Rome – Day Two – the Coliseum

We got up early morning to meet our guides for the Coliseum. We had Francesco, who was a wonderful guide, giving lots of history of Rome and the buildings. We took the VIP tour which included the underground of the Coliseum as well as the upper sections, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. We heard about Nero and Domitian and Constantine and Augustus. We saw a reconstruction of the cages used to raise the wild animals used in the games played in the Coliseum.

Slaves used a crank and ropes and pulleys to lift the animals up to the floor of the Coliseum which was covered with sand over wooden boards. The sand was to absorb all the blood and body fluids from the animals “hunted” for show. Gladiators fought here too, of course. The people decided the fate of the gladiators and the emperor could overrule.

Steps leading up to the galleries where the plebians sat. Admission to the Coliseum was free, but you had to have a ticket to get in. It could hold 70,000 people!

Here we are up on the third level.

We made friends with a couple doing an “empty nester” vacation tour. They are also Christians. We decided to continue or adventures for the rest of the day.  But first, more pictures of the Coliseum.

Here you can see the outlines of the cages and rooms under the floor of the arena.

After the Coliseum, we walked to the Palatine Hill and looking down could see the Roman Forum, the remnants of the temples of the Vestal Virgins..Now those Vestal Virgins were something else. If they broke their vow of chastity, they were buried alive because it was illegal to kill them!

After our tour of the Coliseum, we and our new friends, Mike and Julie, grabbed some lunch and then headed out to explore Rome on foot.  Our first stop was at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

A beautiful church, of course. We took a private tour of the living quarters above. Saw vestments of the Pope’s, copies of 1st Peter hand written in Greek, etc. Truly amazing and a lovely guide.

From the Basilica, we made our way to the Trevi fountain, a must-see while in Rome. It was hot, crowded and a long way to walk, but the old folks kept trudging and we made it! The boys wanted nothing to do with throwing a coin in, but the girls did, absolutely!

Yeah, it was tricky getting those shots in! I think my coin made it in too! Again, more beautiful churches on every corner.

After a short break and a change out of hot, sweaty clothes, we headed for dinner with our friends.

So we headed out to the Ristorante Tema for dinner. I gave it good reviews.  We got to the restaurant at a little after 8:00 pm.  We left at 11:30.  This is why Italians don’t eat much breakfast people. The house wine was delicious and here’s what Ron and I ate.

Note: Not pizza. Not lasagna. The tiramisu was to die for. We bid our friends adieu. Hope we meet again someday. But at least there’s Facebook!

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