Cats love the city of Rome and you can see them everywhere. They doze under the sun in parks, groom themselves amongst the ruins, and patiently wait in front of butcher shops – which happens often in the Via Tiburtina (in the university district of San Lorenzo).
Romans love cats just as much as cats love Rome, and they are happy to accommodate these feline citizens. In fact, throughout the city, there are about 400 feral colonies – including colonies at the University, the Pyramid, the Protestant Cemetery, and the Colosseum.
The best known feline colony resides in the sacred area of Piazza Argentina. Here, near the location where Julius Caesar was killed on that fateful day, approximately 200 cats live in luxury – groomed, fed, and pampered by volunteers. These individuals who selflessly love and care for the cats of Rome are called the “gattare.” Among them are people from all walks of life – elderly women, young girls, students, and office workers to name a few. Even supreme judges take care of the cats of Palazzo Spada, located near the Council of State and a beautiful art gallery.
The cats of Rome are certainly the most pampered and snobbish of all of Rome’s residents. Many tourists visit the cats of the Piazza Argentina, and these uppity felines are regularly adopted by people from all over the world. After all, a real Roman cat is the best souvenir that one could possibly take from the Eternal City.