Let’s face it; these days everywhere is becoming modern, especially major cities. This leaves a particularly terrible taste when you are trying to find all of the adventures that the ancient roman world had to offer instead of the current modern Rome. Sure Rome has plenty of really old catacombs and churches, but does that really represent the life and livelihood of the Roman world from two millennia ago?
So what kind of things can we find in Rome that lets us get a feel of the world Rome had to offer so many years ago? Well, let’s take a little Roman tour of our own.
Looking to get a feel of how the coliseum was like centuries ago? Well instead of visiting the now deadened and demolished coliseum itself you can actually head over to the Gladiator training schools where they will actually teach you how to use the ancient weaponry the gladiators in the coliseum were forced to use, and then you even get to have mock battles. If you are really up to experiencing the life of an ancient gladiator then you can even do their two month long course in which you are then certified to assist as a gladiator in mock battles that the company puts on. And that is just a little touch of the fully immersive experience of ancient Rome. You even get sandals and loincloths to wear.
The Ancient Seaport
If you are looking for more of the business and trader aspect of ancient Rome, then there probably isn’t a better place than Ostia Antica. This harbor and seaport area has been left untouched by the world for nearly eighteen centuries and only recently has become active again. This means much of the streets and port existence of the area has been kept, but now it is actually lively with business! Which means you can walk down the streets of this quaint little area and feel as though you are walking down the same seaport area from centuries ago. There is truly nothing better!
Taking the Sacred Way
The Appian Way is probably the most known road that quite literally was the original road that led to Rome, and all over it. It is a wonderful spot to travel along, but this focus is on a part of that road this is called Via Sacra or the sacred way. It runs along the side of the Palatine and Circus Maximus and was the main street that ran through ancient Rome. This means just traveling along this road provides you with an open atmosphere of the world many other Romans from years ago had traveled. It even passes through the main forum which is filled with all sorts of temples and constructions that are rather well preserved in many cases. This walk manages to provide not only a military march reveal to you, but also shows you some of the more legal buildings and walks that officials often had to make, especially in the Roman Forum.
The Volcanic City
Although Pompeii happens to be situated outside of Rome itself, it is the perfect place to obtain a preservation of the Roman life considering most of it was kept within the confines of volcanic rock and ash until the last few centuries. Much of the world of Pompeii and the city from ancient times that has been dug up shows off exactly how Romans even lived back then, which makes this volcanic city the perfect stop. You’ll be able to see much of the inner city life through the leftover bodies, and in some cases even what they had been working on. When Pompeii was dug up, they even managed to discover bread still burnt and left in their ovens. If this doesn’t give you an idea of Roman family life, you won’t find it much else where! You can often find Pompeii tours from Rome, just by looking it up.
Of course exposing yourself to the many churches, crypts and all over Rome will help you round out your exploration of Ancient Rome, but this should give you more than a basic experience for the ancient Roman world and in many cases a fun experience that is more than just walking around churches needing to be silent. So get out there and have some fun going back in time!
Sarah Murphy has worked in Dublin for the last two years as a blogger, web content manager and marketing coordinator. A journalist by training and travel junkie by nature, she regularly travels to Italy for both business and to experience some of the Rome tours, where she mostly spends her time in search of the perfect gelato.