Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rome: The Ruins Behind the Colosseum

Out behind the Colosseum are some ruins, there weren’t a lot of signs so Dad and I didn’t really have any idea what we were looking at most of the time, we decided eventually that it was where they kept the animals and where the support staff lived, because there were houses and shops.

Turns out we were looking at the roman forum.
 It’s all a little confusing, because it’s all old, all broken and mostly built on top of older ruins.

There was a big line to get in, but we decided we were italians and just bought and walked past the line. 
I’m not sure what this is, but it’s right next to the Colosseum, looks like it used to have steps going up to it, and drops down pretty seriously just inside the door. 
So, obviously they kept something in there that they didn’t want to get out.

One of the bigger rooms. 
It wasn’t very secure, one whole side of it {The side we’re looking in from} was just gone. 
Of course, that probably happened later.  

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. 
If you want your thing to outlive your civilisation, you make it a stone arch. 
Apparently an earthquake hit this basilica {Basilica of Maxentius} and all the parts that weren’t an arch fell down.

Rome is loud, and we were tired, and I had a cold. 
So when we saw a gate leading to a calm garden with nice views we of course went that way. 
Little did we know that we were on top of an ancient church.

Doesn’t look so scary from up here, does it?

Italian Vignette: Between the columns and the trees lies the main old road to the colosseum.
The Collumns are the Temple of Venus and Roma.

Portrait: Arches, seriously. They are the only things that last. 
Included for scale: Dad.

Portrait: Aw, isn’t that cute. He’s taking a picture with his phone.

Detail: You see the thing with the arches, left hand side? Yeah, that’s what we were on top of a minute ago.

Scene: Santa Francesca Romana.
One of a couple of christian churches.

Detail: The painted walls of an old roman temple.
Tempio di Romulus

  Detail: This is just the fresco in the entry chamber,  there was a bigger more impressive area that was dark and closed off, so I couldn’t go in.
  But what was cool was that to at the top of the stairs to the big area the floor was glass, and underneath was an open sarcophagus. 
  Obviously not prepared by the Egyptians or anybody who knew what they were doing because it was just his bones, but it was very creepy. 
  Too dark to get a picture, though.
Tempio di Romulus

Italian Vignette: I still can’t get over how this church has trees growing on top of it.

Detail: Ruined Ruins.

The only remaining bit of the Temple of Castor and Pollux. 
Yes, the gemini twins.

As we were walking around here Dad said “Wow! This is so cool. What town is this?” 
And I said “…Rome.” 
“Yeah, but what town is THIS, this old part that Rome’s built on top of?” 
“…Rome. Rome is built on itself. It’s REALLY frikkin’ old, Dad.”
Temple of Vesta

Italian Vignette: Broken Columns.

Detail: Details. I really like this bit of wall decoration, it’s pretty.

Scene: The Arch of Septimus Severus.

Detail: Another wall decoration.

Scene Setting: Sign. 
The Santa Maria Project. Estimated to be be completed in 2010-12. 
Photo taken, for the record, in 2013. 
It was still closed. 

Detail: Where the Antique Santa Maria’s columns used to be.

The Santa Maria Antiqua, oldest Christian Church in the area, has trees growing on top of it.

Italian Vignette: I don’t know who these children are or where they came from but I do recognise their hats. 
I recognise them because they had filled up almost the entire bus to Fiesole. 
That was a fun ride. {//Sarcasm}

Scene: The Roman Forum.

Italian Vignette: Temple of Saturn.

Detail: Temple of Saturn.

Portrait: Dad trying to smile, being impressed by the Arch of Septimus Severus, who I think was a character in Harry Potter. 

Detail: Scene depicting, something. Whatever it was it was ornate.

  It’s hard to tell but there’s bunch of arches like this in the forum, and after awhile dad was like
 “What is with all these arches! Were they part of a wall?” And I only had a vague idea but being me it didn’t stop me so I said;
“Well, of course, imagine you’re an ancient roman guy who wants to be remembered. You have a couple of options, Statue on a stick {Another thing we were seeing a lot of} or an Arch. 
 Obviously an Arch is better than a statue on a stick because, first of all it’s going to last forever. 
Second of all it it’s also bigger and more impressive, You can write stuff on it, and do carvings.
If you’re a famous roman dude who wants to be remembered literally forever, this is really the only way to go.”

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And have a nice rest–of–your–day you guys.