I can't even begin to explain how excited I was for this trip. Rome has always been my #1. Always. I can't imagine another place on this earth that ranks higher. And despite all of its flaws, it was everything I wanted it to be. Obviously my itinerary was full, so I will break down the trip as much as I can in separate posts.
The first day was devoted entirely to travel. It took a whole day to get there, crossing an ocean and all that jazz. Once we arrived at the airport, we hit the ground running and never slowed down. The blisters on my aching feet can speak for that!
Obligatory airplane shot. Somewhere over the Atlantic.
Our first tour was a private tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. I wanted to do the Colosseum tour first because it's the Colosseum and I have waited my whole life to see it. When we stepped out of the metro tunnel, it was the first thing I saw and I gasped. There it was, right in front of me. So massive and incredible and OLD. Our tour guide was awesome - since it was a private tour, it was just her and us. We got to see many parts of the Colosseum that the normal tours don't cover.
This is the Arch of Constantine.
And we all know what THIS is:
The Colosseum was completed in 80 AD and could hold 50,000-80,000 people. The damage seen was caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers. A lot of the stone and statues stolen from the Colosseum were used in building other buildings, such as the Vatican and other churches.
I wanted to hug it. Seriously!! Just walking through the corridors was amazing. The feeling there is unlike anything I have ever felt.
We got to explore the main level. They have built a small area to show what it would have looked like many, many years ago when it was still functional. The cover obviously spanned the entire floor once upon a time.
What you see below used to be covered. The entire area that was once covered were the tunnels and rooms used to house and move around the animals. It's also where the gladiators prepared.
There is some show being filmed right now regarding the Colosseum and the battles. The people doing the show have built some re-enactments to display the pulley system used to raise and lower the platforms. The platforms would have had cages, and this is how the animals were entered into the arena.
The underground tunnels:
Walking to the upper tier. The stairs were no joke in this place. So steep! The upper tier was for slaves and women.
Another view of the Arch of Constantine.
The Roman Forum (more on that in a bit)
The view from the upper tier. There was a great breeze up there - felt so good! Rome was super hot and the humidity was pretty much at 100%.
Once we were done with the Colosseum, we climbed Palatine Hill to explore the Roman Forum.
This was another smaller arena.
Here, beyond the Roman Forum, is the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. I can't even begin to describe how MASSIVE the white building is. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, where I talk more about it as we went to explore it. Pictures just don't do it justice - pretty much like every picture of Rome. ;)
An amphitheater. TONS of them all over Rome. Just walking around, you really can't go one city block without seeing something this ancient.
Arch of Titus:
The Colosseum, just chillin' over there.
Arch of Titus
Stay tuned for the next post!