I just have to say, the Pantheon is cold. We met outside at 09h00 for class and it was fortunately still quite quiet. We had our discussion inside, standing under the oculus for almost two hours and I have to say, it is drafty and cold. All that marble is not good for insulation. Anyway, the tourist groups finally started arriving around 10h45 so we made our way outside and to the Ara Pacis Museum along the Tiber, maybe 10 minutes away.
The Ara Pacis, built in 13 BCE by Augustus as a sacrificial shrine and officially dedicated by the Senate in 9 BCE, is one of the older monuments we’ll be covering this quarter. Housed in the recently built (c. 2006) museum, the shrine as it is today is mostly a reconstruction from 1937-38, using fragments of the original marble shrine and replicas of the larger pieces housed in the Louvre and the Royal Collection in London.
We had planned on walking over to Piazza del Popolo after class, but as it was just before 12h30 when we finished, almost everything was shut down for siesta and we elected to walk back home instead. Spent the rest of the evening studying and working on things for class tomorrow – including booking my train ticket back from Venice at the conclusion of the program… Apparently they provide us a train ticket to Venice, but we have to make our own way back. As it were, we were able to move my flight up from 7 June to the evening of 3 June – the last day of our program. So I’ll be taking the fast train back from Venice to Rome, arriving around 15h15, getting my luggage from the Rome Center and signing myself out before catching at 20h45 flight to London-Heathrow (assuming this volcanic ash issue resolves itself), spending the night in the British Airways lounge and flying home at 08h20 the next morning, connecting in Los Angeles again, and arriving home sometime around 23h00 on the night of the 4th. I can see it now: longest two days of my life, but I’m excited to think about what it will be like when I get back to Seattle.