Piazza Foro Traiano 2
+39 06 0608 (Tourist Information)
Trajan's Column stands between two seemingly twin churches - Santa Maria di Loreto
and Santissimo Nome di Maria
. It is 40 meters high, overlooking the remaining columns of the ancient Ulpia Basilica
in Trajan's Forum. It is thought that the column was originally erected between two large libraries that were, with the terrace of Trajan's Temple and the terrace of the Ulpia Basilica, places where Romans could admire the historical reliefs on the column. The column has resisted degradation superbly over the years, the spiral frieze illustrates the most important episodes in Trajan's successful expedition against the Dacians as well as showing the everyday lives of soldiers. On the top of the column (reached via a stairway inside) there is a bronze statue of St. Peter sculpted by Tommaso della Porta which, it is thought, must have replaced one of the emperor himself.