Classics Trip to Rome

We headed off to Rome with 30 pupils who study either Latin, Classical Civilisation or History of Art from Remove up to Upper 6th. We had an early start, leaving for Gatwick at 1.30am, so the coach was very quiet on the way to the airport! When we landed in Italy, we first went to Ostia Antica, the port city of ancient Rome, where the sun was shining and pupils were able to explore the many different surviving buildings of this town, including the impressive theatre.

On the next day, we kicked things off by going to the Colosseum, Rome’s amphitheatre in

which gladiatorial fights, mock naval battles, public executions and animal hunts used to take place – basically, where everything gory happened! The pupils were amazed at the size of the structure and enjoyed looking round this arena which is an important part of the GCSE Classical Civilisation syllabus. We then visited the Roman Forum, along with the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, all of which gave pupils the opportunity to see where Romans would go every day for business deals, worship of the gods, a visit to the senate-house, and so on. We also went to see the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin; just outside this church can be found the Mouth of Truth, which, according to medieval legend, will bite off the hand of any liar who places their hand in its mouth!

On the third day, we set off for the Vatican Museums, which are so extensive that you could easily spend a week wandering round in there. Mr Allen gave pupils an excellent ‘treasure hunt’ of various sculptures, vases and paintings to locate throughout the museum, about which the pupils were incredibly enthusiastic and competitive! Some highlights included seeing Caravaggio’s ‘The Entombment of Christ’, Exekias’ black-figure vase of Achilles and Ajax, and the Augustus of Prima Porta statue, another significant ancient source from the GCSE specification. The weather was not on our side on this day, but we didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits when we went to see the Castel Sant’Angelo and the very impressive Ara Pacis, an altar so big that you can walk inside it!


On our final day, we started with a visit to the Pantheon, a former Roman temple which is now a Catholic church. To this day, this building still has the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome – a pretty impressive feat nearly 2,000 years later! We then headed to the Baths of Caracalla before finishing our trip of sightseeing with a rather spooky visit to the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, which is made up of 12km of underground tunnels.


Throughout the trip we enjoyed plenty of pizza, pasta and gelato, which fuelled the 25,000 steps we managed to walk on a couple of the days! Overall, it was an absolute pleasure to take all the pupils involved, who seemed to really value this time to immerse themselves in a modern city with so much history and culture.

By Miss F Stewart, Head of Classics.

  • DCS Academics
  • DCS Classics
  • DCS Trips