Tuesday, September 24, 1996
We took the bus no. 64 again and drove to the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. This monument towers above the whole city. We surrounded it and climbed the Capitol through the Michelangelo's Steps. There are museums, but the wheather was to fine to go inside. Instead of this we took a first overview look over the Forum Romanum.
We noticed that the Piazza della Bocca della Verità was nearby and so we first went there. Arrived in front of the "mouth of truth" we had to wait for a while, because a big japanese travel group wanted to take their pictures. When they had left, we also could lay our hands in the "mouth of truth". Of course the mouth didn't bite our hands off, because we are honest people!
The Circus Maximus lays between the Aventin and Palatin. In former days it was a place where horse games were organized. We crossed the circus and went to the entrance of the Palatin. The Palatin is one of the seven roman hills. There stood the "cradle" of the city. Nowadays you can see the House of Augustus, several therms and palaces and a stadium.
We crossed the Farnesian Gardens and went down to the Forum Romanum. At first we saw the magnificent Arc of Titus and just beside the Constantin's Church. There are the rests of many old buildings on the Forum Romanum. But because they are very old there isn't left much substance of them. If you want to know how the view in former times was, you may buy a little book in a souvenir-shop. In this book many roman buildings are shown. In overlay technique you can see the differences between now and the former times.
So we could imagine the view of the Temple of Vestals and the House of Vestals. The vestal virgins are allowed to keep the eternal flame and were selected for this honourable service when they were childs. The Curia is the building, where the senate organized commitees, and the Rostra was the speaker's platform. We left the forum after roundabout five hours of visit and so we got a good value for our entrance fee (Lit. 12.000).
Then we saw the Mamertinian Dungeon. Prisoners were kept there in former times. One floor downstairs they were murdered and thrown into a hole which leads to the drain. They say that even Peter and Paul were chained up there.
Once again we walked over the Piazza Navona in the evening and after a day with wonderfull experiences we had our evening meal in a restaurant nearby.