Postcard 7 from Italy
June 6, 2018
Up early to Uber to the Colosseum and Forum. Unfortunately, we had the worst driver yet. On our way to the Colosseum he yelled Italian obscenities to all of the pedestrians for sleeping while they were walking. This crazy man actually hit a woman who was walking next to the van! Luckily, she was not hurt, but her boyfriend certainly gave Mr. Uber numerous hand gestures as well as choice words.
Again, the lines were huge, but since we purchased tickets earlier, we were escorted directly to the smallest line. It’s extraordinary to look at these ruins and walk on the same ground as the gladiators fought thousands of years ago. History first: Construction started in 72 AD and was completed in 80AD. It took 200,000 men 8 years to build the Colosseum. The building reigned under 3 emperors. It is the largest amphitheater ever built and could hold up to 65,000 people. It was used for gladiator battles, public exhibitions, and was sometimes flooded to simulate mock sea battles. Seating was according to a cast system. Senators and dignitaries actually had their names carved into their seats, which were on the lower level; there were four levels to the amphitheater. It was active for about 500 years. It is thought that the Colosseums downfall, around 1,000 AD, was to reuse its bronze. By the medieval era, the structure was used for workshops and housing. We had lunch at a small restaurant off of the beaten path, which turned out to be excellent.
Next was the Forum, which was a Roman settlement from 125 BC until the second century. It was the center for trade, transportation, and the manufacturing of many goods. Both areas of these ruins cover and extensive area of ground, so I hit my top steps today, 16,000 plus steps. Back home to a late dinner in one of the little piazzas around the corner from our apartment. Of course, the boys had to watch Gladiator tonight!