Rome, the Eternal City. It never gets old. Or, at least, all the old things in it never change. What is perhaps most impressive about the city is the casual air with which it operates—Romans nonchalantly walk amongst bits and pieces of marble columns, stroll along giant buildings erected during the time of Fascism, ride their little Vespas past churches built in the 1500’s, eat dinner at a restaurant whose walls are 1,920 years old, and then end their nights going to concerts staged on top of the Roman Forum. Not too shabby.
During our time, we ate gelato while ambling by the Coliseum and sipped our coffees with a view to the Circus Maximus. We stepped on Rome’s old, original roads and took photos next to structures dating back to 500 B.C. with our phones from 2016 A.D.. We inhaled ancient air and exhaled it into modernity. (Okay, perhaps I’m getting a bit poetic, but Rome inspires me with such a spirit I can hardly help it!). In short, when we were in Rome, we did as the Romans do.
It is a privilege, for those who study the Classics, to be able to occupy the same space as senators and emperors, to be standing on the hill where two brothers of legend once laid the first walls of Rome’s foundation. It is a further privilege to be able to glimpse ancient life through the eyes of the literature of the period and then to learn in great detail about the architectural structures throughout the city mentioned in those same literary pages.
All of our students have written a reflection on their time in Rome, and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to read about our experience through the eyes of those who lived it first-hand.