that has long kept the function of inn. Along the main roads, at the confluence with other streets, there were many inns used as taverns, drugstore, horse change.

In the second half of the nineteenth century in the vicinity of the tower was held the Artists Festival which was organized by the Society of Ponte Mollo where German artists living in Rome used to met. The ceremony originally ended at the ancient quarries of Tor Cervara, which became impassable during the years. A remarkable masked procession used to leave  from Porta Maggiore to arrive near by the Salary Bridge where, after the banquet, the attendees were playing games and challenges called Olympics. The festival, which opened the spring season, for the many eccentricities, was forbidden by the papal government for several years.

Once isolated in the landscape of the Roman countryside, today the tower is a popular restaurant where a skilful renovation allowed to maintain the charm of a bygone time. Just inside the restaurant, in the passage created at the base of the mausoleum is visible, to a trained eye, a Triple Cinta, engraved on a vertical wall.

Besides being one of the many medieval mysteries, we know that it was a game in use among the population, known both at the time of the Romans and in the Middle Ages. Continuous studies try to explain the allegorical meaning and how it could by played when the signs were plotted on the vertical walls. Since this symbol is frequently present along the route of pilgrimage, it is possible that this game could be a sign of recognition

Most of the surveyed sites of the Triple Cinta (triple wall) are medieval churches and due to this it is possible to interpret that the symbol was a message  addressed to the pilgrim in his inner spiritual journey. Since now, for the first time we have this symbol drawn in a tomb, we try to formulate another hypothesis of study: or rather that its placing in the graves could represent a hidden magical symbol of a pagan primordial cult, a symbol of protection and an initiatory path of  the man to godhood. Therefore it can be the  representation of a pre-Christian truths, inaccessible to the profane world, the symbol of resurrection and transcendence where each square represented the path from life to darkness.


Group Plaxes in Lazio

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The Caio Mario Masoleum is nearby the Salario Bridge in Rome. Today the tower is a famous restaurant  where a careful restoration allowed to keep the charm of a bygone time. Just inside the restaurant, in the passage created at the base of the Mausoleum is visible, to a trained eye, a Triple Cinta(circle) engraved on a vertical wall.

(c) article and photos by Angelo Camilli -
Translation by Ilaria La Porta -
All rights reserved -