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109. Night view on the Colosseum from the Palatine

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

By Giulio D'Ercole -

In 2006 Ben Stiller acted in a very funny American movie "Night at the Museum", a fantasy-comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, where animals and human characters came back to life after dark.... amongst them even Roman legionaries.

Well, if you are in Rome, and you want to take a Rome by Night Photo Tour Under the Stars, you'll also have the feeling of traveling in time, and what seems to be only a very old landscape, actually transforms itself in front of your eyes to regain all the splendor, the mystery and the beauty it once had, coming back to life to be properly photographed by you.

So, putting the tripod down, setting it up with the camera pointing at the Colosseum, as a line of powerful columns stands tall on your left side, you will almost see how ancient Rome was 2000 years ago, when soldiers, gladiators and generals walked down towards the Arena.

But where is that you are actually standing? Do you truly and fully realize where you are? What's the name and what's the history behind this road where I took you? Well, you are standing on the Via Sacra, which was the main street of Rome two thousand five hundred years ago, the very same road that led from the top of the Capitoline Hill (at your back), through some of the most important religious sites of the Forum, to the Colosseum.

And this was not just "main street", as it would be called in an American city. This is the most central section of the traditional route of the Roman Triumph that began on the outskirts of the city and proceeded through the Roman Forum. The columns on the left, were established not by anybody but by emperor Nero, the same one that for many centuries has been accused to put Rome on fire.

Here, where we are now taking pictures, many things happened: solemn religious festivals, magnificent triumphs of victorious generals and of course the everyday life with people playing dice, engaging in business, or being secured to justice. Even prostitutes lined up on the via Sacra, looking for potential customers. Rome was an extremely lively, frenzy and vibrant place, with people and goods coming from all over the world, finding here their center, being it the very center: Rome Caput Mundi!

And now, as you are taking your shot...... do you feel like having a Night at the Museum experience?

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