I spent the better part of today’s gray, cold morning exploring the entirety of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Every time I see ruins, I’m fascinated by the idea of all that history, of all those past lives and civilizations. That’s probably why it took me about three hours to walk through the sprawling labyrinth of ruins, because I had to stop to read all the signs, absorb my surroundings, and go inside the Palatine Museum.
In addition to all the ruins your heart could ever desire, thanks to Palatine Hill, you can also get panoramic views of the city and the Forum. It’s too bad the Forum was abandoned during the Middle Ages, because I can only imagine how impressive it must’ve looked in its original state.
Leaving the archeological site was like walking out of the Colosseum; after surrounding yourself by ruins, it’s the strangest feeling to see cars and streets and traffic lights again. If you ever want to immerse yourself in disorientated anachronism, go to Rome.
After lunch, I discovered that it had started raining, so I took shelter inside the Museum Capitolini, although I still maintain that the 15 euro admission fee was a bit of a rip-off. (I bought a ticket online for 14 euros that not only granted me access me to the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill, but also allowed me to skip all the lines.) Don’t get me wrong, the museum was gorgeous, even if I started to get a little creeped out by the endless lines of marble busts: I couldn’t shake off the feeling that they were all staring at me.
Despite my aching feet and shoulder, on my way back, I noticed that whoever said that cities look different in the rain was right: the River Tiber took on this magical van Gogh-Starry Night-quality that my camera didn’t really do justice.