In fact in my final year of school our Latin teacher organized a Roman evening for us and I was Atalanta. We rented costumes and the “little ones” (who just started Secondary School had to serve us. Yes the Romans from those days were lying at the table when they were eating!)
|A group photo of all the Latin scholars. I am sitting in the middle in the front row.|
So you can imagine my excitement when we finally arrived in Rome. I wanted to bring this ancient city to life. It was not to be….
There is very little left of the Rome as it was known in those days. Rome is a modern city and the ruins that are left are minimal. One of our excursions included a visit to the Palatine Hill.
|Walking amongst the ruins|
We walked amongst the ruins and as the guide explained the history, I was shedding a tear or two. My life was in ruins…not quite, but you get the drift!
|The Palatine ruins|
The Palatine hill overlooks the Roman Forum on the one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. The views overlooking these are beautiful. In ancient Rome this used the be the modern days “Beverley Hills” – the address for the rich and famous. Many of the Twelve Ceasars called the Palatine their home. One of them was Caligula, who was murdered in the tunnel “Cryptoporticus”. This tunnel is still standing.Others included Hortensius, Cicero, Catiline, Crassus, and Agrippa.
|View from the Palatine Hill|
Many years ago skeptics believed that Romulus was a myth. In the romans mythology, Romulus and Remus were suckled by the famous she-wolf in a cave close to the Palatine Hill. This was also the place where the ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Lupercalia, honoring the saving of Romulus and Remus by the she-wolf. I remember a book that my grandmother had about myths and legends. It was one of my favourite books and I always asked to read it when I visited her.
|Romulus and Remus suckled by the she-wolf.|
About a century ago Rome´s greatest archaeologist, Rodolfo Lanciani, excavated a site on the hill and remains of an Iron Age was discovered. This dated back to the 9th century BC and it supported the belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, lived here.
In 2007 archaeologists discovered a sacred sanctuary dedicated to Romulus and Remus. It was found beneath the House of Augustus, near the Palatine Hill. This sanctuary is now being renovated and I am not sure when this project will be completed and available for the public to view.
While we were walking amongst the ruins we did see archaelogists working. Our guide told us that they are still in the process of discovering things. He also explained that the “new” Rome is built on other cities. City upon city!
You can easily combine a visit to the Colosseum and the Forum with a visit to the Palatine Hill. The buildings on the hill once included palaces of Augustus, Tiberius and Domitian, as well as other important Romans of the period, and a temple dedicated to Apollo.
- Address: Entrances at Piazza del Colosseo and Via di San Gregorio 30, Roman Forum, Rome, 00184
- Phone: 06/39967700
- Cost: €12 (combined ticket with the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Imperial Forums, if used within 2 days), €4.50 Roman Forum and Palatine Hill only
- Hours: Daily 8:30 -7:15 (6:15 last entrance)
- Metro: Colosseo
Visitor Tips: The main entrance of the Palatine Hill is where to go to buy tickets to the Colosseum when the line at the Colosseum is long. Audioguides and guided tours (in English, among other languages) for the Palatine Hill are available, just ask at the entrance. Guides may be useful to help you understand the ruins.