Ruins on the Palatine Hill
Today, we had two class sessions, followed by a walking tour of ancient Rome. Having visited Rome just 4 years ago, everything was unsurprisingly familiar. Needless to say, I know a bit more now about ancient Roman art and architecture than I did in high school, so that alone made the repeat trip worthwhile. We started the tour by walking through the Foro Romano (Roman Forum). It was very helpful having our professor right there to point out the famous ruins and landmarks in an otherwise scattered wasteland of marble and stone. Following that, we headed up to the Colosseum to check that out. This morning, I purchased a “Roma Pass” per recommendation from a friend of mine who had just visited Rome. The deal gives you free admission (with no wait) to two museums or archaeological sites in the city, along with an unlimited access pass to the city buses and metro for only €18.
Since we all had those passes, we walked right past the line and into the Colosseum. That visit itself was worth the money spent on the pass, since admission to the Colosseum without the Roma Pass was €11, and I would have gladly paid €7 to avoid waiting over an hour in line. The Colosseum wasn’t much different from the last time I visited, but I enjoyed walking around with all the folks who had never seen it. After leaving the Colosseum, we walked back through the Forum to the Capitoline Museum in the Campidoglio, a new experience for me. We got in free with the passes, and then browsed the collection of ancient artifacts they have on display. Most notable of all were the original “she-wolf” statue of Romulus and Remus and the colossal head of Constantine.
Aside from that, we leisurely browsed through the other works they had there. From there, we walked down to the Piazza Venezia to try to catch a bus back to the hotel. Little did we know that it would take us close to an hour just to find the “right” bus, which didn’t take us within a mile of our hotel. At least I had a few companions to make the walk entertaining. We grabbed dinner tonight at a bar/grill a few blocks away, and I am just now getting ready to settle in for the night. Tomorrow’s festivities include a trip to the Borghese Gallery and a walking tour of the churches of Rome. Enjoy the picture updates for now…I have put up a few images that I churned through Photoshop, so pay close attention to those. Have a wonderful day!