Our day in Rome and already action packed. Alicen and Frank got a little bit of an idea of the metro lines last night when reviewing the Rome itinerary and booklet provided by our neighbours.
As we had to travel a bit to get to the "How to become a gladiator?" we left early and this ended up a good decision as it took us a while walking and finding out where the school was situated. Again, thanks to Tom for getting us there via the Maps App.
We just made it by 11am, however then had to wait for a few other tourists (from Germany) and our female instructor and started the 'session' by 11.30am.
We started by going into the museum, where out instructor explained Rome in the ancient times and the various buildings and 'equipment' (weapons) used by the Romans to conquer the barbarians. Frank answered the question correctly why the Romans were able to quickly expand their territory. This was due to the fact that their way of living was so far advanced compared to the other peoples in that time, that in many cases those were happy to be part of Romans and enjoy those higher standards of living as well.
After the museum visit, which was very informative, we then went to the 'arena' and were dressed as gladiators. The boys were requested to do some 'warm up' exercises (i.e. running around the arena, jumping and manoeuvering through some 'balls' that were swung to them.
Then we were given some swords (Tom and Luke first) and they were happy to get started hacking each other's heads off! The instructor quickly made it clear that this was a joke and replaced the swords with 'fake' weapons.
Each of the 2 groups (the van Boks and Germans) then had a mini fight against each other and this went on for a while. Very 'enjoyable' and at the end all participants received a diploma that they were granted freedom from being a 'slave' and no longer belonged to the instructor.
With a cab we then ventured to the starting point of the next tour near the Piazza Venezia. A very quick lunch there and Frank had to replace his shorts, as they had been torn during the gladiator fighting! A very stressful shopping experience for him. Tom really liked the shop and bought a few tshirts there.
The Colloseum tour first took us to the 'Forum' area where many buildings and structures were partly still in place including the area where apparently Julius Ceasar's ashes are buried.
The tour guide was great explaining the background and the walk during warm temperatures took some of the pizza weight off our bellies before heading to the Collosseum.
Tom bumped into one of the Mater Maria boys (from the cultural tour) and we then enjoyed a great session at the Collosseum. The late afternoon and sunny conditions made for some excellent photo opportunities and the guide explained the background very well.
She had pictures in a book showing how the various parts looked like in full glory many centuries ago and compared that with the current situation.
We left the tour very satisfied and were very impressed with this "artwork". Of course gruesome things happened there and many lives (from people and animals) were lost during the fights.
Alicen insisted on walking back to he Trevi Fountain. A "must see" in Rome. There was sone whinging but we made it, only to find that it was empty of water, with scaffolding and under "renovation". An extra large gellato quelled the frustrations felt by everyone and then we made the trek back to the Collesseum, which was where the closest metro was. On the way Luke was intrigued by the street artist that used spray paint cans the create a great painting of the Collesseum. He bought the one he watched being created.
Home via the metro again (quite simple in Rome with only 2 metro lines A and B in existence with a 3rd one 'under construction'). Problem with constructing the extra one is that with excavation, they found more city remains (comparable with lasagne made up by different layers).