(CNN) — He was the first Roman emperor, who took over from Julius Caesar and built an empire that would eventually stretch from the UK to Egypt, boasting on his death bed that "I found Rome built of bricks, and left it marble." But the emperor Augustus didn't exactly get paid in kind when he died in 14CE. His tomb -- a huge, circular mausoleum, which was the largest in the city when it was built -- was abandoned for centuries. With its roof fallen in and the cypresses planted around it left to grow wild, it has long been a far cry from the carefully preserved Colosseum and Roman Forum.
In fact, for much of the past 80 years, it has been closed to the public, with brief openings in the year 2000 to celebrate the city's Jubilee year, and then again, before being closed in 2007 for archaeological investigations. It was hoped that it would reopen in 2014, to mark 2,000 years since Augustus died. In the end, though, with conservation work still ongoing, it was opened on the day itself.
But finally, a 13-year restoration has come to an end, and it is due to be opened to the public in March 2021.
"When current mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi was elected, she made it quite clear that banning botticelle was one of her aims. These traditional horse-drawn carriages are, as romantic as they are, alas, unjust. Throughout the years, episodes of animals abuse, of horses dying in the heat of summer while forced to work along the city’s boiling hot roads, filled the pages of our newspapers with worrying regularity. Italy’s animal rights associations have been campaigning for years to finally ban a practice considered by many useless and inhumane. Daniele Draco, representative of the capital’s city assembly and president of theCommissione IV Ambiente Roma Capitale saluted the decision positively: “by approving this regulation, the city finally enters a new time in its history, one where the will of the administration is to safeguard the rights and well being of our friends, the animals.” The idea is to ban botticelle from the streets and limit their activity to Rome’s main parks, Villa Borghese, Villa Pamphilj and the Parco degli Acquedotti, exclusively along itineraries specifically designed by equine experts to reduce at a minimum risks for the animals." Chiara Dalessio, L'Italo Americano