Tag Archives: Colosseum

Rome, Italy

After leaving Naples, we headed to the Italian capital by train and arrived in just under two hours to continue our holiday.

Colosseum Up Close

This trip was extra special as it was my sister’s first time visiting Rome.  It was the second time for me, but this time Rome seemed even better.  It’s a very special place—a living history lesson that simply astonishes.

Here are some of the spectacular sights of this great city…

Colosseum

The Colosseum

A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Colosseum.  Construction on this “colossal” amphitheater began in 72 AD, which says a thing or two about Roman engineering.  It could accommodate about 50,000 spectators for gladiator contests or other public performances.

Colosseum Floor

Reconstructed Colosseum Floor with Subterranean Level Below

Currently, the subterranean level and the third tier are open to private tours— it was definitely well worth the extra money to see these areas up close.

Subterranean Level

Subterranean Level

Subterranean Lift

Lift shaft that raised animals up to Colosseum floor.

The subterranean level, or “the backstage”, was a series of passageways and rooms where animals and gladiators were held before they took center stage to fight.  (I’m sure it wasn’t the most pleasant place to be at that time, but so interesting to see now.)

The Colosseum Tiers

The Colosseum Tiers

Standing on the upper tier of the Colosseum offered us spectacular views.  We really got a sense of its colossal size from this vantage point.  Amazing.

Roman Forum Main Square

Roman Forum Main Square

Next to the Colosseum is the Roman Forum, the center of Roman life during the great Roman Empire.  Set between Rome’s seven hills, the Roman Forum has so many significant ruins it’s mind-boggling.  Here’s a glance at some of the surviving structures…

Temple of Venus and Rome

Temple of Venus and Rome

Temple of Julius Ceasar

Temple of Julius Caesar - Site of Caesar’s Cremation

House of the Vestal Virgins

Site of The House of the Vestal Virgins

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine

Near the Roman Forum and the Colosseum stands the Arch of Constantine—a triumphal arch to mark Constantine’s victory over Maxentius in 312 AD which, in turn, made Christianity mainstream.

Staying on the topic of Christianity, a visit to the tiny independent city-state of Vatican City is a must-see on any Rome itinerary.

St. Peter's Basilica and Square

St. Peter's Basilica and Square

This small country (about 100 acres), ruled by the Pope, has its own postal system, currency, armed Swiss guards and mini train station along with the largest Christian church in the world (St. Peter’s Basilica), an immense museum (Vatican Museum), and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel.  So many treasures in such a small space.  It’s magnificent.

Other sights we visited…

Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill was once the center of Roman politics.  The square,  the Piazza del Campidoglio, was designed by Michelangelo.

Piazza Navona

Artists in Piazza Navona

Victor Emmanuel

National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

The National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (Altare della Patria) was built to commemorate Italy’s unification and celebrate their first king, Victor Emmanuel. The statue of the king on the horse in the center is simply enormous.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain - One of the most famous fountains.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon once served as a temple in ancient Rome and is still in use today as a church, some 2,000 years since its construction.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps - One of Rome's iconic sights.

Basilica of San Clemente

Basilica of San Clemente

A brilliant example of Rome’s layered history can be found within the Basilica of San Clemente.  This 12th century basilica was built upon a 4th century basilica which was built upon a 2nd century pagan temple.  A very interesting place to see.

Michelangelo's Moses

Michelangelo's Moses at St. Peter-in-Chains

Built in the 5th century, St. Peter-in-Chains Church (San Pietro in Vincoli) is home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of Moses as well as the chains that held St. Peter.

With so many sights, sounds and flavors to digest, one should never find themselves bored in this magnificent city.  Even after all the pasta we consumed, we still managed to burn some serious calories walking through history.

Grazie, Rome! Grazie, Italy!

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