Granted we only spent time in Rome while we visited Italy, we never thought once that we made a mistake. In fact, we kept saying that “next time we come back” we would visit Venice, Naples, Florence and everything in between. In the meantime, we spent every waking hour exploring this magnificent and ancient city…starting of course with the Might Colosseum.
**Handy tip*** when you’re walking more than a mile a day, make sure that you invest in some comfortable shoes. I wore my Converse with my orthopedic insoles. I don’t care what they say about Chucks; We walked 25 miles a week and never once did I feel like my feet where going to fall off. Explore your options though, and go for comfort, and let’s be honest…style. I had to work around my shoes with my wardrobe to make sure that I was comfortable and somewhat stylish. **
Imagine wandering the streets of Rome and taking in every sight and smell. From the feeling of excitement of walking through ancient city streets, to tasting real Italian gelato for the first time, your experience there never gets dull.
We stayed just a 20 minute walk from the Colosseum around Termini Station. We checked into our bed & breakfast the Stelle di San Lorenzo. Our host Assunto was quite lovely, and very welcoming. She had maps laid out for us along with some beverages and sacks (at a price of course). As far as Italian accommodations for two middle-aged adults on a budget, the room was still quite expensive. $120.00 p/ night $600 for five nights. Now, that may not seem too much considering we live on Hawai’i where hotel rooms run $150.00 + a night. But at the time I had just quit my job, and my husband foot the bill on this trip. I’m pretty sure that I’m a spoiled princess.
After settling into our room, we walked the streets to the P. Zadel Colsseo, aka The Colosseum and were immediately taken aback by the sheer size of this ancient structure, once utilized for blood sport. The walk to the Colosseum seemed a bit sketchy. We walked through a tunnel under the metro station. We took more of a direct route that led us through Gioliti Street. Once through the neighborhood of a mixture of tourists and poverty, we strolled through Parco Trainano & filled up on fresh water. In Italy there are water fountains on almost every block that produce the best filtered water in Rome. Initially you wouldn’t think that you could tell a difference between bottled water and the Roman street water until it hits your lips. We’ve never tasted anything like it since. **Tip: Don’t buy bottled water. Instead bring your own flask and fill up when needed.**
The shear immensity of walking through the Colosseum goes beyond a few short sentences. Imagine touching stone walls that were built 2,000 years ago. The structure itself is engineering defeat comprised of travertine blocks, layered with soft stones and concrete. Long corridor halls circulate around the Colosseum each headed to a set of stairs to the bleachers – much like modern day sports arenas. The Emperor and his family would sit in spacious “boxes” close to the viewing for the blood battles. The task of building such a structure started in 72AD and was completed in 80AD, after which time gladiators would brawl one another, or lions…sometimes both. The slave pit were below the main flooring of the battle grounds hidden below site. Each slave would wait his turn to battle another to the death. Women, men and children cheered for their favorite gladiators. Like modern football, the violence of the sport engaged in a sort of communion between all citizens of Rome.