I saw a lot today, so there are many pictures! We had to visit all the Imperial Fora today because Madonna is apparently planning on filming a music video there and the sites will be inaccessible for a while. We started at Trajan’s Column (the inscription of which indicates that it was an indicator of how high the hill had been that Trajan cleared for his forum; it was later also used as a tomb monument) and the Forum of Trajan, then visited the Forum of Caesar. Next up was the Templum Pacis (Vespasian’s Forum), although we did not visit the marble plan (I hope we see that when we are talking about the Severans). We saw the Forum of Nerva (the two sides of which, having been dissected by the Via Dei Fori Imperiali, are connected by a nifty tunnel), then viewed the Forum of Augustus from the street. The remains of the Temple of Mars Ultor are quite impressive to see, and we discussed how the statuary program is a visual counterpart to Book 6 of The Aeneid.
We finished off our day with a visit to the Palazzo Massimo near the Termini train station. This is a neat museum, full of gorgeous statues, wall paintings, and mosaics! I had to go back on my own (after lunch at McDonald’s) to see everything I wanted to see. A few of my favorites to see: the Augustus as Pontifex Maximus, the painting on the garden room of the Villa of Livia from Prima Porta, the paintings on the walls of the Villa Farnesina (probably owned by Marcus Agrippa), and pretty much all the mosaics. I had a little trouble getting the right bus back to the Centro, but eventually made it okay.
For dinner tonight, we had arugula salad, a rice dish, and (I think) veal chops and sautéed greens (and more of the wine I bought), followed by a yummy apple cake.