Places not on Google Maps – Rome – Part 1

Circus Minimus

The Circus Minimus was where chariot racing for children took place in Ancient Rome behind the Palatine Hill. Racers had to be under the age of 16 and had to bring their own greyhounds or whippets, depending on which part of the Roman Empire their centurion fathers had recently returned from. The site was bought by the Disney corporation in 1930 who wanted to rename it Circus Minimouse, and set up their European headquarters here. The project was declined by the government, who described the plans as goofy. The Disney corporation thanked them for the idea. The intermediate circus, the Circus Mediocris, used by charioteers between 16 and 21 has been lost for posterity although it’s thought the site might have been where St Peter’s Basilica now stands in the Vatican City.


This is a museum of combs made from ivory used by the servants of the Roman Emperors to comb the Emperor’s dogs. The comb used by the servants of the Emperor Nero weighs 200 pounds and is made from an entire elephant’s tusk, which meant that four men were required to use the implement at the same time to comb a dachshund called Augustus.


This building,established by the Emperor Nero to celebrate his licentious lifestyle, was beneath the Roman baths that became the Terme di Caracalla, so there would always be plenty of heat to encourage people to take their clothes off. The Pandemonium might be the inspiration for all the visions of hell that appeared in books from the Middle Ages onwards.

From the book – Places not on Google Maps


Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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