About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We said goodbye to Hotel Duomo in Orvieto and headed to Rome this morning. Its a little over an hour from Orvieto to Rome.

Part way to Rome we realized that Brandon left his two stuffed cats and their tent in the hotel room. Katrina immediately called and they will keep them until Sunday when we pass Orvieto to head home. Disaster averted.

We arrived in Rome before lunch and were able to check in right away. We are staying at Hotel Gerber. Its a very nice hotel located near the Vatican City section of Rome and one block from the Metro.

After settling into our room, we headed out and caught the Metro to Termini, the main train station and location of an Information office. We needed to buy Roma Passes to use at many of the sights.

We ended up eating some pretty good pasta for lunch at the train station before catching another Metro to the Colosseo.

Ah, one of the major landmarks of Rome, the Colosseum. The lines were not too bad, so we were able to enter fairly quickly. Brandon was our tour guide. The most fascinating part of the Colossum for me was the underground chamber area. This did not exist at many of the other Roman arenas. I was both impressed with the size of the Colosseum and dissappointed at how little remains of it. The Roman Arena in Verona is much less in ruin with all the seats and levels intact. It was good to see this Colosseum and compare it to all the others we have seen.

Tour guide Brandon reads to us from "Rome for Kids"

My name in stone

Arch of Constantine commemorates a military coup and the acceptance of Christianity by the Romans.

Temple of Venus and Rome site, as viewed from the Colosseum

Long view of the Colosseum. The partial wood deck shows how the floor once covered the underground rooms. The wood floor was covered with sand (arena in Latin).

Roman graffiti

After leaving the Colosseum, we wandered past the Arch of Constantine and headed for Palatine Hill. Palatine Hill is full of interesting sites: the huts of Romulus and Remus, the Imperial Palace, a great view of Circus Maximus and more.

The Stadio, the palaces sunken outdoor rec area

Brandon stands on a piece of marble floor where Romans once stood.

Remains of a large fountain in the lower courtyard of the emporers palace.

View of Circus Maximus from the emporers palace.

Brandon standing on the spot where the emporers throne would have been in the throne room.

Brandon, the evil and mean emporer.

From Palatine Hill you can enter directly into the Roman Forum. The Forum was the political, religious and commercial center of the city. This area was the center of the empire as the Roman's expanded into the world.

Basilica of Constantine

I love all the columns

View across the Roman Forum

These indentions in the stone were for games that Romans played on the steps of the temple.

Temple of Vesta

Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina

Colosseum from Palatine Hill viewpoint

Leaving the Roman Forum, we headed down the street to see Trajan's Column and the ruins surrounding it. Rome reached its peak under the Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117). The empire stretched from Scotland to the Sahara and all points in between. Trajan extended the Forum by building his own area, including the column, covered in carvings that tell the story of his conquests.

Trajan's Column

Trajan's column detail

It was late evening and we were tired. Katrina wanted to take a few pictures of the Colosseum at sunset, so we headed back that way before catching the Metro back to our hotel.

Colosseum at sunset

A beautiful end to a great Roman day

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