Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rome: The Ancient City and Colosseum

On Saturday we all met outside the Colosseum and started up toward Palatine Hill. It's amazing how much the ancient ruins contrast with some parts of downtown Rome. For a second you think you might be in New York city with all the metro stations and shopping districts, and then, in the middle you have such structures as these.

Arch of Titus

Even the rubble turned into an art form and became resting areas for those a little out of breath after walking up the hill. It's fascinating, though how most of the main structures are in such good shape and just as I had imagined them.

Roman Curia: The Council

Reenactment of the Assassination of Caesar

Colosseum from Palatine Hill
Although we didn't actually make it inside the Colosseum on Saturday, the view from the hills was spectacular.  We spent a couple hours exploring the hills, but the Colosseum closes at least an hour before sunset, so at about 4:30 and we didn't make it in time so we decided to come back Sunday morning before catching our train back to Venice.

"Suite" where the aristocrats watched

The Colosseum was huge! I wish we could have gone up to the 3rd story but the stairs were blocked off. Since we went right at 8:30am when it opened, it wasn't too crowded and was perfect for picture taking. With our Roma Passes we got to skip the line and go right in! In the above picture you can see the hypogeum which is the underground structure than was originally covered by wooden boards and sand. This is where all the animals and gladiators were kept before the fights! Imagine being in a little tunnel right next to some lions or elephants!

The view back at the ancient city wasn't too shabby either. Once again it was a beautiful Roman day.

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