New York has the Statue of Liberty; Paris, the Eiffel Tower; and Rome…il Colosseo. The Colosseum is a massive amphitheater that could seat up to 75,000 people. On the sunny day that I visited it, it felt like there were 74,999 other people with me:
Rome was packed. And at this wildly popular tourist attraction, it took the patience of Job to finally get a few shots without tons of strangers around every corner…
I love this shot of the Colosseum…
This place has been home to gladiators, slaves, and emperors:
and a few days ago ten years later:
How does that saying go…when in Rome, do as the Romans do? I’m not sure if I really followed that rule the last time I visited Rome, but I did get my fill of the big 4 ps: panini, pasta, pizza, and Prada. However, the best pizza I had by far was at a restaurant in Florence. It’s possible my ranking was affected by the power shopping done that day; walking around in the freezing weather with heavy bags makes everything taste better. We’d hit all the winter sales at Gucci, Prada, Missoni, et al and this was way before the dollar had tanked against foreign currency. In fact, I remember the heydays of sale shopping in Italy while they were still trading in liras! We’d hit the boutiques then train to the Prada outlet for a killing. And as if we hadn’t done enough damage, we’d cross into Switzerland for more outlet shopping there. That was the power of the almighty dollar. Those days are over.
Today I’ll share some pictures from Rome. I actually didn’t do that much shopping in Rome–the buying frenzy happened in Milan and Florence. In Rome, it was all about the historical landmarks. And, of course, the ruins.
Stepping out of your hotel lobby into the streets of Rome is always an experience for the senses. From the Spanish Step to the Trevi Fountain…everything feels larger than life here because it’s so steeped in history and even cinema. It’s as iconic as Paris is.
It has all the energy of a large, modern city yet it’s compressed into streets paved from days of the gladiators. The great Colosseum (completed in 80 AD, imagine that!) rises in Rome as if it were just some random Wal-Mart in an American suburb.
I wonder if the Romans ever take their city for granted. I highly doubt it. The Colosseum could never be just another amphitheater. The Spanish Steps could never be just another staircase. I’d like to think that when in Rome, appreciate the city with all your senses.