Sunday, May 22, 2016

Roman Holiday

We arrived in Rome today! We had to hit the ground running because we only have a day and a half to see everything. Our hotel is right by the Pantheon, so we went there first thing this morning after we dropped our bags off at the hotel.

The Pantheon is a temple originally built in 27 B.C. by Marcus Agrippa. It was rebuilt in 120 A.D. but the inscription at the top still dedicated the temple to him. The 40 foot high columns were taken from an Egyptian temple. The temple was dedicated to all the Roman gods. Inside there is a mathematically perfect domed ceiling measuring 142 feet tall and 142 feet wide.

 Next, we walked over to the Colosseum and joined up with an English tour guide. The Colosseum was built when Rome was at its peak in A.D. 80. This is where the gladiators fought and people and animals were killed as a spectator sport. The stadium held 50,000 people, and amazingly, it only took eight years to build. Only one third of the original Colosseum remains today.
This is a shot from inside the stadium. A partial restoration of the wood floor shows where the floor level was. Underneath were all the underground passages. The wood floor of the playing level was covered with sand to absorb the blood.

A selfie at the Colosseum.

 A short walk from the Colosseum is the Roman Forum - (ruins of it anyway) and Palatine Hill. For nearly a thousand years, the Forum was the heart of Rome. It contained temples, government buildings and shopping. It was where Romans came to hang out.

More ruins from the Forum. It was massive.

Tomorrow morning we are headed to the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel. Then it will be a mad dash to get on the ship before it sails away at 5:00 p.m.

1 comment: