Call me a broken record – I don’t mind, really! And I will say it again and again: it was surreal, this overwhelming feeling of joy and disbelief at waking up to another day in Europe, this time in Rome, Italy – one of the many places I have read, and still do today, about in the Bible 😇🙏
As the day wore on, I couldn’t help but compare bible times Rome and today’s Rome, and noticed how the two are juxtaposed. It’s this mix of new within the old, that makes Rome extraordinary. And 12 months on, if it weren’t for the thousands of photos we took or the history of step count on my phone, etc, it would all seem to be a dream.
For day 7, I will not bore you with the details – rather I will share photos of the day that ‘Rome conquered me’ & not me conquering Rome 😅. We started of the day with a tour of the Colosseum – we had to get there early to get tickets as per Matt’s (our tour leader) advice. You see, tickets to the Colosseum are free on the 1st Sunday of every month: you just have to arrive very early as the queues can get very long (disclaimer: not sure if this still applies during pandemic times, so check the relevant websites first, if you planning to visit).
From the Colosseum we then embarked on a tour called “conquer the capital”. This tour is by foot, and we walked! And walked! Had a nice Italian lunch! Then continued with walking tour!
We walked until our feet hurt, well for me 😄 not sure about the others. I must say this though, my friends, there is no better way to see Rome than by foot or cycling (yes we passed a few cyclists along the walk). Forget cars, walk or cycle till you drop, to encounter Rome in all it’s fullness and historial richness; trust me its worth every ache and pain.
How can something with so much dark history be so beautiful at the same time? I guess on a quiet day, one could almost hear the grunts of the gladiators, clink of their weapons, the roar of the crowd or silence in anticipation of whether it’s a thumbs up or down from the emperor. Or almost smell the sweat and blood, of both spectators and the ones being made spectacle of, or feel the emotions of the men, immortalised as gladiators who fought to the death, but in reality were prisoners! They had no freedom!! Anyway, I’ll stop there and leave that discussion for another day. Back to day 7, here are some more pictures from inside, outside the Colosseum and from the other places saw during the tour!
Other landmark ruins, ancient buildings etc seen throughout our walk.
Our walking tour ended at the Spanish steps. The rest of the afternoon and evening we were free to do our own thing – more sightseeing or do some souvenir shopping, etc. And much to our delight, most of the shops were still open. We caught the metro back to the hotel on our own and didn’t get lost. This time, I made sure to note all the instructions down in my phone 😄 It was a long tiring day but all worth it: those few hours made us realise that Rome definitely was not built in one day!! (For those who know Rome better than we do, please forgive us if we got some of the landmarks wrong. Corrections are most welcome)