Sunday, March 4, 2012


Rome - February 2012
There were a lot of disappointed tourists. For the first time in 50 years (I think?) Rome had snow. I certainly wasn't expecting it.  When I see pictures of people who have visited Rome, they are always in sundresses, searching for a spot of shade, eating gelato. I don't think we had any gelato. We had icy sidewalks.
Thankfully, we were in Rome long enough that we managed to see everything on our list. We talked to lots of people who were only around for a week or less, and weren't able to see much of anything. The Colosseum was open on one day the first week - we had tried to get in 2 previous days, and the next day (when we tried to go to the Forum) everything was closed again. My last comment on this is that compared to the Romans, people in Victoria handle snow very well. 

Being in the Colosseum was a very neat experience. I read (and re-read and re-read) a trilogy of books when I was younger called The Mark of the Lion. They were about Gladiators, and Christians who were thrown to the lions but survived. In this space, I wondered at the brutality of a civilization, and how what we enjoy is maybe not shaped by us, but by those around us. For instance—I enjoyed seeing the Colosseum. 

 It really is massive, and incredibly well designed. The entrance and exit flow allowed the entire arena (which held up to 50,000 spectators), could be emptied in 15 minutes.

This is a shot below the floor of the arena. Here is where the real show took place - wild animals were caged, gladiators and prisoners waited, elaborate stage set-ups would pop up. Theatre, and a well constructed and designed theatre at that. 

 Of course life or death was determined on the thumbs up or down - and I got a little caught up in the moment.
 Owen is ever compassionate and sticks to his guns - I love this man!

The orange trees haven't minded the snow too much. 

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