Since the Middle Ages monumental ancient Roman ruins were recuperated and transformed into hybrid architectural structures. Over the centuries the arcs of the antique aqueducts served as shelter for the poor and homeless such as Italian gipsies, migrants from southern Italy, refugees of the Yugoslavian wars or economic migrants from Eastern Europe. In some instances also Roman citizens that have lost their homes moved there like after Mus- solini’s campaign to restore antique sites demolishing whole quarters in the city centre in the 1930s and the victims of the World War II bombardments of San Lorenzo. Time and again these occupants were evicted (the last evacuation was in 2009) but sooner or later got replaced by new arrivals. The arcs served as a prominent architectonic frame for this long and diverse history that attracted different generations of

ethnologists to research the cultures of their occupants