I’ve always been fascinated with Roma, the eternal city. It’s perhaps the one place in the world where turning the corner on centuries-old cobblestone streets opens up a vista of over two millennia’s worth of history in a single view. Rome hums, its urban development layered one on top of the other, connecting the past to today in striking ways that made ancient Rome feel closer to where I am now.
I don’t want to make this a trip report, detailing every single minute of every moment during my time there; I think the photos do enough of the heavy lifting, and communicate far more than anything I could say about them.
I knew when I got to Rome I’d invariably love the food. But the food was so. Good. I feel like I can still taste the carbonara (and I miss it dearly).
The heart of ancient Rome was concentrated on and around the Capitoline and Palatine hills (I can finally tell the difference, Professor Trimble!). The views from the Capitoline Museum are everything. Our visit to the Flavian Amphitheater was also a highlight; our tour guide Francesca truly made the trip come alive in so many unexpectedly thoughtful ways.
Speaking of the Capitoline, the museums we visited were gorgeous. The Capitoline, the Palazzo Massimo, and the Ara Pacis were all incredible spaces.
The Vatican was breathtaking. It was one thing to write about the Augustus Prima Porta; to see it in person, every wrinkle in the fabric, every embellishment, is an unreal feeling. And walking into the St. Peter’s Basilica truly made me emotional.
Visiting Ostia seemed like a fitting end to the trip. Bringing the scale down from the larger-than-life nature of Rome proper, Ostia felt like an everyday slice of ancient Rome.
It’s taken me a while to really think about what this trip has meant to me: I spent seven days altogether in Rome, but my heart has been there ever since. I think Francesca summed up the trip best when she said, “These are your streets. These are your stones. These are your stories.”
I’ve thought long and hard about her words and what it means to lay claim to this history, and I still don’t think I have the perfect answer for it. But my, what a wonderful view to look at while I think about it.
Until next time,