Travel Journal – Rome, Days Eight and Nine (Final Days!)

Most of our second last day in Rome was spent exploring the ruins by the Coliseum, namely the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. As noted in my previous post,a ticket for the Coliseum also allows you to visit the ruins and allows admittance over two days.

Palatine Hill Arch

I loved checking out all the arches, columns and temple ruins that are still standing till this day. Some of these arches and columns are so tall, it makes you wonder what the buildings they were part of must have looked like in their heyday.

There were also some frescoes still visible upon the walls. Even back then, artists incorporated those simple little five or four petal flowers that schoolkids would draw today.

Palatine Hill Fresco

The Palatine Hill and Roman Forum was where many of the ancient Government buildings and temples were as well as where most of the important (and wealthy!) denizens of ancient Rome lived which explained why the ruins of so many of these structures left standing can be found here until today. According to legend, the Palatine Hill is the place where the she-wolf suckled the twin infants Romulus and Remus. When the boys were older, they killed their great-uncle, who had taken the throne from their grandfather, and decided to set up their new city but quarreled over where the city should be built. Romulus ended up slaying Remus and named the new city on Palatine Hill after himself.

It was an incredibly hot day! Check out the brilliant blue sky over the ruins!

Temple of Castor and Pollux arches

Roman Arch

 

Ancient Roman Ruin

It was so hot and dusty among the ruins, we were glad to get to some cool shade in Nero’s Cryptoporticus. The name sounds dodgy, as if this was Nero’s crypt, but cryptoporticus actually just means a semi-subterranean shaded or covered corridor.

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There was plenty of restoration work going on and although I would be keen to return and see what the restoration would look like, particularly with places such as the House of Livia (a highly influential and truly modern woman from all accounts), I wonder if we would be able to tell later on which parts of the buildings were truly ancient ruins and which parts are the modern restorations!

We didn’t have a guided tour but we did listen in on some of the tour groups walking around and there were many signs placed around the area to explain what certain structures were. If you have the time (as well as the stamina for all that walking – some tours could last as long as three hours although I’m pretty sure there are shorter ones as well), I would recommend taking a tour though as the bits and pieces we overheard were really interesting.

As these were mainly mansions of the rich, it’s no surprised much of the area is built on a hill with breathtaking views of Rome.

Roman Ruins

We were pretty tired after so much walking through the ruins. After lunch, we headed back to our hotel for showers and a quick siesta before returning to Trastevere for our final aperitivos and a huge pasta dinner!

We ended up sleeping in the next day and hurried to pack our bags and grab a quick toasted panini for lunch before it was time to head to the airport and embark on the start of our two-day flight home!

Italy Collage

Arrivederci, Italy!

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