There is no place like Rome. I had high expectations for this visit, and was very excited to have this opportunity. I was definitely not disappointed. It was beautifully amazing. The people were friendly, the food was delicious, and the views were breathtaking.
A tour for 25 euros included viewing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum with the bonus of getting to skip the entrance lines. From the tour guide, I learned that about 700,000 men were killed throughout the time of the games. Many different animals from various parts of the world and the unique plants that trekked along with them were brought to the Colosseum. The gladiators were trained with specific fighting techniques depending on their body type. The armor they received would provide certain advantages or disadvantages. Usually the opponents of the favored gladiator were handicapped: their arms or feet were tied or they didn’t have weapons or shields to fight back. The animals that were brought in were usually starving, and the scent of the female species would be rubbed on the victim so that he didn’t have a chance.
The holes along the columns of the Colosseum were created by the removal of the marble that was stolen as it was very valuable at the time the Colosseum was no longer being used for the games. Some of this marble was used in building St. Peter’s Basilica within the Vatican City.
The name ‘arena’ we use today for entertainment facilities comes from the Latin word arena meaning sand. Sand was used in the Colosseum to soak up all the blood that was shed.
Being in a place such as this just ignites more curiosity into the past, and it also inspires by what was achieved, what should be avoided, and what can still be done. Seeing this place firsthand provides a better opportunity for the imagination to recreate the situation of days long gone.
The Roman Forum
The second part of the tour included a walk through the hill where the first Emperor lived. It was a beautiful site. The Emporer also had his own large outdoor entertainment center where small scale gladiator games were played.
We also had the opportunity to walk along the road the Romans would take parading after a victory or angrily storming after a disappointing match at the Colosseum.
This was all unlike anything I’d ever seen before. It made for a very interesting time.