The Colosseum and the Roman Forum

Italy, Rome

I visit one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and see the ancient Roman Forum.


Summer 2010

One of the first images that comes to mind at the word “Rome,” is the Colosseum. 6 acres wide, standing at 157 feet (48m), the Colosseum is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It’s widely accepted as being one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

The Roman Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum

Upon arriving by plane into the humid, hot, summer air of Italy, one of my first impressions riding through Rome by taxi was that everything was close. You couldn’t drive for more than a minute without passing by one famous landmark or another. The city reminded me of a cheaply made postcard, photoshopped so that all the landmarks fit into one frame. It was also amusing that these ancient structures were right next to busy street intersections, casually blending in to the rest of the city. None of these monuments or great feats of ancient architecture ever failed to captivate me, though.

The moon and the Colosseum

The moon and the Colosseum

I stared with wide eyes at the immense icons. The Colosseum was one of the first figures that we drove past on our jet-lagged taxi commute to our first hotel.

The Roman Coliseum

The Roman Coliseum

Massive and beautiful and legendary. Seeing the Colosseum in real life instead of in pictures was like seeing a family member after two years and being shocked at how much they had grown. Surreal.

At night, the stadium was lit up in golden light, showcasing the monument in all its glory.

Roman Colosseum at night

Roman Colosseum at night

We walked past the Colosseum many more times within our time in Rome, but it wasn’t until the last day of our vacation in Italy that we took the tour.

Performer in the Colosseum courtyard

Performer in the Colosseum courtyard

Men dressed as roman soldiers strolled through the courtyard, allowing tourists to take pictures and adding a humorous lighthearted element to the visit.

Colosseum tour

Colosseum tour

It was a hot day, and we entered through the dark arches leading into the Colosseum with hope that the inside would offer some shade.

Colosseum archway

Colosseum archway

In between the walls of the Colosseum

In between the walls of the Colosseum

Into the Colosseum

Into the Colosseum

However, we quickly crossed back into more sunlight.

Within the Colosseum walls

Within the Colosseum walls

The inside of the Colosseum wasn’t as impressive as the outside, and certainly wasn’t as iconic, but it was impressive nonetheless.

The Colosseum yard

The Colosseum yard

This was where a thumbs-up could save a man’s life, while another man’s guts were splayed out for seagull food. We walked to the different vista points throughout the ancient stadium.

After the tour of the Colosseum, we continued on to The Forum.

The Forum is a large area of crumbling buildings that was once the central hub of the ancient Roman empire. Traces of what civilization was like back in 54 BC can be explored today. Tourists can essentially visit the past.

Our tour group wove through the ancient monuments, receiving fun facts and descriptions from our guide.

Walking through the Forum

Walking through the Forum

Of all the places to book a tour guide, I’d say The Roman Forum is pretty necessary. I would have no idea how ancient or important these beautiful crumbled monuments were without some sort of informational helper.

Gorgeous remains of an empire lost in time

Gorgeous remains of an empire lost in time

The guide wove us tales of kings and palaces, of feasts and fornication and ancient loos.

The forum, stretching far into the distance

The forum, stretching far into the distance

Without the tour guide, I would not have known where the throne location was, where kings and kings and kings had sat. Without the knowledge, the throne spot just looked like a boring slab of grey rock.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

Other structures were still massive and impressive,

Tourists strolling through a land lost in time

Tourists strolling through a land lost in time

giving us an idea of what the monuments must have looked like in their full glory.

A large archway, seen in The Forum

A large archway, seen in The Forum

Every once in a while a rare fresco could still be seen intact

An ancient fresco

An ancient fresco

At the edge of the forum was the beautiful Tiber river, with pedestrians strolling along.

Tiber River

Tiber River

Overall, The Forum was not very exciting compared to some of the more intricate and elaborate monuments we had seen. That being said, I believe that The Forum is the most ancient set of man-made structures that I have yet to see. And for that, I am proud to check it off of my bucket list!

Advertisements

Leave a comment/question/suggestion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s