KCL Classics comes to Rome

In December 2015 the Classics department of King’s College London organised a visit (the department’s annual ‘Rumble Trip’) to Rome for its students. We were delighted to be able to host the group and organise ‘unique and privileged access to Rome’s archaeological highlights’. This week’s blog is a re-post of the group’s report on the trip. We hope to see many of you return in the future!

‘The 2015-16 academic year saw the Department’s first Rumble Trip to Italy: from 13 to 17 December 2015 a group of some 20 students departed for a jam-packed tour of Rome.

As with all departmental Rumble Trips, the full costs of this trip were covered by the Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund. Staying right in the heart of the city, students were given unique and privileged access to Rome’s archaeological highlights; a series of tours and visits were arranged in collaboration with the British School at Rome. This year, the Rumble trip was led in close conjunction with our undergraduate modules on Roman Art, and guided by Dr Michael Squire and Dr John Pearce.

Group photo of students on Rumble Fund Trip 2015-16

Students were able to enjoy the many splendours that Rome has to offer, and the city looked especially stunning with its Christmas lights and festive windows. Not only did students enjoy specially arranged seminars and a lecture at the British School at Rome, they were also given privileged access to monuments and sites usually closed to the public (including the Mausoleum of Augustus, parts of the Castel Sant’ Angelo and the Vatican Necropolis). The trip took in many highlights – including numerous museums (the Palazzo Massimo, Musei Capitolini, Palazzo Valentini, the Ara Pacis Museum and Palazzo Altemps), as well as all the most important archaeological sites (and ice-cream shops!) in the city.

Student posing with statues

For a brief report on the trip by one of our students, please see Pippa Leon’s diary. This year, for the first time, we also established a hashtag for students to post their pictures and comments: tweets, photos and posts can be found under the hashtag #kclrumblerome, or through the Facebook group.

Students and staff in the department are hugely grateful to everyone who made the trip such a success, not least to the British School at Rome and its Director, Prof. Christopher Smith. Above all, we are grateful to our former student who established the Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund in 2012.

Students in front of statues

Plans for the 2016–2017 Rumble Trip are now well underway: the department will be returning to Greece, in connection with undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the Classical Art of the Body.

Student giving a presentation

Staff and students are hugely proud of the fully subsidised learning opportunities that the Rumble Fund facilitates: King’s is currently the only Classics Department in Britain to offer such extended fieldtrips to Classical lands, integrated within our programme of undergraduate/graduate modules, and without any cost to our students. Similar trips to Classical lands – accompanied by departmental teaching staff, and integrated within our Classical archaeology modules – are offered each year, and are open to all King’s BA and/or MA students free of charge. For further information about the Rumble Fund, or to find out about other initiatives within our Classical art history teaching programme, please contact Dr Michael Squire.’