All roads lead to Rome - Trace of Roman Empire
Rome Travel Blog› entry 18 of 32 › view all entries
After a humid night of Venice without air-conditioning, the dawn was coming. We were about to leave Venice, 60 pounds of backpack in the back, we passed through the narrow streets again. Everything was so blue, not completely in the morning, and only a couple of stores selling fruits and vegetables were opened. It has never been so unreal that the blue color of morning was dominating and made the city so calm. We could hear our own footsteps even.
Taking five hours of train, we finally arrived in Rome. We stopped in a couple of big cities, but not long. As we go down more south, the land became more dry. And houses became white, perhaps the purposely be so to reflect sunlight. Now we were in Termini station. The first thing I did was to check tickets to Florence, our secret destination. The reason of being this was secret to sever other girls were, indeed, we did not want to be bothered while two of us travel along the way to Paris. Looking back, it could be more fun with more people, but at the same time, it was quite wise decision to keep it secret and told our colleagues to go wherever they want, as our decision might have influenced them. So out of seven girls, two ended up going to Naples, three were ended up in back to Venice after Rome, and the other two went Carara to meet their friends. Anyway, we were now at Rome, and a lot of things were waiting for us. First, the heat. Already my cough was gone a couple of days ago when I started my journey in Milan, and now the heat becomes a major factor of daytime travel. Somehow we needed Duomo at daytime as locals do, not really having much time to bum around as we wanted to experience Rome as much as possible, and meet the timeschedule to meet my aunt who lived in Paris. We put our luggages and went out right away, and the first place we went was Coliseum, a place for gladiators.
I must confess that this summer if I end up in Rome, I really do not intend to see this symbol of Roman culture, as it became a cliche. The first time I went into Coliseum, it was just two hours before sunset, and the entire coliseum showed its naked architecture without cosmetics. Try to imagine the sound of roaring gladiators, excited Romans, and bleeding lions and rolling chariots, it became all silent after all and only the remnants of the walls are still remembering those sounds, lives of people, and collapse of the Empire which once dominated western world. I was very much impressed by their architeture, as well as the scale. A million people city Rome, perhaps the biggest one at that time point, had this great place for pleasure and so much cruelty has been performed. Funny enough, a couple of soldiers dressed as Romans were asking tourist to take pictures with them, asking for money. Now all those glories became a legend and fun, and only funny soldiers are there to take pictures. Next, we went to Foro Romano, also made us speculate the vast size of the empire, while the place has nothing much left except the main columns and some beautiful flowers on the ground. Sounds boring, but I tell you this place took 2-3 hours to look around and it is certainly a good place to remind where the glory of Empire goes at the end. We met other tourists from Spain after spending a couple of hours in Foro Romano and coliseum, and they were telling us Spain is much more hot than we think, and we were quite convinced that going Florence was the right decision with the heat in the south. Having three bottles of water, I was quite OK, but was starving. We had some ice cream (gelati), but wanted to have some pizza. We almost instantly found pizzeria and still remember those fresh pizza with thin slice with fresh tomatoes.
The night was already coming, although we wanted to have some nightlife, we saved it for later in France. Tomorrow was the city of Vatican, and time to meet holy Father, the church, the pope, Swiss guards, and more than anything else, the paintings of Sistine Chaple by Michelangelo.