Posts Tagged ‘ruins’

And at last, Rome.

After finishing up at the quaint, quiet town of Orvieto, we heading to bustling Rome.  The stressful car ride there was enough to get our bodies adjusted to a much different ambience.  I’ve talked before about the lack of lanes in Italy, the impatient drivers, and the plentiful amount of daring scooterists (is that a word??), but driving into Rome was INSANE.  Don’t do it.  After getting there, Russ used his high school Italian to get us into a parking garage for a couple of days, and we literally collapsed on the hotel bed.  Recovery.  We felt much better after a night of rest and headed out in the morning.

We started our morning with the trio of history: The Coloseum, Palatine Hill, and The Roman Forum.

The Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Despite the fact that the Colosseum is massive,  it’s still difficult to imagine the culture that exists within the walls.  At one time, 50,000 spectators filled the Colosseum to watch gladiators, public executions, or animal hunts.  It’s hard to fathom that this place was built in 72 AD.  Ridiculous.

Russ visits the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

One of the reasons that it’s difficult to imagine life in the Colosseum is because of all the excavation that has been done underneath the original stage.  The excavation reveals the catacombs–a maze-like underground storage area where animals were stored and where slaves worked to hoist the animals up onto the stage.  Also underground was an elaborate sewer and water system.  The Romans used water for drinking and human waste, but also to dispose of the blood and waste of animals and gladiators who saw their last day above stage.

A view into the catacombs

Another look at the underground

From the Colosseum we walked over to Palatine Hill, which holds evidence  of Roman life since 1000 BC, and was the place of birth for many emperors.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill

Russ digs Rome's trees

Great view of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill

Next we headed into the area of the Roman Forum, which basically is a courtyard that holds the ruins of many government buildings from long ago.

The Roman Forum

Looking down from Palatine Hill to the Forum

The Forum

Our next spot for the day was Vatican City–complete with a tour of the museums and the famous Sistine Chapel.  No pictures, of course, inside the chapel, but I can assure you that it was amazing. 🙂

The Vatican

The Vatican Museum

The rest of they day we walked, and walked, and walked, and walked!  The subway in Rome is not very helpful; there are only 2 lines, very few stops and, the stops don’t usually get you that near the sights anyway. So we walked.

To the Pantheon...

Inside the Pantheon

To The Spanish Steps...

To Piazza Navano...

…and many other places whose names I just don’t remember. 🙂

Ahh, has this ever looked so welcoming??

The next morning we had to get up and go to the airport, unfortunately.  Rome was certainly bustling, busy, and full of life…and a lot of fun!  We had a fantastic trip to Italy!  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our travels starting in Florence.  To see all of the pictures from our adventures in Italy:

http://rlabarca.smugmug.com/Travel/Italy-Marzo-2011

Advertisements