Our first full day was over and we're back in the apartment to settle down and get some rest. As I'm lying down on my bed checking the news and Facebook I hear the distinct sound of a woman crying and cursing in Italian. I peek my head out and it's the owner of the hostel frantically mopping up water in the lobby and, what I assume, a mechanical room behind the front desk. Her poor English was made even worse by what appeared to be a crisis of plumbing proportions. "Caldera! Burst! Plumber, ahhh!!!" Ooooooh, I get it, that's why there's no running water in our room's bathroom. Good thing a shower wasn't on the list for the evening and we had bottled water. I actually felt pretty sorry for the poor woman, even offered to help, but she said she was fine and everything would be OK. The next morning everything seemed fine and breakfast was laid out for us as normal.
So, day 3, our last full day in the city. Today was going to be all about ancient Rome. The big stops were Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum, and the Roman Forum. Here we go!
David loves fountains. He can't take his eyes off them...
These doors are almost 2,000 years old!
The famous oculus, the only source of natural light inside the building.
Outside view, with complementary sunburst.
David is ever-enthralled at 2,000 year old buildings.
No, THIS we DID plan for! The Colosseum! I was pretty excited actually to get to tour this place, so I think I'll just sit back and let the pictures do the talking . . .
Mr. Handsomes enjoying his visit to Rome and the Colosseum.
David just can't stop looking at all the action!
I wouldn't have expected it, but here we have Costantini the Colosseum Cat!
I also should editorialize here a bit about what this place means now that I've visited it and learned its history a bit more. The Colosseum really was, in its basic form, a horrible place. A place where humans and animals were pitted against each other and cheered by bloodthirsty spectators all in the name of "entertainment". Thousands of animals, and perhaps as many humans were executed or forced to fight to the death, including early Christian martyrs.
Now it stands merely a shell, a decaying fragment of its former self. While it was an engineering masterpiece that has withstood the tests of time and the elements, its use can really only be regarded as a monument of humanity's cruelty and depravity.
But even with all that, it still stands as one of my favourite visits in the city. It should be seen, it should not hide its past. People must be made to see what technology, engineering, and entertainment can be brought together to such levels of inhumanity. We have to learn and recognize how low we can go as a "modern society" in the names of entertainment.
The Convento S. Bonaventura Al Palatino
Unfortunately for us, we ran out of time and the Roman Forum closed before we could get inside. I guess we'll just have to go back another day!!
Did I mention millions of starlings?
Stay tuned for exciting final chapter: Pax Romana!