The museum’s subject is not just the exhibits it houses inside, but also the city as an artifact per se. For this reason, the various topics are always presented in a comparison of the content and the current cityscape.
The circulating, rising
allows visitors to look over and over again at the surrounding city: Piazza Venezia, the Imperial Fora, the Monti district, the Colosseum, the Maxentius Basilica, the Forma Urbis, the Roman Forum and the Capitol Hill. Along this open ramp marble artifacts and relief maps are installed on the inner wall, which chronologically elaborate the urban development. On the way up, an ancient sarcophagus used as a fountain rests in a niche. The Roman water is known for its drinking quality.
viewers are installed on some of the pillars, which allow a comparison of today's cityscape with reconstructed epochs. Telescopes are available at prominent viewpoints so that one can spot the more or less well-preserved structures. From the outside, the ramp creates an image of an architecture that lives from movement that has to be traversed.
The ascent of the time-ramp ends in the roof garden, the last exhibition space, in which ancient originals are shown under daylight. At the last corner of the outer walkway, the height of the pillars, that taper towards the top, rises abruptly. It's the start of a very open area. At the end of the ramp visitors will be joined by a wide variety of marble sculptures. They may rest in the shade of the protruding roof or enjoy the sun near the central flowerbed. Two olive trees are enclosed by a bench made of travertine: the material that covers the entire structure.