Thursday, February 14, 2013

Italy: Rome: Forum

Tavares.Forum.Romanum.redux.jpgRome is a chaotic city that is full of surprises.  There are no crosswalks or stoplights, so you are on your own if you chose to take on the mission of crossing the street.  There are beggars everywhere, and people trying to sell you junk.  It is best to pretend you are deaf and blind, and completely ignore them, as if they are not in your face.  Otherwise they never leave you alone.  But yet it is a beautiful city, full of ruins, history, art, and cats.  Being a cat lover myself, I felt right at home.  Rome is actually a walkable city, with the subway (metro) easily accessible to the hot spots.  The metro is nothing like London; it is dirty, broken, and unsupervised.  Kind of like their bathrooms.  Even though they make you pay for them. 

First stop is the Roman Forum.  The Roman Empire lasted approximately 1000 years, from 500 BC to 500 AD.  The forum was the center of city life, where everything happened.  The Colosseum was actually the first domed stadium.  There was a canvas awning that could be hoisted across by sailors to provide shade on those hot summer days.  It seated 50,000.  Gladiators and criminals killed animals and each other, providing free entertainment to the public masses.

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