Forum of Caesar Light Show
It’s really cool to see where the Romans walked and lived but sometimes hard to imagine. That’s why the light show was so cool! Not only were we in Caesar’s forum, but we also got to see the forum how it was meant to be seen. We walked through the tunnels underneath, almost like in National Treasure. We learned about how many times the neighborhood was destroyed to build, dig, or renovate. We walked into the forum from behind the Temple of Venus. We “crawled” (through the lights) into the temple to see the statues and, through the colonnade, into the forum. We kept walking past the fountain to learn about the shops. They were used by bankers to keep wills, weigh money, and more. We got to see what these shops looked like through the lights on the walls. Before the bankers, these alcoves were schools. We read their graffiti about the Aeneid and saw how kids loved and hated teachers. We also looked at the bathrooms, more columns, the Curia, and more. One of the coolest parts was at the end. We learned about the cremation of Publius Clodius, an event we read about earlier this year in A Murder on the Appian Way! The lights really illuminated how much we know about Rome and how much there is to learn. – Emma Schmidt
The Domus Aurea is one of my favorite parts of the trip due to it being one of the largest structures we go into, but also still being underground. Going through it not only gives you a sense of just how much people and resources the Romans had at their disposal to build a building like that but also how easily said building could simply disappear and be buried underneath something else without anyone being the wiser. The VR section is also really cool because you get to see how much effort the Romans put into the decoration of their buildings which is hard to get a sense of when it is all missing in modern times. – Tristram Coffin
Pompeii and Herculaneum were covered up by Mt. Vesuvius and are only partially excavated. Rome has been built on and built on and built on. In contrast, Ostia Antica was simply deserted after a few centuries. And how better for us to rediscover a still partially intact town than with the TV star and archaeologist Darius Arya. He tooks us through some main attractions like the amphitheater, shopping area, and bakery, but also showed us some hidden gems like an apartment building, a private home with plumbing, and a beautiful mosaic! Our trip through history showed us what a typical Roman town would’ve looked like, what they would’ve done on a typical day, and how much walking they did in one day! It was definitely a highlight of our trip!