Giovanni Lattanzi

Located at the heart of the Forum, the Vestals’ temple (see this issue’s cover) was not only a shrine; it was also the site of Rome’s hearth, where the city’s sacred flame burned for a thousand years. It is one of the oldest buildings in Rome, with some of its foundations dating to the Etruscan era (c. 600 B.C.). According to myth, Vesta’s first temple was built in the eighth century B.C. by the Etruscan king Numa.