Colosseum & Roman Forum

The next morning we got an early start, sipped our cappuccinos at the bar, and headed over to the Colosseum.  We bought a Roma Pass which let us skip the long line and took us right inside.  No waiting=worth the money for the pass.

Buongiorno Colosseo!

We had planned ahead and downloaded another audio tour, but when we got there for some reason it wasn’t working, and we spent probably 30 minutes trying to get this thing to download and play properly-which it finally did.  Frustrating but still worth it.

Constantine’s Arch from the Colosseum

Exhibits inside displaying orders of some of the columns.

The Colosseum is amazing to see and think about how it was used in the days of ancient Rome.  They had elevators to make gladiators and animals appear from the floor.  They would bring in trees, props, and scenery to create different backgrounds for the fights.

Right next door to the Colosseum is the Forum-which was the cultural and political center for Rome.  On the way we passed Constantine’s arch.  Before the emperor Constantine, Christianity was illegal and Christians were persecuted, crucified, fed to the lions, etc.   Constantine is the one who legalized the religion.

Constantine’s Arch
Temple of Romulus and Remus-the green door is original from ancient times

The site where Julius Caesar was burned after his murder, people still place flowers here for him.
Temple of the Vestal Virgins behind us.

I didn’t really know the story of the Vestal Virgins before this, but it is pretty interesting.  Rome would select young girls (6-10 years old) to be Vestal Virgins and tend to the flame of Vesta that was kept burning in the Temple.  The girls were responsible for keeping the fire burning at all times.  They lived in a luxurious house right next door.  They had their own box seats across from the emperor in the Colosseum and lived with a lot of privileges and wealth.  However if they were caught not keeping to their virginal ways they were buried alive-because there was a law saying you couldn’t lay a had on them.  They served a term of 30 years before they were allowed to “retire” and get married.

The house of the Vestal Virgins.
Hubby grabbing a snack off one of the trees in the Forum.
The Forum and Colosseum are very dusty and dirty!  Don’t wear your nice shoes!
On top of the Palatine Hill (area where residences were next to the Forum) with St. Peter’s Basilica in the back.
One last look at the Colosseum.

This day also happened to be my birthday!  Not a bad way to spend it.  That night after washing my feet, we went out for steak dinners (which were amazing) and of course I had to make a birthday wish into the Trevi fountain.