I’ve always wanted to visit Rome, that’s always been for sure; however, I’ve never quite been sure on which spectacular piece of history I wanted to view more …. Vatican City or The Colosseum.
Vatican City was amazing, as you will have seen if you saw my last blog post about my visit. I was thoroughly overcome by the amazing artwork and architecture and, left the whole experience in awe of the sheer amount of history contained within one city.
That being said, I have never been great in crowds! I simply hate being cramped and moving along with the pace of others, rather than at your own leisure, simply because there is nowhere else to move! This is unfortunately how it was at Vatican City, understandably so, as it’s such a magnificent place to visit, but I certainly would have preferred a little more breathing room!
For that reason, I think I can now confidently say that The Colosseum was the highlight of my trip to Rome, and takes my number one spot of places to visit.
The girls and I approached through the Arch of Constantine, which spans the Via Triumphalis. This was the route emperors took to enter the city in Triumph, when celebrating a successful foreign war.
Interestingly, many high profile films have ‘featured’ The Colosseum as a main part of the film, although many of these were actually not the real deal. ‘Gladiator’ for example, was not granted permission to be filmed on location. On the flip side of this, the more recent film ‘Jumper’ was given unprecedented access to the labyrinths below the colosseum in order to film numerous scenes. Apparently though, none of the props, cameras or stands were allowed to touch the floor!
The whole space was just breathtaking and, unlike the rest of the days adventures, I didn’t feel cramped at all! I actually felt dwarfed by the vastness of this remarkable landmark.
I’ve always had a very curious and adventurous side, and I guess The Colosseum brought out the child in me. I loved striding up the gigantic steps to explore every nook and cranny (there are a LOT of stairs!). The fact that you can actually touch and walk upon some of the stone work that has been there since 80AD is just a phenomenal feeling also, I took every opportunity to explore as much as I could!
The one regret I have from this visit, is that I simply did not take enough photo’s, barely any in fact! I was so mesmerised by the whole experience. It almost felt as though I was the only person there, and I remember feeling very peaceful and relaxed, whilst also feeling hugely privileged to be able to explore such an imposing building.
Incase you haven’t studied the history of the Colosseum, it was commissioned under the reign of Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, and finally completed in 80 AD under his heir, Titus. The most famous use of the Colosseum was unfortunately for Gladiatorial events, which were hugely popular at the time, although it was also occasionally used for re-enactments and dramas also. It is estimated that it could hold a whopping 50,000 – 80,000 people for each event too!
Nowadays a lot of this wonderful monument has unfortunately crumbled, due to devastating earthquakes in Rome, as well as stone robbers taking advantage, which is such a shame. The keepers of this amazing place are constantly at work on some part of it or another, to preserve what is left of it’s beauty. As you can see from these pictures, I saw a lot of beauty in it too!
This is certainly my most memorable part of the whole trip to Rome, a sunset I will never forget and a place that makes you feel truly special, whilst also being such a small part of the world. All in all, a very therapeutic experience, I will certainly visit again.