Greece & Italy {Part 3}

                Ancient Rome’s Yankee Stadium, the Coliseum stood magnificently among the modern city. Even in its dilapidated state, the structure held its own. Our guide for Rome, Rosa, spoke to us through tiny static ear pieces and her thick Italian accent-though she boasted to us of her pure Roman heritage. Before we braved the crowds and entered the massive structure, I caught glimpses of determined looking police women chasing quick, Indian street salesmen who were trying to pressure tourists into buying umbrellas.

     Then we entered. Like a picture that reveals the inside of a house and its various rooms, the inside of the Coliseum was exposed before us with its various cavities open to view. The Romans didn’t have cranes or steel beams, yet they created things that would rival some of our own century’s structures. The estimated capacity of this stadium was 50,000.


         The rain was a rough companion to the forum, but by the time we made it to the capital square, the sun had come out. Seeing the forum and knowing that Caesar Augustus had spoken there and Julius Caesar had most likely been murdered there, was almost enough to make me see the ghosts of Romans past. Still following the distinctive voice of Rosa, we waded our way through history, past Constantine’s arch and the forum, and into the capital square, where we collapsed in the presence of the sun and Marcus Aurelius’ statue.

Constantine’s Arch
This is where most of the political pow wows went down. That dude, Caesar Augustus was here. 
The extensive aqueduct system built by ancient Rome still provides free drinking water throughout the city. 
The founders of Rome-Romulus & Remus. They’d be youngest winners of “Survival,” had the show been around back then.
There were occasional tributes to Egypt through out the Roman art.
Marcus Aurelius (old dude in Gladiator)

            The next thing on our agenda was the Pantheon and avoiding selfie-stick sellers. We wandered about the crowds surrounding the temple-turned-church after some lunch and gelato. I really wanted to try an Affogato, which is a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla gelato. Two of the guys agreed to go get some with me just before we were scheduled to meet up with the rest of the group. In a tiny cafe, we got our caffeine fix, which was rich and delicious, before running through the Pantheon square and past some old guy playing an electric guitar.

    In those few moments I had a glimpse of what Rome was back in the day of Christ- a melting pot of cultures. The Pantheon was a Roman Temple, which had been turned into a church, a destination that is on many a tourist’s agenda and therefore a hunting ground for scam artists. And then there was a guy playing his guitar amplified through the whole square. 
I wish they still created fountains like this. 
Veronica A.

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