Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wow, Rome.

Rome leaves little time for blogging.  Those of you who know me well know that I wear a pedometer (Fitbits are awesome), and the last 4 days have all been over 20,000 step days.  Yesterday we crested 25,000.  In short, we have been busy seeing everything and walking everywhere.

On Thursday, we visited the Roman Forum.  Paul was super impressed by the enormous Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, and justifiably so - it is enormous:
Also awe-inspiring were the seventeen-centuries-old (that's right, folks, 17 centuries!) bronze doors of the Temple of Romulus: 
Then, we moved on to exploring the Colosseum with the help of one of Rick Steves' fabulous audio tours.  I'm not going to lie, they can be really hokey, but they definitely increase my enjoyment of these sites.  Sometimes ruins are just ruins (well, not the Colosseum, I suppose), so it's really great to have a (free!) audio tour to walk you through.  The app for the audio tours doesn't work very well, so Paul just downloaded the files to his phone.  We picked up a headphone splitter before we left the States, and we walk around tethered to each other while listening Rick Steves regale us with information about these incredible sites:
A better picture of the innards of the Colosseum:
The Colosseum is an incredible structure with a gory history.  It's hard to think about all the horrible things that took place there - fights to the death between animals, between humans, and between humans and animals.  They also sent Christians into the arena to their deaths (probably anyway, that is somewhat contested but sources say it seems quite likely) as well as other people that they conquered.  Not exactly a sporting event I'd like to see.

However, I was really impressed by a drawing of what it looked like when the canopy over the Colosseum was unfurled - incredible!  They showed humans actually walking on it to put it into place.  I wish I had taken a picture of that.  An extremely quick Internet search isn't yielding quite the right image, either.

After the Colosseum, we headed over to the Palatine Hill to explore even more ruins, passing by the Arch of Constantine on our way:
And finally, I leave you with one last picture of the Colosseum (the clouds cooperated nicely in this one!):

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