When in Rome

20 Apr 2023

Last month, a group of our Ancient History, Classics and Geography students went on an exciting trip to Italy in March, for an energetic espresso shot of Italian history, art, culture...and of course food!

During the first two days, students stayed in the idyllic coastal town of Sorrento overlooking the Bay of Naples, which included a climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius. Here, students were able to peer down into the enormous crater left by eruptions over the last two thousand years, as well as breath-taking views over the Bay of Naples. The tour guide showcased a fascinating feature of the crater, which echoes like a cave when you make noises near it. After a delicious lunch on the side of the volcano, students explored the ruins of Pompeii; an ancient city frozen in time since 79 AD.

On the third day students went on a road-trip to Rome, passing through the rugged mountains of Circeo National Park, with a short stop on the beach for lunch. Upon arrival, students began sightseeing around some of the city’s most iconic sites, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon.

The final days of the trip centred on Rome’s ancient past, exploring the life of a gladiator at the Colosseum, alongside a tour around the Palatine Hill and Forum, the ancient seat of power in the Roman Empire. After a short stop for lunch, students split into their classes to see more of the city specific to their courses. Geographers walked the banks of the Tiber, the river that has cut through the city for over 2000 years, and explored how the past and present have shaped the modern urban metropolis that is Rome. They finished their trek at the Vatican where they were met by a procession of Templars.

Meanwhile, the Ancient Historians and Classicists ventured into the subterranean caverns of the Domus Aurea. Now buried under the city streets, the “Golden House” was once the opulent palace of the debauched Emperor Nero. Students were given the chance to wander the private rooms of the emperor, which have recently been excavated by archaeologists. Thanks to VR technology, students were able to witness what the palace would have looked like almost 2000 years ago.

The day was finished off with a visit to the Capitoline Museum, which holds some of the most beautiful artefacts from Ancient Rome. There was also a fun competition over who could copy the best statue pose, with the winner getting the first slice of pizza at dinner!

Students return to College with many new enriching experiences from their time in Italy and they made sure to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure they return again in the future!

Take a look at the image gallery below for some memorable images of their Italian adventure.

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