Day 46 Time to Conquer Roma

Day 46- First let me begin with a fact that shows my ignorance…Rome is not Rome in Italy…it is Roma…Naples is Napoli…and Florence Firenze…etc.  So let me just ask this question…why don’t we just call these cities by their Italian names???

Today was our first day in this city full of history and we were going to conquer it like a teeny tiny invading army!  You almost need to feel like you are going into battle a bit in Roma…because there is just a tiny bit of chaos here…like a modern day battled field filled with tourists holding maps, sights to see, Italians going every which way, and Vespas ready to attack at every corner!

The first sight on our list, was the neighbor just down the street, the Colosseum!  As we left the apartment, it was almost surreal looking up to see this magnificent giant just down the block…but there it was!  Of course before you get there, right next to the shops and roads is a little pit that is open to the air, and it is the relics of where the gladiators used to practice and train.

I have to say if you can travel at this time of the year…do it!!  Yes it is a bit chilly out, but there are hardly any lines!!  We basically just walked right into the Colosseum!  The Colosseum itself was a bit overwhelming…to realize the age of this building and the sheer size of it all!  The architecture is so impressive…and I have no clue about architecture (I even struggle to spell the word) and I was super impressed!  To walk around this place, it is like transporting yourself back in time!  I do not feel like my words can do it justice.

Hearing about the violence and the spectacle really make the place come alive.  It is disturbing to think about the different ways the Romans “entertained” themselves…but it is history and it is fascinating!

After you leave the Colosseum, you are literally right next to the Roman Forum!  Yes, this is the place where Ceasar was murdered!  It was the hub of the city, the downtown if you will!  You can see the remains of this once bustling place!  There are shops, temples, and important buildings everywhere!  You can even see where the vestal virgins lived!!! When you are walking through here, it is hard to believe what this city was like even before Christ…like 500 years before!

One of the things that struck me was the contrast between modern Rome and ancient Rome…and here they exist side by side!  It is incredible!!  Like the man I saw racing down the street by the Colosseum…on his Vespa…smoking a cigarette…with his daughter in his lap…way to go Italy!

We walked and walked today!  We ended our night by taking a walk to the Pantheon!  Now the Pantheon is such an amazing feat of architecture…the dome…the hole in the top….the beautiful church.  I really enjoyed it…but the true show was right out the door!  Outside in the square in front of the Pantheon are a variety of street performers…but they seem to take turns!  When we went in, there was a man playing the violin….it was beautiful.  Imagine classical violin music, a beautiful fountain, a square lined with cafes and people, and the majestic front of the Pantheon, all put to music…unreal.  I have to say the best part was when we came out of the Pantheon.  Night had fallen and the square and the fountain were lit up…and a man was singing opera to music.  It was like we were in our own personal opera!

After stumbling into a fantastic restaurant for dinner, it was time to head back to the apartment.  As we wound through the streets…what did we stumble upon? The Trevi Fountain! Now, normally this would be just fantastic…but they are working on the fountain.  It is all covered in scaffolding, and there is no water anywhere.  It is actually hard to see any of the statues…it’s a mess!  They do however let you walk across some of the scaffolding right up in the fountain!  Cool, so we decide to walk and see it…and as I am looking at the fountain…what do I see??  A GIANT rat crawling through the dried up fountain as if it were in it’s favorite maze!  Yuck!  Well there was a bright side to the visit to the fountain…I had the best gelato that I have ever had right next to the fountain…hey every cloud has a silver lining!

Then it was off to the apartment and off to bed!