We just returned from a trip to Rome. The ancient city wowed us with its Roman ruins, since we are both suckers for them. We would rather spend the entire day learning about the history of those earlier days and seeing these ruins than looking at old renaissance paintings in a museum. We spent the majority of our time scoping out the different ruins around the ancient city, and it has inspired us to learn more about the Roman Empire times. Now back, we have a queue of documentaries to watch about those times before we head out to Nice this Sunday.
The first site we visited was Area Sacra. It is a square that has the remains of four Roman temples and of Pompey’s Theatre. The four temples were constructed and designated with letters A, B, C, and D. Temple A and C were built in the 3rd century BC, temple B in 101 BC, and temple D, the largest of the four, was built in the 2nd century BC. Then in the 18th century, the square was turned into an opera house, and in present time, the place is a cat sanctuary, a shelter for different breeds of cats. There were so many of them, and I’m sure cat lovers would have appreciated it.
On another day, we visited the magnificent Colosseum. As we approached the grand structure, we were instantly taken back into Roman times. We imagined gladiators fighting on the arena and Romans cheering like in the movie Gladiator. Inside, we learned some history about how the Romans spent their time inside the structure. We had no idea people cooked with their own potteries while watching games, and that drinking was controlled by the use of tokens to avoid drunken chaos. Women used toothpicks to curl their hair and other picks to style their locks. Some of these potteries and tools were excavated and shown on display on the second floor of the Colosseum.
Beneath the arena, there was a school for gladiators. Last night we watched Gladiator again, and the depiction of the Colosseum in the movie was pretty accurate. It was amazing to be inside the structure, and we wished we could have explored the area beneath the arena where the gladiators had spent their time.
After the Colosseum we walked over to the Roman Forum, where the ancient city lies. It was amazing to walk those grounds and see the old remnants of the Roman city. The lack of technology and machinery back then is mind-blowing to know that large columns, pillars, temples, and buildings were built elaborately by man’s hands. People back then surely had talent and time for such things, and although only parts of it is left, our imaginations take over and fill in the missing pieces. We later saw a detailed map of how the city used to stand with all of its immaculate buildings, and to see what is left of it is still unbelievable that it has lasted all these years. Rome does a good job protecting and preserving these ruins from the public, and we’re glad they do. It is a good reminder of history and of the Roman times, which I am always fascinated by.