The Emperor of All Celebrities
One of the summer's major exhibitions in Rome tells the story of Vespasian. 'Il Divo Vespasiano' - Vespasian the Celebrity - celebrates the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of one of the city's more famous emperors.
But then, the Roman Empire had so many rulers.
Actually, there is so much history. When you think of how many ruins have survived, just imagine how much of ancient Rome that present-day Rome has to contend with. The big surprise for the firsttime visitor is that the modern city of Rome seems largely to have been built in, among, around and, of course, on top of the ancient buildings. In many cases, notably with the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the old buildings are still very much alive and kicking.
When you visit the Italian capital, you don't so much need a map as a historical primer. It's impossible to have a grasp of the entire sweep of history but it's worth chewing on a few tasty morsels.
So why not start with the Vespasian exhibition. …