On 7th April 2017 Dr Lawell and Ms Sanchez accompanied 16 Latin students to Rome. The Eternal City was ablaze with glorious Easter sun which made the places in which Dr Lawell gave tours even more spectacular. Students gained an insight into ancient Rome by exploring the Roman Forum or market-place; the Palatine hill where the emperors dwelled, which gives us the word “palace” in English; as well as the iconic Colosseum and the Pantheon.
Students have been studying Virgil’s Aeneid at A Level this year and were able to see the places associated with Book 10, including the Temple of Hercules, where Blue Coat Latinists were treated to a Latin recitation by Dr Lawell; they also got to see the spots where Cicero delivered the legal defence for Milo, a text which they also are studying this year. A day trip to the ruins of Ostia Antica gave a glimpse into an ancient Roman city and port.
Being in Rome during Holy Week also provided an insight into the Christian heritage of Rome – visiting St Peter’s Basilica, climbing the dome, seeing Michelangelo’s works in the Sistine Chapel, and visiting the ancient Catacombs were fascinating experiences. The Renaissance glory of Rome in Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain (with the obligatory coin thrown in!) were other examples of the numerous splendours Rome has to offer. As well as being a highly educational trip, the quantities of ice-cream, pizza, coffee and pasta consumed proved that modern Rome can match the ancient city in the experiences it provides.
As one student said: “Although after visiting other cities I felt I had seen all there is to see, Rome has so much to offer that I feel I am only just beginning after this trip to explore all it has to offer.” A good enough reason to return again soon to further explore! Students said arrivederci to Rome on Tuesday 11 April after an extremely rewarding and enjoyable trip.