Our tour guide for the day was Dr. Jeffrey Blanchard of Cornell University. He came to Rome 35 years ago and decided to stay. He showed us around different parts of the city and gave a wonderful historical and political base from which to view this magnificent city.
While on Capitoline Hill over by Marcus Aurelis we saw Mary Elizabeth, my niece, my brother’s daughter. My brother Jake is learning along with our group, entertaining us while his daughter is also studying in Rome. It was amazing that his apartment happened to be around the corner from Mary’s school, and it was also incredible that we saw her with her group while we were in the piazza with our group. What are the chances? After our walk we went to a great cafe up at the top of The Victor Emanuelle building, giving us a beautiful view of Rome and a great cup of Cappuccino.
Then on to The Forum. Thinking about the Forum as the city of Rome in ancient times was difficult. I really wanted something in front of me that showed me (visual learner here) what it looked like before. Then I could look up and truly understand the changes that took place from ancient Rome to today. I ended up buying a book that does just that. Ancient Rome was beautiful, colorful, marble. Knowing that it was the center of Roman public life for centuries makes me think about the people who lived there. And not the leaders, or their wives, but those who had to work each day. Today we can just imagine, but I imagine that humans have always worked, loved, learned, worried, and lived their lives the best that they can. These ancient Romans would do this with sandals on their feet and different clothes on their backs, but with the same types of human needs and wants. Today archeologists are still learning about these people through digging in these areas. Giving us foundational information about them that can help us know more about us.