Every year or so, I like to go back to an attraction that I’ve already seen in this city, and revisit it. Every time that I do this, I see something that I hadn’t seen on the previous visit. For this reason, I decided to revisit the Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. I had read that it was possible to visit the House of Livia, located on the Palatine. For the cost of a phone call (you need to reserve a space), and the regular ticket price for admission to the Forum/Palatine Hill (which also gets you into the Colosseum), you are allowed access to this normally closed site, albeit with one of the site’s personnel, who makes it plain that they are not a tour guide, but are simply there to keep an eye on things, and unlock the doors to the spaces. Once inside, you are free to look around on your own for about twenty minutes in each section. I had never done this before, so I called and reserved myself a spot for the noon excursion.
I arrived a little early, which was nice, as I was able to walk around the Palatine Hill area for a while. Not far from the entrance to the park are the remains of the Aqua Claudia — an aqueduct begun by Caligula, and finished by Claudius in 52 AD. For those who have never visited the Palatine/Forum complex — it is vast, to say the least. I have never been able to really take in the whole thing, in one visit. I recommend taking your time, and only exploring as much of it as you can, without wearing yourself out. It is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a major city, when exploring this wonderful site. Of course, at certain spots you can see the city around you, but in others, it’s as if it doesn’t exist. I had time before the appointment to go into the small, but informative Palatine Hill Museum. It’s always fun to encounter one of the Palatine’s current residents!The group that was being taken into Livia’s house, on this particular day, consisted of myself, and one other person, a woman from Germany. That was it! I was astounded that no one else had thought to reserve this for themselves. The entrance is located just past the site where the old house of Romulus sits. As I said before, once we were inside, we were left to roam around as we liked.One exits the house and is almost taken by surprise, at being surrounded by a modern, yet ancient city. I descended the hill, and walked quickly through the Roman Forum, saving that for another day.
Next up: More from the Eternal City!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you enjoyed this post, and would like to see others from Roma, and other Italian destinations, please, visit our archives! Grazie!