Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mediterranean Cruise (Part 3)

 Hello! Are you ready to continue traveling with me? We are in part 3 of my Mediterranean cruise! And yes, all roads lead to...yup, you guessed it! Rome!
 And today's post is all about Rome and the Colosseum.
 These are the photos that were taken just outside the Colosseum.
 We arrived in Rome on Dec. 27, 2012. Christmas was just over. Rome, the Eternal City, is just as glorious and chaotic as it ever was! We had only ONE day to see the was hardly enough, but at least I got a taste of Rome!
 After an hour and half bus ride from our Port of Call (Civitavecchia, known as Port of Rome), we reached our first stop! The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, built of concrete and stone. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

It was amazing at first sight...there it is! 
(photo credit: Dr. John)
 Our Italian tour guide (see the following photo-top middle) did a detailed introduction to this amazing structure. And being in Rome, we were surrounded by crowds and crowds of tourists. I was particularity vigilant with my purse as Rome is also notorious for pick-pocketing! The street vendors often play some silly tricks to catch your attention and then take your wallet in the mean time....I actually saw MANY suspicious street people "in action". However, must do what the Roman tourists do--Stay calm and tour on.
 Once we got inside, we saw these.
 Display of the structural pieces
  The steps to the upper level were big and steep....I felt that that I was in the Romans' footsteps, so to speak.
Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. I must say that the Romans already know what Reality Show is all about even way back then....

 If interested, here are some film clips:
Gladiator (movie by Russel Crowe--2:43 min) 
History of the Roman Colosseum ( from History channel--9:45 min) 
 Gladiator's Story (from BBC--50 min)
 The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era.
 It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.!!!! It looks like my Alexia was all caged up and prepared to face the Gladiator!!! Thankfully the Lu family came to the rescue! It was VERY hard to get this photo of our family because tourists were everywhere!
 After a few more photos and walking-about, we were bused off to an Italian lunch! Love the pasta, veal, spinach and Panna Cotta with chocolate sauce! 
  After this scrumptious meal with some Italian vino, we were off to....
 (photo credit: Stephanie Lu)
Stato della Città del Vaticano (Vatican City)! My next travel post is coming up on Sunday!