Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum

January 8th

Being around Rome and taking tours with tour guides is always helpful when it comes to absorbing little facts. For instance “palatine” can be interpreted by us as palace. Therefore, Palatine Hill is basically the hill of palaces. We arrived to the hill fairly early because there was still the feeling of briskness in the air. None the less it was a gorgeous morning and it sure beats the snow and cold temperatures of Minnesota. We met our tour guide for the day Alessandra (a real, live archaelogist)! She showed us around and we got to see the House of Augustus (first emperor of Rome) and the House of Livia, Augustus’ wife. At a certain point one could get easily bored because pretty soon everything begins to look the same (I’m talking about the ruins). But what was especially intriguing about today was that we got the opportunity to look at the inside of both the House of Livia, and Augustus, which isn’t open to the public, so this was kind of a big deal. About 5 guards (okay I’m being dramatic they were workers) followed us around. Anyways, I tried to imagine what these palaces would have looked like but also the people which lived in them. Think about someone walking around your house in about two thousand years. Mind boggling right?

Continuing on, just at the bottom or valley of the Palatine Hill is the Roman Forum. Think or imagine ruins EVERYWHERE… seriously ruins galore. There is so MUCH HISTORY in this area that books are written about it. I won’t try and write a book, however I’ll try and sum it up as best as I can. The Via Sacra (Sacred Way) is an ancient road that runs right through the forum. The road was used for the return of Kings and Emperors from across the empire. Now picture yourself standing on this road, the same road ancient people used. These are the experiences we’re having on a day to day basis, and they’re priceless. Like I mentioned earlier there is literally remnants of ancient buildings everywhere you look, it’s like a war zone. Another really cool site we saw in the Forum is Julius Caesar’s resting place. Let’s be honest who hasn’t heard of Julius Caesar.

Already in a week all of us at some point, at some site, have been able to be overwhelmed, amazed and just in plan disbelief of the things we’ve experienced. The amount of history and facts that have been presented to us is un-real. Rome has shaped our modern world more than you would think. We’re getting the chance to see all of these contributions. Incredible.

Now mostly what Angela and I put on here is about the sites we see, but then there is the whole part of the day that doesn’t consist of site seeing. We’re all getting to go on our own adventures together. Whether it’d be grabbing some delicious Italian cuisine, eating gelato, being spontaneous, or trying to find the local grocery store to maybe or maybe not buy and responsibly enjoy Italian vino. These are the times we will remember.

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