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Rome Travel Blog

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Colosseum

Oh my goodness...Rome Italy!  Stepping out of the train station leaves you with a big question mark over your head...it's a rather modern area, and not what I would expect from Rome!  It then dawned on me that this is actually a modern area of the city, and I got excited about what Rome had to offer.  I dropped off my things at the hostel and started my walk through the city.  I had a map in my guide book, but I quickly got lost (in a good way, I just wanted to wander around)!  The first amazing sight I found was the Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the major churches in Rome.  I couldn't believe how many churches there are in Rome, each with their own unique design and each built to remember a saint, martyr, event, etc.

Palatine Hill
from the past.  A bit interesting if you think that, 2000 years ago, the Romans were out to destroy Christianity!  I digress...

The Santa Maria Maggiore turned out to be near my hostel, so I would check it out often - but it never ceased to impress!  I was excited that I was leaving behind the modern area of Rome and venturing into the city I had longed to see.   I wandered some more and passed some buildings I wanted to check out later (if I could find them), but I had my heart set on finding the Colosseum.  At this point in time, I wanted to see it more than anything else in the entire world.  After giving up on using my guide book map, I just headed "southwest" toward where I thought the Colosseum should be.  I made turn after turn until, all the sudden, I made a left turn and there it was.

Circus Maximus

Standing out against the rest of the background, it was impressive even from a distance.  I headed toward it and suddenly I was in the heart of Rome!  There were ancient arches everywhere, old stone streets and buildings still standing from long ago.  I think it was the most amazing moment in my trip at that point.  Although there was a ton to see and do in that area, I started my exploration at Palatine Hill, the ruins of the old Imperial Palace.  While very little of the palace still stands, it's well worth the walk through.  Not only that, but it offers some great views over various parts of Rome.  From there you can see Circus Maximus, the Roman Forum, Colosseum, and other ancient wonders of Rome.

After leaving Palatine hill, I took a walk back to the Colosseum and went inside.

Inside the Colosseum
  It looks so cool!  The poor thing has been damaged by earthquakes over time, but for the most part it still stands strong.  It's amazing that the Colosseum has withstood the test of time, and that even the original seats remain.  You can even see where the emperor and empress sat when they watched the games.  There were tours going on all over the place, so I stayed near one to listen in on the facts.

The actual platform where the gladiators faught has been destroyed over time.  2000 years ago, it was a wooden floor with built in elevators (yes, elevators 2000 years ago!) that would lift the gladiators into the fighting arena.  They would then fight to their deaths with thousands watching.  Below the arena are several rooms with curved walls.

Roman forum
  These rooms have no corners, the reason being that after fights, the clean-up crew could wash all the blood out with a hose.  With no corners, the water and blood would not pool anywhere.  We also learned about the latin sayings over doorways and on walls.  I guess the tour guide took a liking to me; I am not sure if the others in the group paid or not but the tour guide took the time to chat with me, answer questions, and was very friendly.

Once I felt I had seen enough in the Colosseum (which ended up taking a few hours), I headed for the Roman Forum I had seen from Palatine Hill.  After walking down cobblestone roads and under the ancient archways, I found the Forum with relative ease.  I used my guide book here to help me identify which buildings were what, and where events happened in history.

Putting my hand in the Mouth of Truth
  Many of the buildings here were dedicated to Roman gods, and some built for emperors and other famous people.  After chatting with some excavators, I learned that they are there most of the year, digging and searching for new findings.

I'll take this time to mention the subway system in Rome.  While all other major cities have many lines, Rome has two.  One which goes through the northern part of the city to the Vatican, and the other heads south.  Why is this, you ask?  The reason is quite simple:  When they tried to put the subway system in, they kept running into ancient Roman ruins underneath the current city.  Obviously, no one wanted to destroy all these great findings, and many of them are impossible to remove.

Trevi Fountain
  So, Rome has a rather limited subway system.  The tram and bus system in the city is great though, and it's still easy to get around.

After wandering the city some more and taking pictures of all the cool things I could find, I came to Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a church where the Bocca della Verita, or Mouth of Truth, is located.  Legend has it if someone sticks their hand into the mouth of truth and lies, the mouth will close on their hand, causing some serious damage!  I put my hand in there, but I didn't dare lie!

I then took a long walk from the southeastern part of the city to the northwest to see the Trevi Fountain.  The largest of it's kind, I knew I was getting close when I started hearing the flowing water.  Sure enough, the sound got louder and after one final turn I had a full view of the fountain.

Statue of Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli
  Coming out of the side of a building, it is a magnificent structure with statues and all the water.

As it started to get dark, I made my way back to the hostel (this took about 45 minutes, Rome being as big as it is).  On the way, I stopped at a church I had passed earlier - San Pietro in Vincoli.  Inside this church sits a statue of Moses sculpted by Michelangelo himself.  It was an amazing piece of work and well worth a look.  My problem with the church was that it was very dark around the statue, and you had to put in a coin to turn on a light for photos.  Kind of a cheap trick.

I got back and made myself some dinner.  There happened to be a huge supermarket near the hostel, it was great!  After that, I went back into Rome at night (as I do with every city) to see what happens at night.  My camera has some trouble with night photos, but I tried for some of the Colosseum and some of the plazas.  What an awesome day!

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Colosseum
Colosseum
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Roman forum
Roman forum
Putting my hand in the Mouth of Tr…
Putting my hand in the Mouth of T…
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Statue of Moses in San Pietro in V…
Statue of Moses in San Pietro in …
View of the Colosseum
View of the Colosseum
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Ancient archway near the Colosseum
Ancient archway near the Colosseum
Cobblestone road
Cobblestone road
Ancient archway near the Colosseum
Ancient archway near the Colosseum
Colosseum from Palatine Hill
Colosseum from Palatine Hill
Looking out over Rome
Looking out over Rome
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill - I wouldnt want to…
Palatine Hill - I wouldn't want t…
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Archway in the Roman Forum
Archway in the Roman Forum
the Roman Forum
the Roman Forum
Temple in the Roman Forum (not sur…
Temple in the Roman Forum (not su…
Digging for more ruins in the Roma…
Digging for more ruins in the Rom…
Temple in the Roman Forum (not sur…
Temple in the Roman Forum (not su…
Ancient pillars in the Roman Forum
Ancient pillars in the Roman Forum
Rome is just beauitful
Rome is just beauitful
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Colosseum at dusk
Colosseum at dusk
Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
Colosseum
Colosseum
This is a museum!
This is a museum!
Santa Maria de Maggiore
Santa Maria de Maggiore
Rome
photo by: vulindlela