Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rome Day 1

The day after seeing Pisa we hoped a 4 hour train to Rome!! We made it there around noon, got checked into our hotel, and headed out to see the sights. First stop, the Colosseum!! It was incredible! It's amazing to think that this structure was built almost a full 2,0000 years ago.

The side of the Colosseum. A large portion of the bricks used to build it were taken to build other structures within Rome, including parts of the Vatican. In 1749 Pope Benedict XIV claimed it as a memorial to martyred Christians, and thus a sacred place, stopping its use as a quarry. However, no such evidence exists that Christians were murdered here. None the less, his decree probably saved the Colosseum from further destruction.

Inside the Colosseum. It once sat upwards of 50,000 people. And everyone had a ticket to a specific seat. The senators even had their names carved into the stone of their seats. The names can still be seen!! It is estimated that over 500,000 people and a million animals were killed in the arena.

A view of the eastern portion of the Roman Forum from the Colosseum. They are the ruins of the earliest civilization of Rome, originating in 600 B.C. We would visit them next.

More pictures of the Roman Forum. I find the pillars that are still standing most amazing! You are allowed to wander through the ruins and really get up close to the structures.

That evening we would have dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant near the Trevi Fountain. It is the most famous fountain in Rome. It's very odd though because it is found in a very small square where you are walking between buildings and all of the sudden it's in front of you. Very pretty at night!! I'm so happy we went then too because the crowds were far smaller then and you could really stand and appreciate the beauty. We did go back later the next day to get some daytime pictures and it was a mob scene! Don't forget to throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain for good luck!!

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