Rome Travel Guide

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Magic of Trajan's Market at Night

Baritone in the Great Hall
The views after dark Saturday evening at Trajan's Market (I Mercati di Traiano) were breathtaking.  The market itself was glowing with lights inside.  Add soloists from Teatro del Opera--two arias on different levels of the complex--and the night was magical.

Trajan's Market is an ancient Roman site we've enjoyed for years - mainly from the outside looking in - easy enough from via dei Fori Imperiale.  We have visited the site as paying customers once or twice in the past, always taking pleasure in its vast Roman streets, vistas, archways, rooms, and great hall (not to mention the bathrooms).
The Knights of Malta occupy this gorgeous palazzo and were preparing
for a fancy dinner on the terrazzo.

This time, and for only one Euro, it was simply spectacular. We also got in on the end of a guided tour in very clear Italian. Our guide, standing at the highest outdoor spot in the market, pointed out the places where Michelangelo and Raphaele lived, and where the Knights of Malta still own property (thanks to Pope Pio V from the province of Alessandria, hence the name of the road - now re-opened to pedestrians - and the district, Alessandrina).  He showed as well where 5 Roman castles could be seen - or at least located.  The presentation of photos showing the destruction of this area at the hands of the Fascists was intriguing as well.

This was a special evening. Anyone could take advantage of this well-documented and presented site (explanatory material in both English and Italian) for only one Euro, when the going rate is 13 Euro.

Because the market usually closes at 7.30 pm, only in the dead of winter can one have these wonderful views and the sense that one is stepping into ancient Rome.

Walking Roman roads in the market.
After all the complaining in the papers here about Rome's neglect of tourism, give Rome credit for pulling off this magnificent evening - one of several in April that the museums put on for this low price.


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