On Day 2 in Rome, we headed out to the Forum and Colosseum for a little history lesson. Lesson being: know your history or you won't have a clue as to what you're looking at. We did not hire a tour guide for either of these amazing sites and I'm kinda regretting it now. I did all the necessary background reading on what we were going to see in Rome well before our trip, but I was not prepared for the random mess of the Forum. For some reason, I thought it would be a little more self-explanatory. I thought there'd be signs or something. No. Just a giant rectangular plaza containing ruins, columns, and rubble.
Since we didn't have a guide (and I was too annoyed by the vultures at the subway station to hire one), we opted for the audio tour. We stood in line (forever) to get our audio devices, only to find the audio tour was boring and monotonous and hard to follow. I was completely lost and frustrated, but Ryan did a pretty good job making sure we were looking at the right thing (or at least in the right direction) as to what that they were talking about, but after #3 on the tour, I was annoyed. We really did try though, we spent a few hours walking around, gawking at the awesomeness of the place and trying to imagine what life was like back then. Ryan listened to the audio tour and gave me recaps as I climbed around and took photos. We made a pretty good team, but I missed a lot of the commentary and background info on the place.
So, I'm not even going to try to pretend like I know anything about what's in these photos. Mainly this post is going to be a photo dump (I warned you, I'm the worst tour guide ever). There are remains of buildings and columns and churches and homes. And even without knowing exactly what all this stuff is, I think it's pretty obvious from the photos that it's unbelievably beautiful and really mind-blowing that this piece of history is still here and still part of our lives today.
After a few hours in the Forum, we made our way over to the Colosseum. And if we thought the Forum was cool, the Colosseum was AMAZING. I cannot believe this is still here. You really do feel transported back in time when you see this. Honestly, words can't really describe how blown away we both felt staring at this stadium. It's unreal and I suggest you all go there and see it for yourself as soon as possible.
Of course, after seeing the Colosseum, we've had to watch Gladiator at least a dozen times since we got home. Not that I'm complaining about watching Russel Crowe or anything. Just saying. :)
Next up: the rest of Rome