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Rome 2006


What can one say about the Colosseum? It is huge, it is beautiful, and it was the scene of some of the most horrible deeds ever perpetrated on people. Today it is the center of the Roman legend, and of course, the tourist trade. After wandering through the Forum, I ended up at the Colosseum around sunset and was treated to the sight of watching the walls 'glow.' I returned my last day in Rome to visit the inside (thankfully having purchased a ticket to Palatine Hill first - one ticket gets you into both sites, and you can then avoid the huge lineup of people trying to buy them at the Colosseum itself).

The view from the hills above the Forum

Nightfall from across the road

The Arch of Constantine is directly across from the Colosseum. It was built to commemorate his famous victory that was supposedly foreordained in a vision of Christ that he saw. This was one of those 'defining moments' in history, after which Christianity became the official religion of the Empire and laid the foundation for its spread around the world.

Walking around the outside, I was most impressed by the arches and walls against the deep blue sky. While the facade and much of the building material have been torn off and used for other construction projects over the years, I really loved the rough rock that was left - and took a bunch af artsy pictures to reflect this!

In the morning light, the plaza surrounding the building starts to slowly fill with tourists and touts, just as it has for a more than a thousand years...

When I did go inside, I was struck by the fact that tourists enter in through the same corridors that Romans did on their way to watch other people kill and be killed. And now it is just another day in the sun...
The floor used to be covered by a wooden 'stage' over which sand was poured to soak up the blood spilled. Today, there is a small section reconstructed as such, but one can also see the underground hallways, storage rooms, and cages where the animals were kept. While not completely restored, they certainly give an idea of the scope of time, energy, effort, and money put into promoting the games.


And of course, just to prove that the commercial spirit lives on, there are plenty of opportunities to have your picture taken with 'gladiators' and 'senators' outside - for 20 euros a pop!

Rome 2006:

Main Rome 2006 Page - Pyramide - Baths - Circus Maximus - Colosseum - Forum - Trajan's Column - Piazza Venezia - Capitoline - Trevi Fountain - Santa Maria sopra Minerva - Pantheon - Navano - Spanish Steps - Sant Angelo - St. Peter's - Vatican - Life in Rome - Other

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