No one could have asked for a more wonderful last day in Rome. Not a cloud in the sky and hot! Breakfast and then we have to finish packing. Today Sarah ate Jif Peanut Butter on bread along with Honey Nut Cherrios. Many evenings she’d eat some of the dry cereal as a snack before going to bed.
Final packing over with Sarah’s presents locked in our suitcase (TSA lock), we took them out of the room and left with the owner until 4:00 pm when the driver would take us to Fuimincino Airport. We had a plan. The first stop? Trevi Fountain where there was only a small amount of people this early and Sarah was able to throw her coins into the fountain to ensure she returns to Rome one day….View image…
From Trevi Fountain, we started walking past the still imposing Roman Forum…and maps on the wall showing the spread of the Roman Empire over the years…
… and down to the Colosseum only to get in line again. At least there was more to look at while waiting. Men dressed as Gladiators waiting to pose for photos with tourists (for money, of course)…mimes…sellers…cute teenage boys…people.
This line moved a little faster. Pehaps only 45 minutes until the entrance. FREE again! Us and backpacks through x-ray and once inside, everyone was able to spread out. After all, the Colosseum did hold more than 50,000 people in ancient times.
I tried to make the Colosseum history as interesting as possible for Sarah. We talked about:
- How animals were pulleyed up (old-style elevators) to the main level before being released to chomp on people;
- The main level was constructed of planks with sand over it;
- There were dressing rooms underground for the Gladiators, the stars of their day;
- This is probably where “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” originated;
- They’d spray the arena with perfume between “acts” to disguise the smell of blood;
- There were cheap seats and expensive seats, just like today;
- The seats were numbered for people to find where they sat. We owe this to the Greeks and Romans;
- A huge cloth canopy could be unfurled over the Colosseum so spectactors didn’t get too hot; and the most important fact…
- Architecturally and structurally, the Colosseum is the father of every stadium and arena built to this day!
Sarah really liked the Colosseum (and the cute Italian boys all around). She said the Colosseum was her favorite Rome sight. When we were in Rome 30 years ago, you could still visit the underground portion of the Colosseum, walk through the entire Forum – into the Senate, etc., and through the triumphal Arch of Constantine. All this is off-limits now and there are only scenic vantage points in the Forum.
Outisde, we walked back to the Spanish Steps past the other side of the Roman Forum where a couple was posing in wedding clothes …
…while Sarah worried about whether or not the constantly underfoot pigeons would get hurt in the crush of people. I assured her that I have seen children deliberately trying to “stomp” a pigeon (including her father) and it is impossible. Pigeons are very fast.
Into another restaurant by the Trevi Fountain for a late lunch/early dinner. Pizza and wine. Wine is still the main bargain in Europe at 7 Euros for a bottle of house wine. Such a deal! There was still some time left to sit in the sun on the Spanish Steps with the rest of the masses before leaving for the airport and saying goodbye to Rome.