From his former neighborhood to the place where he met his demise, walking tour in the footsteps of Rome's most famous leader!
To tour Caesar's Rome requires imagination. Many of the iconic structures that comes to mind when one thinks of Rome—The Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Baths of Caracalla—hadn't been built when Caesar ruled, and many of the important features of his daily life have long since been buried beneath the growing city. But the archaeological hints that remain transport visitors into the footsteps of one of history's most heralded and controversial figures. Rome is the hometown of famous artists to many notables but none changed its course more than Julius Caesar, the shrewd military leader and politician who greatly expanded the Roman Empire and eventually become its self-appointed dictator, paving the way for the imperial system.
Julius Caesar was born in Rome, on either the 12 or 13 of July in 100 B.C. Through a combination of political savvy, charisma and backhanded dealings, he quickly rose to power, becoming dictator of Rome in 49 B.C. after emerging victorious from a civil war. As dictator he instituted a number of reforms, from expanding who could be considered a Roman citizen to changing the Roman calendar, but his brief reign came to a bloody end when he was stabbed by a group of Roman senators in Pompey's Theater on March 15, 44 B.C.
Walkingin the footsteps of one of the greatest leader in ancient history. We will visit the Suburra, the area where Gaius Julius Caesar was born, visit the roman forum, the sacred area of Largo Argentina where once stood the theatre of Pompey where Caesar was assassinated. Pompey's Theater is long gone (ruins have been incorporated into other structures) but the busy square Largo de Torre Argentina stands where the theater once was. Our tour will end with a traditional roman lunch to a restaurant where we can see some of the reaminings of Pompey's Teatre, on the underground leve.
- Suburra: Caesar died the most powerful man in an empire, but he wasn't always afforded a life of luxury. He was born into an poor noble family in the Roman slums of Suburra, and returned to live there as a young man. Monti is the Roman neighborhood which now occupies the area where Suburra once stood, located between the Via Cavour and Via Nazionale, east of the Roman Forum.
- The Forum: Caesar, being a member of Roman political life, would have spent a great deal of his time in and around the Forum. After he rose to power, he even began to change the landscape of the Forum itself by planning and constructing several new buildings and monuments. One such building was the Basilica Julia, the construction of which began in 54 BC. Caesar reorganized the Roman Forum to make way for this massive and ornate basilica, dedicated in his honor, tearing down the Forum's exisiting basilica (the Basilica Sempronia, built in 169 B.C.). In the forum we will aslo visit the Temple of Caesar (Aedes Divus Iulius or Templum Divi Iuli), built after Caesar's death by Augustus, when he was deified by the Senate of Rome.
- Theater of Marcellus: when Caesar defeated his rival, Pompey, in Rome's civil war, he set out to build a theater that would dwarf the Pompey Theater, which Pompey had built in 55 BC. So Caesar cleared land space for another theater to be built. He never saw the structure completed, however, as he was murdered only a few years into the project. The theater was completed in 13 BC, and it fulfilled Caesar's hope—it became the largest theater in the Roman Empire. Today, ruins of the theater can be seen on the Via del Teatro di Marcello.
- Largo de Torre Argentina: Caesar's death is nearly as legendary as his life. After defeating Pompey and appointing himself Rome's dictator, he continued to consolidate his personal power, angering Romans who felt him a threat to the Republic. When, in 44 B.C., Caesar declared himself dictator for life, factions in the Senate turned against him, deciding that the only way to preserve the Republic was to assassinate Caesar. As legend has it, Caesar ignored several omens that might have helped him avoid his assassination, including a plea from his wife to remain home on the day of his murder. Ignoring these omens, he went to the Senate, where a group of men, including his friend Brutus, waited for him. In Pompey's Theater, on March 15 44 B.C., the conspirators stabbed Caesar to death. Pompey's Theater is long gone (ruins have been incorporated into other structures such as a restaurant where we will end our tour with a typical roman lunch.