Hard to believe the Colosseum, or Ampitheatre Flavius, was opened in 72AD! And that some 5,000 wild animals were put to death in the 100 day opening celebrations; that 70,000 people could be seated within 20 minutes; that awning segments were hoisted across the roof to provide shade…and that most of the marble facade was pillaged to build St Peter’s Basilica. Yes, we are in awe of the brilliance of Roman construction.
View the Circo Massimo, originally used for Chariot Races, now the venue for all celebrations including Live Aid.
Freeze our butts off in the Catacombs of Domitilla, an underground Basilica comprising some 17km of galleries and corridors spread over four levels, housing almost150,000 burials. Descending into its bowels, we giggle with thinly veiled fear at the prospect of getting lost in there for days, helpful for losing a few of kilos but ever so cold and a tad scary. The cold would have been most welcome yesterday as we were slogging the kilometers that make up the Vatican in 35 degree heat!
Finally back to the Piazza Navona which sits over another ancient stadium, to view the magnificent fountains there then make our way to our guide recommended restaurant for lunch. It’s vegetarian…and a smorgasbord…Ducky has a mild panic at the thought of ‘eating at the trough’ and ‘no meat’ throws him into a total tailspin. Never the less, he perseveres and we compensate by agreeing to eat at ‘guaranteed meat’ Hard Rock Cafe this evening.
We make a feeble attempt to trawl shops but the cobbled roads become too slippery from our first rain. Fifi’s hawker purchased umbrella starts disintegrating and poking people’s eyes and her shoes pose the risk of face planting her in the gutter…time for home…there’s a Hard Rock Cafe beckoning.