This thematic module investigates aspects
of the city’s natural history, including geological
and hydrographic issues. Formal gardens and villas and the
cultivated landscape comprise additional topics. The Tiber
River, the seven famous hills of Rome and their valleys, flood
plains and related features serve to illuminate the city’s
natural structure and its relationship to urban form from
antiquity to the present.
As a casual glance at the Nolli map shows,
even as late as the 18th century the vast area between the
urbanized center and the ancient Aurelian wall circuit was
an area dominated by ancient ruins and open space. Historically
this zone has been called the uninhabited place, or disabitato.