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Classics trip offers invaluable Roman insight

Pupils and staff pose for a photo during their Classics trip to Rome

Pupils studying Classics at GCSE and A-Level visited Rome to appreciate the unparalleled excitement and atmosphere of the city.

Three busy days of walking and exploring museums, ruins and the city as a whole allowed them to enjoy the real Roman experience.

Day one started with a walk to the Ara Pacis, an altar commissioned by the Senate for Augustus as an ‘Altar of Peace’. The students then moved on to the Mausoleum of Augustus. Following over a decade of being closed, the large tomb has been restored and was reopened in March 2021.

After a lunch and ice cream, the classicists wandered back to their hotel via the tourist hotspots of the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

A well-earned sleep meant the travelling party were ready for the second day of their trip. First up was the awe-inspiring Colosseum. The oval amphitheatre is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built and the pupils loved taking in the history of the structure.

The pupils went up the Altare della Patria before tucking into some local cuisine. Walks around Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum gave the group the opportunity to stretch their legs and they concluded the day with a visit to the Capitoline Museum.

The final day started with a trip to the Vatican before they moved onto the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium. On the way to the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome, they passed by the Temple of Portunus and the Theatre of Marcellus.

An afternoon trip to the city’s second largest Roman public baths, the Baths of Caracalla, rounded off an action-packed expedition.

Looking back on the trip, Lower Sixth student Amelie Batey said: “During my GCSEs I loved studying the ancient architecture, such as the temples, so being able to see the sheer scale and size of the temples, like the Pantheon, really conveyed the power of the Roman Empire and the devotion they had for the Gods.

“You could see the development of the city from the time of Romulus all the way to Augustus, and even Mussolini. To be able to view monuments such as the Ara Pacis and Prima Porta with the knowledge gained in my studies gave me such an insight that simply looking at a picture in a textbook could not give you.

“The excitement of being in a city such as Rome is unparalleled and the atmosphere of the city could be seen not only in the architecture but the people too. Three completely packed days of walking and exploring allowed us to have the real Roman experience. Definitely the best trip I’ve ever been on!”