Saturday, 15 August 2015

Italy, Rome {Day 2}

Waking up in Rome, we were thankful for the aircon in the apartment and the coffee to get us going... we're off to see the Colosseum! 

The walk isn't boring when there are cute cars, ancient buildings, monuments, ruins, and one can count the dings and dents in the cars one passes. 

Passing by Circus Maximus, it was hard to believe this had been the largest stadium. We had heard that one can still see the island in the middle showing the track around it where chariots used to race - not without some help though, since there were people working on the middle, seemingly paving the top of the pile of sand to preserve it?

After passing the Arch of Constantine, and looking forward to "skipping the line", we waited in the line for about an hour. Apparently, when everybody wants to skip the line, the line for skipping it becomes longer than the one to buy tickets. Fortunately, it moved a little faster than the other. We were happy to finally get into the massive building, where Malcolm remarked that Christians didn't used to be that happy to enter it. He had a good point, and while marveling at the building and dodging selfie-sticks, the purpose and history of the stadium was hard to forget.

The Arch of Titus lead us into the Roman Forum. These magnificent buildings that once were so majestic stood as ruins, and it was hard to imagine what it must've been like there. Yet, walking up a pathway with few people around, hearing the bugs in the trees, feeling the heat and the dust, it felt like perhaps we were really back in time... until one looked for shade and instead of finding a beautiful house with a courtyard and fountain, one finds a crumbling wall.

Leaving the ruins, passing Trajan's Column, we wandered the streets in search of the Pantheon. We followed a sign to reach it, got side tracked by a church we though we might like to look at, and landed up rather disorientated. A slice of pizza revived us and we pressed on, finally finding the enormous structure that suddenly appears as one turns the corner. The signs requested people to remain quiet, which few did, and to watch out for pick-pockets, which we most certainly did. 

Back at our apartment, we could cool down and rest, watching a bad shark-movie in Italian, before going out for the evening... there's always more to explore! Close by to the Piazza Venezia, we came across a long flight of steps which lead us to a view of the sunset and the Roman skyline.

To end the day, we found ourselves back at the waters edge for a glass of wine at the river Tiber and a view of the lights dancing on the water.

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