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  • Writer's pictureThe Rivers School

March 11: Day One

We began our first full day with a visit to the Largo Argentina, the site of Julius Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. We broke up into our pods and read details about the assassination in selections from Suetonius' biography of Caesar and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Et tu, Brute

On to the Pantheon, where we marveled at the immense beauty and symmetry of this temple to “all the gods.” It was turned into a Catholic church several hundred years after its construction and has been meticulously cared for since. The temple still boasts the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built and is also the resting place of the famous renaissance artist Raphael. It rained while we were inside the temple and rain cascaded beautifully through the dome's oculus, the circular hole at the top of the structure. 

We then proceeded to explore Piazza Navona, a square that has maintained the horseshoe-shaped contours of the original Circus (a racetrack for horse-drawn chariots). We walked around Bernini's fountain of the four rivers before descending to the subterranean museum below the modern piazza. The museum displays several pieces of the original structure as well as detailed depictions of what the piazza would have looked like in antiquity. 

After a delicious lunch in Rome's Jewish quarter, we ended the day's official visits with a trip to the Capitoline Museums, enjoying its collection of art from various time periods and its equally stunning views of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. 

All-you-can-eat pizza at Re Basilico, a rousing edition of “Happy Birthday” for Henry, and an intense first round of trip trivia capped off a packed and exciting day in Rome. St. Peter's Square and Castel Sant'Angelo tomorrow!


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