The Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering of “La Sapienza” University of Rome is located in the area of the old convent of San Lorenz in Panisperna, in turn built on the ruins of the imperial palace of Nero, the Domus Aurea, today the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli.
The Faculty is built around a beautiful Renaissance cloister, among the most beautiful of the Roman Renaissance, attributed to Giuliano da Sangallo and is a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture in Rome. The cloister has a rectangular portico on the ground floor with the sides of seven or eight arches supported by columns with Ionic capitals bearing the coats of arms of Della Rovere.
The beautiful corner solution is obtained with a quadrangular pillar with two semi-columns that leaned against it. On the upper floor there are windows with a sober frame.
At the center of the courtyard is located a well with an elegant octagonal plan, sculpted by Simone Mosca, topped with a more simple tripod formed by two pairs of columns supporting a simple architrave with cornice, by some even attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti.
Under the floor of the courtyard is kept a beautiful medieval cistern which has the dimensions of a cube of about nine meters on each side, now indicated by a thin line of stone drowned among the rocks of the river, a distinct Lombard trait. From the four corners of the courtyard, where were the descenders for rainwater, converged toward the center four channels. These reached the four manhole covers, the four white discs at the corners of the perimeter, in which could be possible to descend more in as many small rooms obtained between the vault of the tank and the floor of the cloister. Here there were layers of coal and gravel designed to filter rainwater which was then fed into the tank through four stone gargoyles. The big cube tank was actually divided into two parts by the insertion at its center of a cylinder that is about as wide as the octagon drawn in the floor around the well curb. The communication between the two environments was provided by two slabs of stone in which are made five holes arranged in quincunx (staggered rows) through which the water flowed into the inner tank, but leaving in the external one the last possible sediments.
On the cloister overlook the representative locals of the Faculty, some classrooms and studios of various Departments. Among the rooms opens up the famous frescoes hall, the second exhibition area of the show.
Adjacent to the venue described above there is the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, famous for housing the tomb of Julius II with the well-known Moses by Michelangelo and still renowned for holding a S. Agostino by Guercino, a portrait by Domenichino and finally for the chains of St. Peter placed under the altar. Meta therefore for many tourists and visitors.