I certainly had a good night sleep from all the walking I did yesterday and ready to walk some more today. I decided to have breakfast in one of the many cafes at the city center; the starting point of today’s itinerary.
Campidoglio or Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills in Rome and this is the citadel of ancient Rome. The Hill and the Temple of Jupiter in it represents Rome’s power as they call it then caput mundi (capital of the world).
Going up, one has to go through cordonata; a broad flight of stairs adorned with statues of an Egyptian lion at the base and on top,Castor and Pollux. This leads you up to Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelagelo. The piazza is home to two museums Palazzo Nuovo, which is the oldest public museum in the world and Palazzo dei Consevatori. In the heart of the piazza is the Palazzo Senatorio which is still being used today to hold Rome’s city council meetings.
Just beside the Campidoglio is the Il Vittorio, a monument to honor Victor Emanuele, the first king of a unified Italy. Built out of pure white marble featuring a grand staircase, Corinthian columns, fountain, a statue of Vittorio Emanuele and two statues of the goddess Victoria. The construction of the monument created a lot of controversy since building it means destroying a large portion of the Capitoline Hill. This led to several irreverent nicknames such as: the wedding cake, false teeth and typewriter. Today, the Il Vittorio also stands as a memorial for an unknown soldier of World War I.
From the Capitoline Hill and Il Vittorio, walk a bit further and here the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) appear in your very eyes. The Roman forums is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The Romans called it Foro for the central square of urban settlement. In those days it is here where the crowds would gather to hear meetings done by the orators, witness criminal trials, discuss politics, latest military campaigns or simply chat with each other most likely about the gladiatorial games or races; activities which the Romans are particularly fond of.
In here, the ruins of ancient Rome come to life and instantly my mind wanders how spectacular it must have been. The Roman forum is a vast area of temples, basilicas and arches all in ruins. It took me a good two hours to roam around the Foro and just marveled at the history that is in front of me. There is an admission charge for the Foro but it will also cover for the Colosso and Palatino. The entrance starts at the Arch of Septimus Severus and ends near the Arch of Titus. As I approached the latter, I can see the monumental Colosseo beckoning me to visit her again but there is just one more place I have to see, the Palatino or the Palatine Hill is the centermost of Rome’s seven hills and is one of the most ancient areas in Rome. In mythology, Palatine Hill is the location where Romulus and Remus has been adopted and raised by a she-wolf. According to the mythology, “Rome” got its name from Romulus.
Palatine Hill became a fashionable place to live during Rome’s republican era because of the magnificent view it offers. It stands about 70 meters (230ft) above the city. The ruins found in here are gardens and houses belonging once to Augustus, Cicero, Marc Antony and other Roman emperors. According to Roman history, once upon a time, the entire hill was covered with imperial palaces. If I could turn back time, I would have loved to be here.