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Exploring the cat sanctuary in Rome

One of the best parts of my short trip in Rome was just wandering around and getting lost (as I’m often prone to do). It’s how I discovered some neat little cafes and galleries on a street hidden behind Campo de Fiori. But the best part about wandering in Rome is that you’ll often stumble onto something both ancient AND amazing.

One such ancient Roman ruin I stumbled into was the Torre Argentina. The ruins are the very same site where Julius Caesar was famously murdered on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. The site is now home to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary where hundreds of cats roam freely. On one side of the archaeological site is a small underground shelter for the cats of Rome. You can visit the cat sanctuary for free and even get a small guided tour of the ruins.

Personally, I find it interesting and incredible that an ancient Roman archaeological site could now provide such a useful benefit to society. By being the home to hundreds of abandoned and homeless cats, the Torre Argentina isn’t just sharing it’s history with us, it’s making history.

The Torre Argentina ruins were excavated in 1929 and cats have made a home of the ruins ever since. Because the ruins are below street level, the site offers cats extra protection. Today, the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is open to visitors every day of the year from 12pm-6pm. More information, including details on adopting a cat, is available at

  1. Fede says:

    WTF! I had no idea, that’s amazing!

  2. Callie says:

    Wow, who knew? What a cool thing to stumble across!

  3. Waegook Tom says:

    What a bizarre thing to find whilst you’re wandering the streets?!? Those kitties look super cute by the way. I want to take the white one home with me!

    I went to Rome in 2009 but it was pretty disastrous, would love to go back again – and I’d try to hunt this place down, too. Always good to have some interaction with adorable animals on your travels! Thanks for sharing, Adam :)

  4. It’s strange to see so many cats in one place! Looks like a cool landmark to stumble upon though!

  5. Amanda @ Farsickness says:

    I used to live right by this place. Always creeped me out a bit as I’m terrified of cats, but very interesting nonetheless!

  6. Scarlett says:

    I had no idea this existed – it’s so great though. I volunteer at my local animal shelter, so it’s good to see there are places to help across europe x

  7. Cheryl says:

    You had me at cat sanctuary! :)

    I heard about this from a tour guide in Rome when we saw strays wandering around the colosseum. I love that they try to help them .. it’s sad that spaying and neutering isn’t more popular in Italy.

  8. Ayngelina says:

    I wonder where the dog sanctuary is..

  9. We stumbled upon the cat sanctuary one visit to Rome when we got off the bus at the “end of the line”. we spent several hours with the cats…loving every mintues and admiring the vision and love of the cat caretakers. Thanks for reminding me of our visit.

  10. Best Travel Blog Posts of the Week Ending June 29 - Travel Freak says:

    […] Exploring the Cat Sanctuary in Rome // Travels of Adam […]

  11. Deepika says:

    I had heard about the bird sanctuary.. But cat sanctuary… Good one!

  12. lida, Holland says:

    The big grey cat on the blue containers (third photo) is my adoption cat, Tau Fu.
    For many years now I donate monthly a small amount so support him, and the others, because I can’t take him home. You can also help them on a distance.
    I enjoyed your review!

    • Adam says:

      Hey lida, that’s so great to see your adoption cat in one of the photos! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. carlita says:

    cat sanctuary? lol that’s ever so nice for the kitties!

  14. gagner plus d argent says:

    Les vacances arrivent …

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