June 30, 2016
We didn’t wake up until about 11am this morning and still had a full and busy day! We headed out in search of cappuccino and breakfast. On our way, I found the vehicle I would drive if I lived here!
We found the perfect cafe for breakfast! It was super cute and we were able to have our cappuccino and danish outside. It was a beautiful morning, or actually afternoon by the time we got going!
After breakfast, we headed to Campo de Fiori to the market. On our way, we stopped at the Palazzo Della Cancelleria and learned a little about Leonardo Da Vinci.
We made it to the market and the first thing we saw were the beautiful flowers that were for sale. Of course, my favorite were the sunflowers and they were perfect. The colors were gorgeous. We wandered around for a while and all of the veggies and fruit were so fresh! There were fresh spices and fresh pasta everywhere. We all stopped for some fresh squeezed juice along our way. We got a mix of orange juice and pomegranate juice. Highly recommended!
We continued on and passed the Tiber River. Everything is so beautiful! We found so many great photo spots!
One of the best things about this city so far is that there is free water everywhere! We bought one water bottle this morning and refilled it at the filling stations all day! The water is cold and tastes wonderful!
Our next stop was to Circus Maximus. It wasn’t preserved well, but there was so much history there! We were able to see where they used to hold chariot races. Later in the day, we learned that it held about 100,000 viewers!
We then continued on to Palatine Hill. We were able to purchase a ticket that would allow us to get in there, and later the Colosseum! Never buy your Colosseum tickets at the Colosseum – be sure to purchase them at Palatine Hill. You will skip the long line at the Colosseum and get a better deal than if you purchase them online from our experience. It was a great area one of the most ancient parts of the city. We didn’t do a tour here, but we could just imagine all of the great historic things that took place!
The museum at the Palatine held artifacts and marble statues that used to be outside. Many of them were broken but there were a few that still stood strong! Michelle and I found some wings and had a little fun with them!
The next adventure was my absolute favorite part of the day! We did a tour of the Colosseum and it was awesome! Our tour guide, Sara, was fantastic – we learned so much and could just feel the history while we were inside!
It is crazy to think, but the Colosseum went up in just 8 short years. It was built from 72 – 80 AD. Tickets for events in the Colosseum are handed out the morning of the event, so the earlier people got there, the better seats they would get. Each ticket had 2 numbers. The first number was 1 – 80. It referenced one of the 80 entrances to the Colosseum. The second number was their seat number. We also learned that each level was for a different class of citizen. The lower levels were for Senators and the Emperor and their families. The next level was for the professionals, then the middle class and lastly the lowest class were seated at the top.
The events started with the hunters where it was hunter vs. animal. The animals were kept underground and raised to the surface with an elevator that was operated by 8 slaves.
The second part of the show was for the citizens that were being executed as punishment. The audience saw it as entertainment, and music and theatrical effects often accompanied it!
The last part of the show was gladiator vs gladiator. This was what the audience waited all day for! I learned today, that the gladiators were usually slaves and forced to fight for their lives. Sometimes though, a regular citizen would enter the games as a gladiator and fight for the glory. The gladiators were often seen as heroes or celebrities and sometimes they wanted that glory too! The gladiators fought until death most of the time. If the time limit was up, and both opponents were still alive, a winner would be chosen. The audience then had the opportunity to choose if the loser lived or died. The crowd would either yell “Mercy” or “Neck” in Italian. If they chose mercy, the losing opponent got to live and fight again. If they chose neck, the winning gladiator would slit the neck of the losing opponent!
It is so crazy to believe that this was considered entertainment! It is also hard to believe that after almost 2000 years, the Colosseum still stands as it does today.
We walked around Rome a little longer aft our our tour before we got a quick snack. On our way, we made a stop at the capital building.
Our snack today was pizza of course!
Quick stop at the Spanish Steps!
I bought some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor! They were fantastic!
We ate dinner at L’Osteria De Memmo, a restaurant owned by a friend of Francesco, the family friend that drove us from the airport. The food and wine were again very good!
We had to make a gelato stop tonight!
Our evening ended with a quick stop at the Pantheon! It was such an awesome building!
On our way back to the room, we stopped for some meat, cheese and beer!
I also found that I have a thing for doors over here. There are so many different kinds, they are so old and each one is unique! Here are a few from today!
Italian words/phrases of the day
Please – Per favore
How much is it? – Quanto costa?
Excuse me/Sorry! – Scusi
Hello/Bye! – Ciao
Yes – Si
You’re Welcome – Prego