May 22, 2011 – Sights Galore
Today we woke up bright and early at the crack of dawn, ready to take on this famously historic city. Out first stop today was the Colosseum! As our bus pulled up and this huge arena came into view, it felt so surreal. Here I am in one of the world’s most ancient, most studied cities. And here’s the Colosseum I’ve only seen on TV screens. Whoa. Seeing this and walking around inside was absolutely amazing. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like thousands of years ago when the games were actually going on. It’s crazy to think that people actually came there to watch animals and fighters actually kill each other. It makes me want to watch Gladiators again as soon as I get home. We saw where different classes of spectators were placed, where beasts got hoisted up onto the sandy stage, where gladiators stood awaiting victory or death. I can’t explain how amazing this was.
Then we saw the Forum Romano, a city plaza where all of ancient Rome’s political events took place. We learned all about Caesar’s empire – Julius Caesar, Nero, the virgins… All the things I learn about on the History Channel – I was actually seeing it in person. What remained of the deteriorated but gigantic building structures help keep the memories alive of the most important events that took place here. It’s where assemblies, elections, and criminals trials were held and where statues and monuments stood to commemorate important men. So much history lies at this site; if I had a more extended stay here I would definitely return. All of this is beyond interesting to learn about and even more engaging actually being in the midst of where it happened.
Today’s final visit was to the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art, a blast back out of the past. Hmm… how could I describe the art here? Not to say I can’t appreciate various styles of art, but some of the displays made me very confused – I couldn’t understand the “beauty” of them. But hey, anything can be considered artful. It was still cool to see.
The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, more landmarks I’m used to seeing only on a screen, were unsurprisingly crowded with tourists from all over the world but still amazing to see. We saw a young gentleman propose at the Trevi Fountain, and it was too adorable! What a romantic engagement. I got my first chocolate gelato, which was de-lect-able! During the evening, our group went to the soccer game, but Tamika and I elected to take a 4 hour nap instead. Wooo…the rest was much needed.
For dinner I of course had some authentic Italian pasta – Farfalle (bowtie noodles) with salmon and vodka cream sauce. It was delicious!!
Finally, Tamika, Carol, and I got a small taste of the nightlife at a club/bar around the corner from the hotel. Very fun/eventful day.