Thursday, September 11, 2008
First things first
The very first thing any proper Gladiator fan has to do in Rome is make a bee-line for the Colosseum. While the weather shock between rainy and mild Ireland and hot and muggy Italy was pretty severe, I wasn't going to let that stop me, or even slow me down.
The Colosseum was everything I'd ever thought it could be. Huge. Impressive. Ancient. Beautiful. Packed. The line was pretty long, though it moved a good clip. I got to wondering if people in the future will ever wait in line to take a tour of a modern stadium. Somehow, I rather doubt it, but you never know!
After we left the Colosseum we headed to the Palatine and the Forum. This was also pretty interesting, but rather hamstrung by the fact that the ruins are so much more... well, ruined. The Colosseum is in pretty bad shape, but you can really see what it once was. The remains dotting the hill of the Palatine are in various states of preservation, but few are much more than a few bits a pieces of statuary and broken columns. I have a pretty good imagination, but after a while all the broken columns start to look a little bit alike.
Poor Nick hadn't been in a real Summer since he left Japan two years ago, so he was not at home in the intense heat and humidity of Rome. He held up pretty well despite that, though I can really see why Rome has so many fountains dotted all over. If we hadn't been able to refill our water bottles so often, we both would have keeled right over.