Day 27: 30-Day Ultimate Blog Challenge for April 2014
Travel to Rome, Italy #Roman Colosseum
We have arrived in Rome and checked in our hotel after a few days at the Vatican where we visited the St. Peter’s Basilica at the famous St. Peter’s Square. The whole day was spent visiting the different sights in Rome starting with the Roman Colosseum.
The Roman Colosseum Facade in Rome, Italy
We visited the famous Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy during our tour and I was so impressed by the vastness of that ancient colosseum where the Roman Gladiators have fought with their lives. It is probably the most impressive building of the Roman Empire during their reign. Known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it was the largest building of its kind during that era.
The Ruins of the Roman Colosseum
That monumental structure has fallen into ruins but even today in modern times, it is a very imposing and beautiful sight to behold. Emperors during the Roman Empire used the colosseum to entertain the public with free games. These famous games were a symbol of prestige and so much power and they were a means for an emperor to increase his popularity.
In the Colosseum were held hundred-day games by Titus, Vespasian’s successor, to mark the inauguration of the building in 80 AD and in the process, some thousands of wild animals were slaughtered.
Below the ground were rooms that had mechanical devices and lots of cages containing wild animals. The cages could be hoisted and then enabling the animals to appear in the middle of the arena.
According to legends, the lowest story was preserved for prominent citizens and above the ground are four stories, the upper story contained seating for lower classes and women. The Roman Colosseum could accommodate some 55,000 spectators during their time and they entered the building through no less than 80 entrances.
Even if it is now in ruins, you can imagine how huge a crowd can gather in a colosseum this size thousands of years ago. When you stand in the midst of this huge place, as if you can hear the roars coming from the gathered spectators waiting and watching the gladiators fight and the animals that are being killed in the process while the games go on. It’s amazing how these structures can withstand the ravages of time for the modern world to see and marvel.
We went inside the huge colosseum that almost looks like everything is in ruins after all it has existed for thousands of years when it was built by order of the Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian Dynasty, and started construction of the Colosseum in 72 AD. It was completed in 80 AD, the year after Vespasian’s death.
The colossal amphitheater was said to have been built on the site of an artificial lake, part of Nero’s huge park in the center of Rome which also included the Golden House and the nearby Colossus statue. This giant statue of him gave the building its current name and then we went to visit the Roman Forum not too far away. Over the centuries the Forum has gone through so much changes. The Forum started life as a marshy area, a meeting place for the early inhabitants of the surrounding hills. By the 5th century BC it had evolved into Rome’s city centre, a place for political assemblies, the riots, and the demonstrations. Also a meeting area for trials, gladiatorial shows and various other public festivities.
The Roman Forum was the center of the ancient city but nowadays all you can see are ruins, mostly due to the plundering which took place in the Middle Ages as the great monuments were ravaged and had all their marble stripped off them for the building of the Vatican church and other Papal palaces. Despite of all this, it’s still the best example of an open-air museum, offering the visitors a chance to go back in time and walk on the footsteps of the ancient Romans.
Rome is a beautiful city full of history and when you enter those ruins, it feels like you are walking into a historical era that existed thousands of years ago. How they have preserved these ruins amazed tourists like me and others. It is like walking in time when the Roman Empire have ruled Rome. And when you step out of the ruins, you have come back from a sojourn that showed how the Romans had lived and died during their moment in times gone by.
There’s also the Arch of Constantine which is a triumphal arch in Rome, and it is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. Emperor Constantine believed that his improbable victory over Maxentius was the result of the help of the Christian God.
Then during Constantine’s reign persecution of Christians ended and thereafter, Constantine adopted Christianity for himself and declared the religion officially throughout the Roman Empire. He also moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in 325 AD. Then from the Vatican and Rome, we proceeded to Sorrento at the Province of Naples, Italy and Capri. Anacapri and Capri is the beautiful island at the tip of Italy that can be reached by traveling on ferry boats.
Before arriving to Rome, we visited Florence and Pisa, where the famous leaning tower exists. We also visited the Trevi Fountain named after the three streets that meets behind the building where the fountain is located, and as we all know it is that fountain made famous in the movie “Three Coins in the Fountain”. They said that if you threw a coin in that same fountain you are assured to be back there someday, so I did throw a coin and made that wish, hoping to be back in Rome someday. Then we also went to Venice, Province of Venice, Italy to experience the lifestyle of Venetians and ride their famous Gondolas in the waterways of the city of Venice. That will be coming on my next travel blog.
Boats at the shore on the beautiful island of Capri.
(Photos by Travel Bloggers Website)