|Will outside the Colosseum|
Being close to the centre of the ancient city we started with a tour of one of the most iconic structures in the city, the mighty Colosseum. This is my third visit to this building and it still takes the breath away when considering the engineering that was involved in its construction and the tragedy and drama those long empty stands must have witnessed.
|This is the third time I've been here and I am still amazed by this building|
|The shear scale of the Colosseum is awe inspiring|
|The view of the Palatine Hill and the entrance to the Forum|
From the top of the Colosseum we could see the next sights of our tour of the city. With the Palatine Hill and the remains of the Imperial Palace, the Forum below and the temple of the Vestal Virgins, the Via del Fori Imperial, Mussolini's "get in on the act" contribution that actually destroyed significant archaeology in its building, but that forms a straight route to Trajan's magnificent column and the recently opened Trajan's Market.
|Emperor Augustus with Trajan's Market behind|
|I think this is Trajan receiving homage from captured Dacians, from Trajan's column|
Julius Caesar - Columbia Games
|The end of a great day, playing Dad at Julius Caesar, in Rome, living the dream!|
With Friday morning we were up early to catch the train and bus out to Hadrian's Villa
The day was hot with not a cloud in the sky and the villa being about 20 miles away from Rome is situated in beautiful countryside. With the bird song and quietness compared to Rome it was easy to see why the former emperor had chosen to base himself here.
The ornamental pond leading to Hadrian's party rooms was something that Will had been keen to see after seeing Mary Beard on TV talking about Hadrian and his lovely palace at the side of this pond.
Mary Beard - Hadrian
|The Temple of Venus at Hadrian's Villa|
Day 3 - Ostia (Rome's Port), The Augusts Peace Altar, Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon & The Spanish Steps.
Saturday was going to be a busy day with another train journey out of the city heading towards the coast and the mouth of the River Tiber at Ostia, where the remains of the ancient harbour are to be seen. The peace in Rome under the Emperors was a delicate matter and the populace were kept compliant with games and bread. The grain to make the bread was principally obtained from Egypt and landed at Ostia.
|The road into the ancient Port of Rome - Ostia|
Ostia - The Port of Rome
|The dedication to the Emperors involved in the construction of the trading zone in the city|
The dedication to the Emperors involved in the construction of the trading area was interesting reading as we all took turns in working out the Emperors mentioned. See if you can spot Hadrian, Trajan, Septimius Severus and Marcus Aurelius.
|The elephant mosaic is thought to indicate the trade in ivory from Egypt in this office|
|The theater overlooks the trade area|
One monument that Will was particularly keen to see was the Ara Pacis, which is on first sight a big white box, but in its day was painted in bright colours, the remains of which can still be seen on the original pieces.
Will is studying this altar as part of his classics A' level and seeing the thing in all its glory was an important addition to his studies.
|The Ara Pacis|
Ara Pacis - The Augustus Peace Altar
|Will pictured with the two "bad boys" of the early imperial period|
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
I also wanted to get a picture of the first lady poisoner of Rome, if we are to believe Robert Graves and other Roman commentators, Empress Livia wife to Augustus and mother of Tiberius. I always remember watching the TV series in the seventies and the brilliant performance by Sian Phillips.
|Yours truly with the formidable Livia, wife of Augustus, mother to Tiberius|
The Spanish Steps and ending up at the Trevi Fountain in the darkness of Saturday night and the huge crowds of tourists.
Another full day and by the time we got to our restaurant we were very tired. Still that's what its like when you are on tour and it's a cycle ride down the Apian Way tomorrow.
I hope you have enjoyed this little snapshot of our family trip to classical Rome. Please forgive any major errors in my commentary, I am not a classics scholar, just an enthusiastic amateur. We fly back home on Monday and I will be back next week with more wargame themed posts and an update on the final result of the Julius Caesar Knock Out Challenge.