Our last full day in Rome we strolled over to the Flavian Amphitheater (better known as the Colosseum) to go check out the iconic structure. We decided to forego a group tour and with the knowledge of the legend, Rick Steves in Megan’s ear, wandered around for an hour or so. The thing that surprised me the most, and thankfully Rick was able to answer, was why there is not a flat surface on the floor of the Colosseum, but instead stone rooms and corridors? The answer was they laid wood over the stone structure and placed sand on top of that to form the fighting surface. That way, they kept the gladiators and animals underneath the arena floor and brought them up when needed with the use of pulleys and elevators.
We walked around the first and second levels of the Colosseum but unfortunately could not go in the underground areas. The second level provided a nice partial view of the Roman Forum as well.
After we exited the Colosseum we headed over to the Roman Forum (our ticket was for both). I thought the Forum was pretty limited to what I could see from the Colosseum, and it was starting to get hot outside, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it. To my pleasant surprise, there was much more to the Forum than I could see from the Colosseum and there were some excellent views of both the Forum and Colosseum from a lookout point above.
After taking in the views, we walked back towards the entrance to walk through the Forum. There were all kinds of things to see there: an amphitheater, arches, temples, statues, etc. all ruins of what once was the center of Roman society. The things we found most interesting were the temple where Julius Caesar was cremated and statues of the Vestal Virgins. I would have liked to have researched more about the Forum ahead of time, or had a knowledgeable tour guide, but at that point I was pretty worn out from Rome-ing around and wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.
After exiting the Forum, we ran into some musicians playing our “favorite” song of the summer “Despacito”, walked past the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), stopped at a kebab place for lunch, and then headed back to the apartment to cool off.
That night we went out to a nice dinner at a popular restaurant called la Carbonara that was over 100 year old. It was our thank you send-off to Ace for joining us on this portion of Italy. Once again we ate ourselves into a nice food coma and walked home to digest it.
The next day Megan and I took Ace to the train station to get her to the airport. Poor Ace was always running through train stations this whole trip. I don’t think there were many times when we weren’t hustling to catch our train for whatever reason. We quickly gave Ace a hug and she ran to her terminal. We received a text from the airport that she made it and was having one last tiramisu before heading back home. We were glad you enjoyed your trip, Ace!