The ancient facade of Hadrian’s Temple, fronted by 11 carved stone Corinthian columns—each looming almost 50 feet (15 meters) high—serves as the dramatic focal point of Rome’s Piazza di Pietra. One of the city’s most pleasant squares, the piazza is lined with fashionable cafés overlooking the ancient Roman columns.
Built by Emperor Antoninus Pius, Emperor Hadrian’s adopted son, the Temple of Hadrian (Tempio di Adriano) dates back to AD 145 and once overlooked the Field of Mars (Campus Martius). Today, all that’s left of the magnificent temple’s original 38 columns are the 11 that form part of Rome’s 17th-century papal palace—now the Borsa building, housing the stock exchange. Italian architect Carlo Fontana integrated the ancient columns into the palace’s north wall, where they remain a striking reminder of Rome’s glorious past.
Many walking tours of Rome’s ancient sites include Hadrian’s Temple along with attractions like the Pantheon and the Church of Santa Maria on Via del Corso (Santa Maria in Via Lata, or Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata). Joining a Rome highlights Segway tour is a fun way to explore these and other attractions, including the Trevi Fountain and Trajan’s Column; consider an evening Segway tour to see the monuments beautifully lit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Temple of Hadrian tour is especially interesting for history buffs.
- Small-group Pantheon, Santa Maria, and Hadrian’s Temple tours require some walking, so opt for comfortable shoes and sun protection.
- Piazza di Pietra, where you can view the columns of Hadrian’s Temple, is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- The columns are particularly picturesque at night, so be sure to bring your camera if joining a Rome night Segway tour.
How to Get There
Hadrian’s Temple is located on Piazza di Pietra in Rome’s historic center, between the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. A number of city buses stop on Via del Corso, just steps from the square.
When to Get There
In the evening, Piazza di Pietra is particularly lively, filled with café tables and lined by the columns of Hadrian’s Temple dramatically lit.
The Other Temple of Hadrian
Italy is not the only country that is home to an ancient temple dedicated to Hadrian. In Ephesus, Turkey, another temple was built around AD 138 to honor Emperor Hadrian, who visited the ancient city while in Athens a decade earlier.