Rome is truly a place of history. Our day started out at the Colosseum where, as many people are aware, ancient Roman combat took place, usually between slaves or prisoners. The front looks somewhat lackluster and plain, but it is apparent how colossal it is when you see the inside.
It truly is a magnificent structure, especially considering that it was built by hand; the Romans did not have machines. The downer is the remembrance that many people, sometimes innocent, died. The Romans were very much self-centered and power hungry. We also saw the Roman Forum which includes many arches and temples dedicated to various emperors and gods of ancient Rome. Just a reminder to be humble and remember that we do not deserve praise or glory. All the power was given to us.
We also saw several churches built hundreds of years ago including Church of Mary Major (see title), Church of San Giovanni, Santa Croce, and Church of San Clemente. We also saw the Sacred Steps which are claimed to be the very steps that Jesus walked on, although this is not very likely. San Giovanni was by far the most exquisite and impressive; the grounds included an obelisk as well. It is intriguing to see how Egyptian culture and the church were merged to get the obelisk with symbols of the church on it. Each church had numerous Frescoes, marble statues, and immaculate architecture. At Santa Croce a few relics of the Roman Catholic church are displayed. While these relics may seem foreign to us, they present a clear picture of how there is more of a tangible element to the Catholic faith. These relics exist to give people confidence in God’s presence and work in history.
So far, most of our transportation has been on foot, and I can feel the calves strengthening. It does get tiring, but walking is clearly the way to go in Rome. The things you see while walking coupled with the invigorating feeling gives walking a certain desirableness. We did take the Metro (subway) to get to ways further out from our condo. So far, nothing has been more than a 7-8 block walk at a time, so everything has been easy to get to.
Of course, a trip to Rome would not be complete without taking in some of the food. For “breakfast,” Carrie, Anna, Jackie, and myself got coffee at a local cafe. What we discovered is coffee and cappuccino is very different from what we’re used to as Americans. My coffee was basically one shot of espresso. It was extremely good although not what I expected. The cappuccino that the others ordered was slightly larger but still small. Lunch consisted of pizza but had much more sauce and the crust was fresher than American pizza. The pasta was quite flavorful at the restaurant we visited this evening plus it had a large selection so we will probably return there.
The trip so far has been fun, flavorful, and filled with activity. Everyone is tired by evening so there is no laziness here! Tomorrow we do the “Scavi” tour so be sure to check-in to see what we discover there.