September 14, 2011

I woke up this morning and all I could think was: We’re going to the Colosseum!

First shot of the Colosseum. I think I squeed out loud!

Second shot of many...









I’ve been more than a little fascinated with this place for a huge chunk of my life…I think the fascination got worse around the time Gladiator came out. Not only did I get to see how Hollywood thought gladiators fought and how the Colosseum would’ve looked completed and not as a ruin, thanks to the fanfare, I also got to see a LOT of historical shows about the Colosseum and its inner workings. Which, as I found out, does not even come close to comparing to standing inside of it. Of all the things we did, I find it very difficult to realize that I was INSIDE THE COLOSSEUM.

Inside...starting to get my history on...

Look! Isn't it cool?

Inside the Colosseum

Still inside...














We listened to the audio tape as we wandered around inside. Following along with the narrative, we learned how the Colosseum worked, who sat where, and much more.

Scanning up...

Looking down...

Up again...

More up...

Looking across to the other side.

Yep, we're still inside...

Still inside...

Not nearly as many people as can fit in there.

Hmm...not an exit...

So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I took a lot of pictures on this day. Here are some more visuals proving I was there and it wasn’t just a dream.

Inside, looking out.

Still inside, still looking out.

Still looking out at the view

One more of the same.

We moved up, but then looked down...

More on the inside.

More from inside.

View of some of the remade floor.

Rows are wider than they appear...

So cool.

New view, different seats.

Still not really believing I was there.

Such a huge place.

One more from inside...








We saw all we could…including a gift store that had a ring that was the form of the Colosseum around your finger. We turned in the audio tours and started walking around outside.

Look! We're outside!

More from outside.

I see gladiators! For hire!

All the holes? Used to build other things in Rome.

Constantine's Arch, outside of the Colosseum.

Starting up Palatine Hill

Augustus's crib.

New friends we met...who live in Franklin, TN.

Statue outside museum on Palatine Hill.

View from the top.

City view from the hill.

More of the city.

Still looking at the city.

Still looking around.

Looking across...

Swinging the camera for a down low.

More view (it was a nice place to stand).

Are you tired of looking at this yet?

Clearly, I wasn't.

Last one of the view from Palatine. I promise.

Remember Constantine's Arch? I'm leaning under it here.




























































The real reason I’ve got so many pictures from Palatine Hill? Because the map they gave us was not a good guide. We got turned around a lot and kept circling the same statues and viewing areas on the hill. Not our favorite part of the tour. But we finally made it out and down to the Roman Forum. After all of that, it was good to see, but we felt maybe it wasn’t worth all of the sweating.

Going to the Forum...

And we're finally there.

There's the Arch again.

It took so long to get to this.

More Forum.

Even more Forum.

Museum next to the Forum.

Directly across from that last picture.

Hey look! Heads!

More heads!

Look Ma! No hands...or legs...or head (although maybe one of those earlier ones was part of it before?)

After hours of wandering, we decided it was time to get some food. We wandered around and found a nice little place with an outside area. I got the grilled eggplant, stuffed with chickpea “cream”…pretty much hummus in eggplant. Perfect! Cynthia clapped for the wandering musicians and promptly got a hat shoved in her face with a plea for money. Rule #38 – no clapping. We had our first gelato today. I got the tiramisu flavor. It was lovely.

Fed and watered and gelato-ed, we were ready to forge on to new destinations. We visited a chapel designed (I think) by Bernini, the old Papal summer residence, the Trevi Fountain, and the Chiesa di S. Ignazio. All of them were spectacular…as you can see.

View of the street by the gelato place.

Opposite streets across from the gelato place.

Walking along the streets of Rome.

A wee Romulus and Remus with their "mom".

Eagle statue.

Riders of Rohan! was something else...

That chapel by Bernini (I think).

So pretty inside!

Painting on the wall.

Statues on the wall.

Now with more painting and more statue.

Light coming in from the base of the dome.

Looks like they're coming off the ceiling!

Oh, not much, just hangin' out. What are you doin'?


Dome at an angle.

Politco peeps hang here, across from the old Papal summer residence.

Piazza across from the old Papal summer residence.

Same piazza.

Still the same one.

Entry way to old Papal summer residence (armed guard not pictured...not kidding).

Trevi Fountain!

Trevi again.

One more of Trevi. It was a madhouse and we managed to see the TN couple again.

Inside a cathedral.

Still inside.

Inside, looking up.

More inside.

Heh...spikey in the cathedral on the floor.

Still checking out the inside.

So pretty inside.

This place was so cool.

Single statue.

Turn another corner...and...statue!

It just kept going.

See? Still going!

Gold cross on the wall, almost hidden away.

Aha! The name of the place: Chiesa di S. Ignazio.

Last one, same place. Just beautiful.

We ended the evening at the apartment, eating random meats, cheeses, and breads picked up around Piazza Navona. We were tired, dusty, sweaty, and ready to see more.

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