Sitting near the Aegean Sea, at the foot of Mt. Orbelos, Philippi is a town regaining it’s footing after the battle that raged through a few months ago, wrecking buildings and the town’s reputation. We all remember that day when Cassius decided, “Then, with your will, go on;/ We’ll along ourselves and meet them at Philippi,” (Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Act 4, Scene 3, Line 256). The army moved out the next day. But since that battle, Antony and Octavius have done a wonderful job of restoring the city to its former glory. Now is the time to explore this beautiful scene and discover Philippi for yourself.

    The theatre at Philippi is one of the largest in the area, having been expanded to hold not just plays, but games as well. The most recent engagement is a run of the Greek comedy Frogs by Aristophanes. Next month, chariot races will be held three days a week, and gladiator fights take place every Tuesday and Thursday.
    The baths at Philippi are spectacular. They are always wonderfully warm and there is often quite a bit of gossip going around. If you go to the baths, not only will you have a relaxing time, you’ll hear about what’s going on in town. Cassius was once heard saying to his friend as they were bathing, “Pluck Casca by the sleeve,/And he will…tell you/What hath proceeded [of] worthy note today,” (Act 1, Scn 2, Ln 189).
There are also beautiful gardens surrounding the baths if you want to go for a walk after your soak. They also have phenomenal massage rooms. There used to be a wonderful walk                                                                                 around the outer edges of the gardens, but part of the path was destroyed when the battle raged through. The people of Philippi are working to repair the damage and restore the walk to its former beauty.

    The main street of Philippi is lined with shops of all sorts. You can find everything from food and cloth to toys and other peculiar items. One of my favorite stores is Messala’s Odds and Ends, a novelty shop with incredibly quirky items for sale: backscratchers and twigs that predict the weather. There are a few great clothing stores along the road, one being Lepidus’ Clothing Emporium. They sell stolas made of the most extravagant imported fabrics, and in the most exotic colors. Although the prices are a bit high, it is definitely worth it to check them out. I think you’ll agree once you see what they have to offer.

    Food in Philippi is delicious; one of my favorite stops is Marcus’ Diner, a back-to-basics eatery with classic food like pheasant and wild boar dishes, as well as amazing cheese and bread selections. Carradonius’ Dishes Fit For the Gods was a wonderful restaurant that was partially destroyed during the fights. Some of the soldiers proceeded to loot the kitchens after a wall was knocked down. The head chef, Timithius, went into a fit of rage, and chased the soldiers out with a wooden spoon. One soldier left with a broken nose, the others with minor bruises.
If you are lucky enough to be invited to one of Catullus’ dinner parties, I would advise not eating much beforehand so you have enough room for all the food that will be served. Catullus always goes to the extremes; he often has six or seven succulent courses, plus wine, cheese, bread and fruit. His couches are elaborately upholstered and ridiculously comfortable. The guests are always interesting, so you are in for a treat if you get to attend.

     There are quite a few inns surrounding central Philippi, but the majority of them have shady reputations. Stay away from the inn of Merullus; someone was murdered there a month ago. A good, respectable inn to stay at is Praedonius’ Inn, located on the western edge of the city. The rooms are always clean and the food and service is wonderful. It is a little pricy, but that’s to ensure your safety. I’m sure as time goes on, the costs will be reduced. Antony, who once stayed here, recommended the inn to a friend saying, “Fortune is merry [there]/And in that mood…[they gave] us anything,” (Act 3, Scene 3, Line 282).

    Overall, Philippi is a great place to go for a weekend getaway or for a longer stay. There are an abundance of things to do and see, and the people are always friendly.