Palatine Hill

May 09, 2013-RomaPalatineStadium-6654

Palatine Hill contains some of the most ancient ruins, compared to the other six hills of Rome.  The Hill is said to have been the location of the cave that Remus and Romulus had been found by the she-wolf that mothered them. The Hill was home to many of the Falvian Dynasty’s palaces (hence the name Palatine), and included the Stadium of Domitian, which was the location of many ancient athletic competitions.


To continue the trend of all the monuments that I have waited this long to see, I went to Palatine Hill and the Forum shortly after waking up in the morning.  As I was walking there, thinking about how stupid it was to wait this long (with all the tourists, etc.), I think I found some sort of peace in the fact that I could tell myself I’d go see the so-in-so monument tomorrow, or next week, or there’s plenty of time to see it.  It had been a sort of relief knowing that I didn’t have to do something just yet, but now that I was actually doing it, I was forced to understand the fact that my time on its way to running dry.

May 09, 2013-RomaPalatineHome-6660 A courtyard in the Domus Augustana – Home of Rome’s first Emperor Augustus

Palatine Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome.  The hill was home to – many homes.  The ruins located on top of the hill include a good number of domus’, another small “stadium/amphitheatre,” and a museum.  I found walking through the ruins of the homes to be extremely interesting, letting my mind wander and try to imagine what it had been like to live during the time and consider the home your own.

May 09, 2013-RomaPalatineSunlight-6664 Another room in the Domus Augustana

May 09, 2013-RomaPalatineTunnel-6681Neroian Cryptoporticus, a 130 meter tunnel connection the Domus Tiberiana and the House of Livia.  Lit only by small ceiling windows that used to reflect off the white stucco

The Forum and Palatine Hill are connected, so I made my way down to the Forum right after.  It was absolutely packed.  The Forum is a place where you really need a guide or guidebook and a solid chunk of time to try and understand what the ruins are.  I walked around rather quickly, dodging the groups of tourists and tours, to check out some of the ruins that we had spoken about in my At Home in Rome course.

May 09, 2013-RomaForum-6697 A view of the Forum from Palatine Hill

May 09, 2013-RomaPalatineFlower-6687All the flowers have just blossomed

May 09, 2013-RomaForumColosseum-6712 The path leading to the Tempio di Venere e Roma (Temple of Venus and Rome) – with a great view of the Colosseum

May 09, 2013-RomaForumColosseum1-6715 The same place that the Pope had stood during Via Crucis

I exited out through the Capitoline Hill area, and wandered around through a small wooded area on the opposite side.  I had now almost seen everything I wanted to see in Rome!

May 09, 2013-RomaForumTemple-6734 Tempio di Antonino e Faustina (Temple of Antonius and Faustina

May 09, 2013-RomaForumTemple1-6738  One of the most commonly seen Forum images, Tempio dei Castori (Temple of Castor and Pollux)

May 09, 2013-RomaBus-6760One of the last rides on Rome’s extremely reliable busses…

After eating a quick lunch at the apartment, Timur, Casey, and I decided to take a walk down to San Paolo (St. Paul Outside the Walls).  The Basilica of St. Paul is noted as one of the most breathtaking in Rome, aside from St. Peter’s.  From the outside, it just looks like a rather large building and the dome itself has been under renovation the majority of our time here.  I run past it ALL the time, but for some reason this was the first time I would finally enter into it – a similar situation to the Colosseum.

May 09, 2013-RomaStPaulsOutside-6772St. Paul Outside the Walls (the entrance courtyard)

May 09, 2013-RomaStPaulsColumns-6774The marble work was beautiful

When you first walk through the gates, a very pleasant looking courtyard greets you with a beautiful golden façade in the back.  The doors to the basilica were commemorated in just 2008, the bimillennial of St. Paul’s death.  Once you walk in, you immediately know why it is held with such esteem.  The cathedral is slightly different than others, but is enormous.  Portraits of all the Popes line the outside edge, and the alter contains the sarcophagus of St. Paul himself, along with part of the shackles that had once constricted him.  Pretty amazing.

May 09, 2013-RomaStPaulsChairs-6783 Hundreds of seats were set up for Mass

May 09, 2013-RomaStPaulsTomb-6787The Tabernacle, behind St. Paul’s Tomb. (See the mosaics of the Pope’s around the top edge)

May 09, 2013-Roma3-6793Where I studied all semester – Roma Tre

May 09, 2013-Roma3Inside-6795 The Interior Courtyard

May 09, 2013-RomaGelato-6797Only three doors from the apartment.. too convenient

With the time running down, I had to get in my last ride (considering I lugged my bike over here).  Ironically enough, I would double flat… thankfully shortly after I had double backed to head south of our apartment.  The rough roads were a little nerve racking to ride on with a rear flat.

IMG_0983I did get to see roughly 50 Lamborghini’s in front of the Vatican on my ride.. they were oddly enough going the same way as me, so I enjoyed weaving around them through the late afternoon traffic.

Our program was hosting it’s farewell gathering that was in conjunction with an expo of one of the class’ projects.  The expo was on their projects that all displayed an aspect of graffiti in the city – great work all around.  After, there was a short presentation that included a video that I made recapping my time in Italy – which was actually a contest.  I was the winner by default (I was the only one who submitted something) and received a great box of Italian treats – Grazie mille, Arcadia!

May 09, 2013-RomaAndrew-6798
May 09, 2013-RomaGrant-6799

May 09, 2013-RomaSam-6814

May 09, 2013-RomaTina-6816

May 09, 2013-RomaGirls-6819

After some refreshments and goodbyes, our program officially concluded – a surreal feeling that no one seemed to want to accept.  A bunch of the students go together a little later to celebrate our little remaining time together.

May 09, 2013-RomaGroup-6834Everyone from the program

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