29 October 2018
In the second week of half term, a party of 67 boys and eight staff travelled to Italy to see a large range of classical sites in Rome and the Bay of Naples.
It was a packed programme including the Colosseum, the Palatine, Forum Romanum, Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Naples Archaeological Museum, the last of which has perhaps the finest collection of classical artefacts of any museum in the world.
However, there were also a range of less well known sites, which were just as compelling: the Ara Pacis, a big marble altar and the finest illustration of Augustan propaganda to survive, proclaiming the benefits of Augustan Peace; the newly excavated houses close to Trajan's column; Ostia, the atmospheric port of ancient Rome with its excellently preserved housing; the imperial dining cave and its sculptures of Odysseus at Sperlonga, where Sejanus saved the emperor Tiberius' life in a rock-fall; the amphitheatre at Capua, where Spartacus' revolt originated; and perhaps most evocative of all, the Greek temples at Paestum, bathed in sunlight from a completely blue sky on the day of our visit.
Indeed we were fortunate to enjoy fantastic weather throughout, which helped us to enjoy superb ice creams in both Rome and Sorrento.