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Rome Eternal City and accessible

A dear friend of mine, every time he publishes a photo on instagram he indicates "Rome Eternal City" as the place of the photo.

This seemingly innocuous definition brings my memory back to movies such as Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, and when teachers in school would tell us the story of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus and the founding of Rome.

So I decide to go on an excursion to rediscover and experience this imagery of mine, and I arrange to visit the Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, passing through the Circus Maximus to arrive at the Mouth of Truth.

Rome Eternal and Accessible City: Palatine and Roman Forum

One of the places I have never visited is the Archaeological area of the Roman Forum. For a person who moves in a wheelchair, it is certainly not the easiest place, but I had heard about the opening of an accessible route, which is also indicated on the Park's official website.

I was lucky enough to face this adventure on a beautiful October day in complete solitude, following only my instincts and curiosity prepared to face a real adventure. If, like me, you have motor difficulties, support is necessary. technological or human take your pick.

Due to Covid-19-related restrictions, the entrance is planned for everyone alongside the Colosseum; it is necessary to go up the Via Sacra and you have to overcome a paving stone paving with huge plates and as many "steps." With a lot of patience and just as much help it is perhaps the most difficult stretch to overcome.

The route is not marked by signs but is easily recognizable; the inclines are challenging but it is possible to make it all the way up to the Palatine Hill where the view across Rome is worth the adventure of the climb. They are in the exact center of the 7 hills where tradition has it that Romulus, on April 21, 753 B.C., founded Rome.

The Palatine Stadium, the gardens of the Domus Augustana, the Case Romulee, and the Palatine Museum are just some of the monuments I was able to visit.

Having finished visiting the Palatine area, to exit, I had to go down to the Forum area where there are as many monuments to see and visit: such as the Temple of Vesta with the House of the Vestal Virgins, the Forum Square, and the various basilicas. Next to the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, I followed the small road that leads to the elevator to exit onto Via dei Fori Imperiali.

A word of advice: check before your visit to see if the elevator is working because, during thunderstorms, it seems to have some maintenance problems.

Did you know that - Much of the Colosseum is also accessible thanks to a specific route and elevator. If you have time you can visit both the first and second order.

Rome Eternal and Accessible City:The Circus Maximus

In trying to reach the second leg of my visit, I passed through the Circus Maximus.

Now a venue for events and happenings, the Games with gladiators and quadrigas were once held here, it was a place of markets and trade, but above all it is linked to the founding of Rome and the legend of the Rape of the Sabine Women.

Rome Eternal and Accessible City: The Mouth of Truth

The Medieval Church of Santa Marina in Cosmedin, is the second stop on my visit. Another iconic place of Rome's Eternal City: the place where La Bocca della Verità is kept.

The legend of the Mouth of Truth, which is probably nothing more than an ancient manhole cover, has it that the mouth bites the hand of those who do not tell the truth. Often used by couples to test their partner's true love ;-).

Who does not remember the movie Roman Holiday when Princess Anna (Audrey Hepburn) cries out in fright because she thinks Joe (Gregory Peck) has lost his hand in the Mouth of Truth.

I couldn't resist the temptation and I, too, lined up to have my classic photo taken with my hand stuck in the Mouth of Truth.

 

The accessibility of the Mouth of Truth.

To enter the premises, the entrance is the one next to the sculpture, you will need quite a bit of help because of the step that is quite difficult to climb. The service staff was most efficient because as soon as they saw me approaching the entrance they immediately offered me the help I needed to enter.

After the photo op I recommend you also visit the Medieval Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin which has early Christian origins. In this Greek-rite church there are beautiful floors and under the altar a small Crypt, unfortunately not accessible for wheelchair users.

 

As I exited the Church, I realized that I was in a place all wonder and awe at the beauty it conveys. Next to the Temple of Hercules, the Fountain of the Tritons and the Forum Boarium and behind it the Tiber Island.

But Rome is not only the Eternal City of Romulus and the founding of Rome or the movie Roman Holiday. Rome has always been a meeting place of cultures, peoples, and religions, and what better way to learn about them than through food?

Rome Eternal and Accessible City: New Esquiline Marketplace

Aldo Fabrizi and coda alla vaccinara, for me are connected to the Rome of black-and-white television of the 1960s, and for someone who loves food as much as I do, I can't leave Rome without a food-and-wine visit.

If, like me, you love colors, smells, hearing languages other than your own spoken, you must pay a visit to the Esquiline Market, a modern Suk where you can see and discover foods and products you are not familiar with. Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, ethnic foods, textiles, clothes. You will be spoiled for choice.

The shouts of merchants extolling their products as well as invitations to buy will be unforgettable, and, as in all self-respecting souks, you will find an opportunity to buy something perhaps even negotiating on price.

A fun activity to do here is to hunt for the error on the fruit and vegetable signs: you will discover cikoria, the Latian bieda along with very strange names, of products, fruits or vegetables,perfectly unknown to me whose origin is difficult to recognize.

The motto of this market is "Diversity Element of Life" and is also the title of a work by Street Artist Mauro Sgarbi that colors and brings to life this multi-ethnic space in the Eternal City.

The accessible route signage is not the best, but all the different levels and pavilions of the market are connected with ramps in the central areas.

 

 

Information on the accessibility of the Archaeological Park is available here

I recommend downloading the Park app. Through a geo referenced map and downloadable information you will have a qualified guide at your disposal.

Archaeological Park App
Rome archaeological park app

To sleep V4A Network facilities.

Who in Rome offer Accessible Hospitality are at this link

Want to read more articles from our Accessible Holidays Blog? Look at this link

 

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