Tuesday, 15 March 2011

40 Rome Part 3

Sunday13th March
It pissed down with rain all day today but it did at least warm up some. We took the opportunity to be lazy good for nothing bums and sat in all day playing computer games and watching TV.

Monday 14th March
We had to go and get the new speedo/computer for Wallace today so a quick dash to the dealer and it was fitted (by me - it was quicker) in about 30 minutes.
We then set off for the Colosseum.

In Rome parking is pretty liberal. This is where we parked Wallace. On one side os the Colosseum:

Looking the other way is Paletine Hill.Palatine Hill is where Roman mythology says Remus and Romulus were found and grew up. Romulus apparently killed Remus after a row and Romulus gave Rome its name. Either way, it is known that the Romans have lived here for at least 3000 years and this is the original centre part of Rome.

Approaching the Colosseum:
The walls were all the same height when built.

Arch just outside the Colosseum
After dodging the Indian guy that wanted to guide us through a roman antiquity (how does that work ?) we paid our fees and got one of those electronic talky things that give you a narrative depending upon where you are at the time.
The Colosseum was amazing and huge. Not as big as Wembley or Twickenham stadiums but it was initially built 7 years after the birth of Christ and used for 500 years thereafter. I doubt Wembley will still be in use in 500 years time.
After this it fell into disrepair and a large proportion of it was re-used for building materials elsewhere. In around the 18th century the Church took it over and started to repair parts and dig out others.
It was possible to see the underground passages where they stored the "beasts" used in the battles. The sloping bits in the structure were seating areas, now long gone.

Shows where the original stadium floor would have been, over the dungeons.
The dungeons – I like that word. The missing stadium floor was apparently  made of wood.
Shows the average age of a Roman soldier has gone up somewhat. 

Some of the stuff they found buried. Apparently they used to cook their own food whilst in the stadium.
From the outside to the inside. Prepare to die you Christian dogs. Apparently there is no evidence that Christians were slaughtered here. Yeah right, look what they did to Jesus.
The film Gladiator was very accurate in its portrayal of the place.

More Palatine Hill

Then we did what we do best, stopped for a beer and a pizza.

We then leapt back on Wallace and rode to the Vatican City. After parking up we walked into this: Numerous bronze portrayals of the crucifixion.  (See, I told you the Romans didn’t like the Christians.) All lined up in the main street leading up to St Peters Square.

Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the problem and condemning Jesus to death.

Jesus being bullied by the Romans.

We all know what this is.

We then walked into St Peters Square, which is actually round but was so big it was difficult to show it in the photos. 

Ray paying his respects
Caught unaware.
See what I mean ?  (Poking her tongue out)

Come past me and I’ll have your head on me spike.
Nee Nah, Nee Nah - It's funny to us OK

We were able to walk into St Peters Basilica for free following an airport style bag check and body scan. It was pretty amazing inside.

Tomorrow we have ticket to see the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.

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