Waking up in our little hotel outside of Rome, we had to be out at 8:30 to wait for our private car (which just happened to be a Mercedes). It cost us 50 euros (AGAIN!) to get into The Eternal City but at least the driver was kind and knowledgeable this time. He dropped us off as close as he could get to the Colosseum after the half hour long drive. We waited patiently nearby for our 10 am tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum to start. I booked this through Viator as well.
Our tour left from the nearby Metro Station and went into the Colosseum; it’s so like the pictures! Inside, we learned about the building materials and how they are so susceptible to Rome’s pollution. This is why the streets around the ancient building are now closed off, so as not to blacken the outside as quickly. I found it incredible how the Romans could complete such an amazing project in just eight years, thanks to the genius ingenuity of the arch.
The Colosseum served its purpose of distracting the people by keeping the entertained very well for 500 years: the Gladiators fighting with animals and other gladiators made for a more epic viewing than today’s TV. Interestingly enough, Gladiators were kept alive as long as possible because they were so expensive to replace; most died from infected wounds.
Our group advanced through the different levels of the Colosseum, seeing where the gladiators entered the large arena, by the long-gone elevators. I could only imagine the large crowds of people jeering as the gladiator met with his opponent, be it man or beast. The wealthy sat closest to the center stage, the middle class men and slaves came next, and the lowest class women were closest to the top, separated so they wouldn’t be tempted to sell themselves to any men in the many corridors. This didn’t work apparently, because the sailors operating the huge awning over the Colosseum caught the attention of the poor women anyways.
From the second level we could see the Arch of Constantine, and further on the Forum which we would head to next.