During our first free day, seven of us visited the San Sebastiano Catacombs. The catacombs were a short bus ride away on the Via Appia Antica. We had a thirty-minute tour of the catacombs and were able to go underground to see the tombs. There were two different types of tombs: Christian rectangular wall tombs (loculi), as well as smaller tombs (colombari) used to house urns. We are not able to see any of bones in the catacombs today because people began to steal the bones, and around thirty years ago, the bones were placed in areas of the catacombs not accessible to the public. Three mausoleums were later built on top of these catacombs and we were also able to see these. Inside the mausoleums there were beautiful frescos. After exiting the catacombs and mausoleums, we saw a sculpture only recently discovered to be the last Bernini sculpture. Next to the sculpture there was an inscription in Latin that we all translated together.
In the evening we saw a British comedy group called The Miracle Players perform in front of the Roman Forum. They performed a short play about the history of Rome from the founding with Romulus and Remus, the Kings period, the Republic, the Empire, until the fall of the Empire. It was called “Rome in a Nutshell.” They have been performing for 15 years, changing the play every year. The play we saw was well put together and funny. We all had a great dinner together after the play and finished the day by watching a movie.
Written by Lily Dillon.