Latin Trip to Rome
28 February 2018
During the half-term break, nineteen pupils went on a tour of Rome to explore both its ancient past and busy, modern 21st century present. They explored such important sites as the Flavian Amphitheatre - more popularly known as the Colosseum - and experienced the wealth of historical remains that could be found in the ancient Roman forum. Walking past the ruins of what had once been the Temple of Vesta, the spiritual heart of ancient Rome, they then also saw the temple dedicated to Julius Caesar; it having been erected after his assassination by his heir and Rome's soon-to-be first Emperor, Augustus. They also paid witness to the Rostrum, a site of so many important legal cases argued by the famous Roman advocate, senator and philosopher, Cicero.
The pupils climbed the Palatine and Capitol hills, with their excellent views of both the ancient and modern city; and explored the cultural wealth of Roman artefacts stored in the Capitoline museum - not least of which was the equestrian statue of the Stoic philosopher emperor, Marcus Aurelius - a statue that only survived antiquity and wasn't melted down because Pope Sixtus VI had mistakenly believed it was a portrayal of the first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great! Frequently walking past the more modern monument to Italy's first king, Vittorio Emanuelle II, they explored Rome's streets finding obelisks crafted by the Papacy's favourite sculptor, Bernini, as well as his more famous monument, the Trevi Fountain.
Marvelling at the Republican temple-turned-church-turned royal mausoleum of Italian kings and Renaissance artist Raphael, that is the architecturally impressive Pantheon, they stood in awe of Michelangelo's internationally famous frescoes found in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. The Vatican museums almost had too much to take in, so it was always with a sense of relief that they enjoyed excellent Italian food and ice cream finding just as more pleasure - if not more - in the simpler things in life. The pupils were a pleasure to be among and the whole trip went very well.