Flowers in the Temple of Vesta …

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At last, a really fine walking tour of the Forum … Last two visits, the guide’s accent and my ignorance meant I understood very little of what I was seeing. This time I studied up a great deal, and had an excellent guide in Domenico.

Here, a statue of a vestal virgin at the ruins of the round Temple of Vesta. A number of statues line a large courtyard or atrium surrounded by a two story portico. Six women, chosen as children, who professed chastity guarded the flame in the temple.

The ruins were discovered in 1883. It is awesome to consider that most of what visitors see today was buried for more than a millennium and painstakingly uncovered by archaeologists.

Rome has made the Forum experience much better for tourists, even since 2006. At the Colosseum, there is even a partial reconstruction of the actual flooring, to help imagine the activities of 2,000 years ago.

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