Excavations for the central section of Rome’s new metro C, around the stations planned for Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina and Chiesa Nouvo, are proving more difficult than expected.
More research in two key areas of Piazza Venezia – in the centre of the square, and around Piazza S. Apostoli – is necessary.
The station planned for Largo Argentina has now been scarpped and in the Chiesa Nuova area, where large Roman walls have been discovered, experts are not certain yet of their archaeological significance.
A hole about 25-30 m in diameter must now be sunk in the centre of Piazza Venezia to discover whether this is a feasible site for the metro station and its infrastructure. In an effort to avoid digging in this archaeologically sensitive area, an alternative site, between the Vittoriano and Trajan’s column, was taken into serious consideration. However this project has now been abandoned because it would have endangered the stability of the Vittoriano.
A return to the initial plans to dig in the centre of Piazza Venezia is a considerable setback. Whether or not it is structurally possible to site the station in the middle of the square will not be known until the advanced stages of drilling.
However what is already clear is that digging here will disturb 16th century, mediaeval and important ancient Roman remains. It is not yet known whether the various archaeological finds can be preserved in situ or removed to a safer location.