Area 7 is a large, nine hectares wide square, defined by modern via Emanuele Filiberto, via Merulana, via Manzoni and the Lateran Square. Originally part of a large villa property (Villa Giustiniani Massimo), the area was developed during the late Nineteen Century, levelling up the big drop between the higher grounds of the Lateran quarter to the south and the lower grounds of the valley wedging between Mons Caelius and the Oppius to the north.
Elite residences featured in the area alongside the first barracks built in Rome for the emperor's horse guards, the Equites Singulares Augusti, that stationed in the Castra Priora before the barracks were doubled with the construction of the Castra Nova in the Lateran area (Area 1). None of the remains are visible today and the size, position and nature of the Castra Priora is still uncertain. Alongside targeted multi-antenna GPR survey, archival research and mapping of all the available evidence will hopefully provide further evidence for an understanding of the pattern of transformation of this portion of the city over the centuries.