On the ground in Rome
Rome Travel Blog› entry 22 of 27 › view all entries
First day, sleep in. May be the best way to appreciate a new city. :) One of the things I consistently loved about the B&B was the thick fleece throw on the bed. Oh, it was so soft and warm and cuddly. And since Jeff likes to keep the room about 60 degrees at night, it was greatly appreciated.
The second thing was the shutters on the window that kept the room pretty dark, well in to the morning.
Breakfast was pre-packaged pastries but they were actually really good.
Then off for a bit of admin. Specifically, laundry. A quick count of the remaining clean underwear the day before had convinced us it was laundry time. We found a good laundry place about a 20-minute walk away.
We also ate our lunch at a restaurant nearby that was in our Fodors guidebook.
They were also clearly shooting for the tourist crowd. Beware of restaurants with that kind of focus.
We went back to the train station, figured out the metro fare card machines, and made our way to the Colliseum. I don't know if I should be relieved or offended that no one tried to pinch my butt in the metro. At least no one tried to lift my wallet!
The Colliseum is both bigger and smaller than I expected. After seeing it in commercials and such, I expected something massive. Perhaps because of its condition, however, it doesn't seem massive.
We were told the lines would be never-ending. We got through in about 5 minutes. They were just getting ready to start an English language tour, so they hustled us to the front of the line. Sweet!
Our tour guide was an archaeologist, which is always a fun person to be leading you on a tour of an archaeological site. What she helped me appreciate was the absurdity of the Colliseum. It was used to promote an emperor's public image. Sort of like a mayor or governor offering free tickets to football, baseball, and basketball to entice the public into loving him/her.
Did it work? I don't know.
It turns out, though, that they didn't kill any Christians for their faith in the Colliseum. Sure, in other places, but not in the Colliseum. None the less, the Pope still comes by on Good Friday as part of Stations of the Cross (I think) to pray there for the lost Christian souls. There's a big iron cross, plainly designed, in there, which struck me as odd for some reason.
When I've seen Roman ruins in other places in Europe, they seemed so....exotic somehow. They represented the far reach of an amazing empire. To see them in Rome, however, doesn't elicit the same response from me.
Perhaps I expected more from Rome. Perhaps I expected it to be a living museum to all things Roman Empire. But Rome existed before and after the Roman Empire. That's not all that the city has been.
Plus, every age has acquired their building materials from the previous age so there's a lot that's missing from Rome too. There are fewer Roman Empire monuments and sites than I expected.
After the Colliseum, we retrieved our clean laundry and headed back to the apartment for a siesta. Still digging the siestas. ;)
We wandered to Alfredo's for dinner, but I was in the mood for pizza and he doesn't make pizza. He recommended a place just down the street. I was a bit disappointed by the pizza. It was OK but not particularly flavorful. I had been really looking forward to eating in Italy after our great experiences in Spain. So far this day, I'm underwhelmed (with major apologies to the entire DiFranco family!).
Perhaps tomorrow will be better, food wise.