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  • Day348

    Day 349: Filming in Rome

    January 29, 2018 in Vatican City ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Although I generally don't do videos about sites I've already visited, I decided to make an exception for Rome since it's such a noteworthy one. Basically the entire city is part of the listing, and there's just an impossible amount of ground to cover, so I decided we'd focus in on the ancient Roman parts of the listing.

    So we headed out fairly early, sans Schnitzel, and caught the metro then bus to the Colosseum. Fairly crowded here, and people constantly trying to sell you tickets, guided tours and skip the line passes. And of course the usual assortment of people selling selfie sticks and garbage trinkets. But we ignored all that and headed into the Colosseum via the slow line. Shandos hadn't been inside before, though I had, and we did some filming around here. Lots of people again which surprised me given how quiet other parts of Italy were.

    Done with the Colosseum, we decided to grab an early lunch nearby of a couple of paninis. After this we headed into the Roman Forum, the large area of ruins in the centre of town. This was where the old centre of town was located, full of important monuments, buildings, temples, triumphal arches and so on.

    We spent most of the afternoon here, probably around 3.5 hours just exploring and filming. Once you include the Palatine Hill area (which rich citizens and later the Imperial palace was located), there's a huge amount to see. Quite warm in the sun, making me wish I hadn't worn my puffer jacket!

    Eventually finished and headed across the road to Trajan's forum, which was an expansion but also a separate Forum built in the second century AD, when the original forum was basically full. Remember that everything happened here - markets, trading, law courts, political debates, trials, voting, religious rituals. It's difficult to really comprehend how important the Forum was to Roman life since there isn't an easy analogy for us.

    Also spent some time checking out Trajan's column - a large column made of stone that tells the story of emperor Trajan's war against Dacia (in modern day Romania). It's a series of scenes told like a comic book, slowly winding their way up the pillar - very propaganda heavy, but one of the only primary sources we have for the war which is quite interesting.

    Last stop for the day was the Pantheon, probably the most remarkable building of the ancient world. It was built during the reign of Augustus (first decades AD), before collapsing in a fire and being rebuilt by Hadrian a century or so later. It's the oldest domed structure in the world, and still the largest structure built by unreinforced concrete. 43 metres high, and the square interior is also 43m x 43m. Also inside are the tombs of Raphael, Victor Emmanuel II (first king of Italy), and Umberto I (second king of Italy). All up a fascinating building, and I find it amazing that the dome still holds. Even other ancient domes like the Hagia Sofia have collapsed at various points (the current one dates from around 1300 and is the third attempt).

    At this point we called it a day for filming. Shandos wanted to do a bit of shopping for her niece's birthday - I couldn't think of anything worse, so I headed west. The last thing I wanted to see was Castel Sant Angelo, just across the Tiber and adjacent to the Vatican since I'd never seen it before, and since I was so close I decided to walk over and have another look at St Peter's. Just took a couple of photos in the square, rather than go inside again since I've been inside a few times now.

    Headed home via the underground and then the tram - super crowded the entire way since it was now peak hour and getting dark. Schnitzel super happy to see me since he'd been alone all day, poor little guy. Snacked on some leftover pizza before we headed out for our aperitif, then just had some supermarket bits for dinner - meat, cheese, olives and arancini. Completely exhausted - 25,000 steps today!
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