I visit one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and see the ancient Roman Forum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Men dressed as roman soldiers strolled through the courtyard, allowing tourists to take pictures and adding a humorous lighthearted element to the visit.
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.
However, we quickly crossed back into more sunlight.
The inside of the Colosseum wasn’t as impressive as the outside, and certainly wasn’t as iconic, but it was impressive nonetheless.
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.
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.
The guide wove us tales of kings and palaces, of feasts and fornication and ancient loos.
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.
Other structures were still massive and impressive,
giving us an idea of what the monuments must have looked like in their full glory.
Every once in a while a rare fresco could still be seen intact
At the edge of the forum was the beautiful Tiber river, with pedestrians strolling along.
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!