Day 10: Ancient Rome

Roman Forum at sunrise

We took some more time to explore the Colosseum and the Roman Forum today. The Colosseum looks as I anticipated from pictures; maybe a bit smaller and less imposing. It’s pretty amazing that people drive past such an old structure as they commute to their 21 century jobs. The entertainment that took place in the Colosseum was pretty brutal. Gladiators, who were often slaves or socially marginalized people, fought with other gladiators or wild animals imported from Africa. Apparently, the “shows” would sometimes include stories where the “hero” of the story was slain by an animal. According to one source, very few gladiators survived more than 10 matches.

The weather today was beautiful so we could easily enjoy the sights at the Roman Forum. The greenery in the Forum was really pretty; it was almost like a park with flowering trees, shrubs and ruins. The area was full of columns and buildings in various stages of restoration. We marveled at how this whole area is like one, huge jigsaw puzzle. It must be really satisfying to find pieces that go together. After the Forum, I was completely exhausted, but we continued our trip across city to see the Baths of Caracalla.

By mid-afternoon we had to move our luggage because we are staying in a different apartment hotel tonight. We decided to take the metro/subway to make the process quicker. The metro in Rome was pretty straight forward and similar to other subways I’ve used. After moving to our new spot, we went to a nearby square for a meal. From our table, we could watch locals gather and socialize at the fountain in the middle of the square. We especially enjoyed listing to the music of the three accordion players serenading the group.

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