A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Colosseum, one of the most recognizable historic buildings in the world.
The Colosseum wasn’t always as cherished as it is now. The original marble was ripped out and used in the building of the St. Peter’s Basilica. The original piping that held the stone together was also removed. The arches and pillars still stand without the “lego” style pipes.
Excavated pieces recovered from the stadium show us that attendees liked to have snacks during the show just like we do. They ate pine cones, chicken wings, and fruit. The Colosseum hosted several shows a day. Convicted felons would be used as entertainment in story telling. One of their favorites was the Greek tale of Icarus. A felon would have wings attached to his back then would be catapulted toward the sun to see if he could fly. The lucky ones died. The unlucky ones would break every bone in their body. Later in the day the next show would be gladiators fighting. Secret panels in the floor would release wild animals into the fights.
Awnings overhead allowed shows to run rain or shine!
After the Colosseum, our tour continued over to the Roman Forum. Make sure to leave time to see both! While the Colosseum is more iconic, the Roman Forum has layer upon layer of history. You can literally see the city in each era. The Roman Forum was a valley that housed the seat of government over several centuries. Excavated buildings revealed buildings built by Caesar, Constantine, and the home of Nero. One of the most impressive pieces was the Templo du Romolo with it’s all original door, including original hinges!
The overhang on one of the building provided a view of what the original walls of the building looked like. All brick was covered with plaster and painted to look more ornate. The floors were decorative marble.
Some of the most expensive and rare marbles were used and displayed.
Before leaving Rome we had to steal a look at the famous Spanish Steps. They were a tad bit more crowded than in Roman Holiday or The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I could still picture Audrey Hepburn enjoying a gelato cone right here! Plus, the flowers were gorgeous!