Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Rome: the Ancient City

Rome. Beautiful. Exciting. Ancient.
Last month I went on a tour of Italy which began in Venice, continued on to Rome and ended in Florence. It was the trip of a lifetime… which I would happily repeat again. As a student of Ancient History, Rome for me was a truly inspirational experience. Walking down the streets of Rome you’re welcomed by a variety of ancient buildings on every corner. One corner could present a roman forum such as Trajan’s forum, whilst another could present a basilica featuring paintings by Michael Angelo.  This is why I loved Rome.

The Magnificent Museum
When walking around Rome I came across a small museum on the side of the road. Upon entering the museum there were a few artefacts, such as columns, a few amphorae, and inscribed tablets. As I made my way to the back of the museum I was transported back in time to the forum of Trajan, 112 AD (Historvius, unknown). I was astonished by the old forum as so much had survived over the years. When in the forum the views over looked the ‘Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II.’ The monument is said to have begun construction in 1885 where Roman ruins and medieval churches were unfortunately destroyed (A view on cities, 2016).

Trajans Forum 
The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain was one of the must see places on my list for visiting Rome. The fountain is so beautiful and as you look up at the work in front of you, you become speechless. In traditional tourist fashion I participated in the throwing the coin over my shoulder to gain good luck. However, the amount of people present at the fountain made this difficult so I would recommend visiting early in the morning if you don’t wish to throw your coin over others before it lands in the water.

Trevi Fountain 
Exploring the Roman Colosseum
During my visit I went to the Roman colosseum, I was blown away by the beauty of the building.  Standing at the highest level open to tourists I was left dumbstruck as I looked down on to the arena where so many men had died. From gladiator fights to executions, from animal spectacles to religious gatherings, so much had happened in this building. Whilst standing inside the colosseum my mother turned to me and said “I feel like I am standing on a grave of men, imagine how much fear they must have had.” She didn’t enjoy the colosseum for this feeling of unease at what had happened here. I think this highlights the mixed emotions people feel when standing inside this incredible arena.    

Climbing Castel Sant’Angelo
I loved my walk around the Castel Sant’Angelo. Every turn you were in a different room, either filled with walls painted with a variety of images or full of old muskets, attire and swords. The views from the Castel were spectacular. Rome was so beautiful from this view. The Castel resides close to the Vatican City, when exploring the Vatican City I was upset by how quickly they move you through the rooms you want to stay in. Myself and the tourists around me were herded through the Sistine chapel like cattle. I thought the Vatican would be an amazing experience, but as we were pushed through lavishly decorated rooms by hundreds of tourists. I would never go back to the Vatican City but I am glad I got to view it once.

View from the Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo 
Ancient Remains
Opposite the colosseum stood a variety of Roman buildings such as temples as well as the main forum. Walking round I started to feel like a roman wondering about these large buildings, some of which still retained their original paint work. I loved every minute. I recommend doing this exploring during the morning or later in the afternoon as it can get very hot… and definitely wear trainers. 
Roman Forum

Temples in the Forum 

Vatican City 

The Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon 
Our visit to the Pantheon was short and sweet. The striking church is covered in beautiful mosaics and decorations that glistened in the sun. The church was dedicated to the worship of every god, pan- meaning every, theon- meaning divinity, and it was built by Emperor Hadrian during 118 to 125 A.D. (Turismoroma, unknown). The queue was very short we were inside within 5 minutes. Once inside the pianist filled the church with music which made the place feel alive. The Pantheon is one large room allowing you to view it easily despite the large groups of other tourists. I really recommend taking a stroll to the Pantheon, it’s a truly fascinating building.
Outside the Pantheon

Unknown (2016) Forum of Trajan. Available at: (Accessed: 28 September 2016).
      Van Ermengem, K. (2016) Victor Emmanuel II monument, Rome. Available at: (Accessed: 28 September 2016).
     Unknown (2016b) Pantheon. Available at: (Accessed: 28 September 2016).
·         Photographs were all taken by myself. 

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