On Sunday a group from my program and I explored the ancient Roman Forum. This past summer, Rome implemented a new initiative to provide free entrance to most state museums, parks and archaeological sites the first Sunday of the month. And just as any college student on a budget who hears of an opportunity that’s—free—we were all on board. We had a late Saturday night out but we all wanted to get to the Forum early to try and avoid the crowds, so the morning was a struggle. But once we entered the grounds none of that mattered. Our grogginess and pain was no match for the wonders of Roman ruins.
I walk by the Forum most days and am always blown away. It is the area I feel closest to the Ancient world. I like to look down onto the Forum and the Colosseum and imagine the broken columns and arches to be resurrected as the city was in its former grand, imposing glory.
But it’s a whole different story when you walk through the floor of the Forum. It was incredible to be inside the ruins, truly close to all the history. For centuries it was the center of Roman life: where trials were held, major speeches were given, gladiatorial matches took place and commercial activity transpired.
We spent the entire afternoon wandering around the property. It was nice to not have a guide or time-restraint, because we got to spend hours looking at our own pace. We got to see breathtaking views from the top of the Forum, get up close to the ruins and really get a sense of the importance of this eternal city.