Cat sanctuary of Torre Argentina

Among the ruins of the Sacred Area of Torre Argentina, in the Rione Pigna, there is an important feline colony, the cat sanctuary of Torre Argentina. The origin of this colony dates back to when between 1926 and 1928, as part of road adaptation works in the area between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Arenula, the Roman remains of the Sacred Area came to light.
From that moment, these ruins became a place of attraction as well as for tourists and the curious also for many cats, who found them a protected place as they were below street level. In a short time, many cat and gattari - the people that spontaneously take care of cats - began to bring them food and provide assistance, effectively making it a fact sanctuary.

It must be said that obviously in those years the food for canned animals was not yet widespread and the cats were fed above all thanks to the waste meat. In this regard, in the past in Rome there was the carnacciaro, a man who turned and distributed the carnaccia, the discarded meat, to the felines. A small note must now be made: the feline colony - this kind of cat sanctuary - is distinguished from the "gattile", which is similar to a kennel but which houses cats, and from the feline oasis, which wants to rebuild an environment where cats can live freely. The feline colony is in fact an often spontaneous group of cats that gather in a specific place and whose care is entrusted to private citizens or associations.

Over the years, Torre Argentina became one of the most famous cat sanctuaries in Rome, where cats were cared for by cats and all kinds of cats, including some very famous ones such as actress Anna Magnani. In the 80s the actor Antonio Crast obtained a space inside the pedestrian underpass of Torre Argentina (now closed) to make an environment for the feline colony, and in the 90s the efforts of Franca Stoppi, Lia Dequel and Silvia Viviani led to a greater organization of the colony. Currently the feline colony of Torre Argentina is known throughout the world, thanks to its suggestive position.

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