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We’re excited once again to be filming for Ancient Rome Live! 

The initial reopening of Rome has begun to crescendo.  Tourists are beginning to trickle in, and it’s been incredible to see the reopening of museums after their closure in early March.  Of course the experience is greatly changed, especially as there is a new layer of health and security protocols (e.g., mandatory masks, obligatory small numbers of entry per day, entry by reservation only, and a mandatory temperature check!).  

June 1 was a real triumph for the Institute, as we finally could put into effect our permission to film inside the Museo Nazionale Romano museums. There are four museums, and we started with Palazzo Altemps, just north of Piazza Navona.  It was a stunning day to film the collection, when the museum is still closed to the public.

The Colosseum also reopened last week, and Darius was one of the first to visit it on June 2.  The time inside the monument is limited to 45 minutes, and you are accompanied the whole time. Still, it feels as if you have rented out the venue for a private stroll!  It is worth underlining that the Parco Colosseo office implores you to visit now more than ever, to enjoy the Colosseum under such unique circumstances, with only 600 entries per day (versus the summer crowds of 20,000-30,000  per day).

Darius also was specially invited by the Vatican Museums to explore the whole collection with 9 people a few days before the June 3 reopening to the public.  Darius and the AIRC team shared a lot of the content on the various social media channels (FB, Twitter, IG) for such an auspicious moment. It really is a great time to explore the museums, especially if you are already in Italy.  The inundation of people that normally fills the halls are gone.  The experience is once again intimate and awe-inspiring, without the perspiring from the heat generated from the crowds! 

Finally, this week the Pantheon opens up June 9, after 3 months of closure!  Although many other churches have already opened up, the Pantheon has been lagging behind, in part because it doesn’t serve a local community the way that so many churches in Rome do.  When it does open up finally, it, too, has its new entry procedures in place, for visitors to enter and admire, always with the new limitations of numbers and a temperature check.  You can watch the following videos to learn about the Pantheon’s history and what it feels like to be inside this unique Roman monument. 

These museums represent the new normal for now in Rome.  Many in our audience have asked us about visiting Rome and Italy at this time.   It’s best to check with your home country’s assessment, as well as your airlines. Italy is continually changing its own requirements from visitors, so do keep yourselves informed before traveling. We do hope that you are able to take advantage of the small crowds, should you be able to make it to Rome.  No matter what, please keep in mind that Ancient Rome Live and this weekly blog serve as learning resources for you before, during, and after you travel to Rome to foster discussion and provide fresh insights on ancient Rome and its legacy.