Rome day 2 - do as the Romans do
Jul 04, 2010
Where I stayed
Camping Tiber Roma
. Or if a Vestal Virgin visited jailed, walked up and touched a prisoner, they had instant freedom. A Vestal Virgin had to take a vow of celibacy and if they broke the vow they had to be killed. The only problem was that if you tried to touch a Vestal Virgin then you would be killed too so the Romans had to work out a way to do this.... it was being buried alive. Not a pleasant way to die that’s for sure! From the Roman Forum we went to The Colosseum. I preferred looking at the Colosseum from the outside as today it is just a shell. The Colosseum could seat about 50,000 people and was built for combat between Gladiator and wild beast and then Gladiator v’s Gladiator and strangely female v’s midget! Free entry for all spectators! Legend has it that Christians were fed to the Lions before Christiananity became legalised. Being a Gladiator was like being a movie star! After the Colosseum we had lunch at a restaurant overlooking more Ancient Ruins. Even today they are still finding ruins. We then went to the Vatican and joined a tour group. It allowed us immediate entry without having to wait in line for 2 hours! She was from the States and spoke very well and passionate on the subject. She took us around to the important sculptures and artwork in the Museum leaving the Sistine Chapel till last. It look Michelangelo 4 years to paint the roof and he didn’t do it lying down but standing up! Insane. After the 4 years he permanently damaged his eyesight and clearly back and neck problems
. Lots of great stories! After the Sistine Chapel we went into St Peters Cathedral. Huge! It holds the 'Madonna’ – other sculpture done by Michelangelo. We didn’t see the Pope though...apparently he has gone South for the Summer! We had an hour to kill so grabbed a gelati! Yum I love the gelati here! We had a free tour of the Pantheon – Rome’s oldest building that still remains intact and is the biggest diameter dome constructed in Rome. The only means of light is the top part of the dome (18ft in diameter) which is opened so if it rains, it will come in! But the Pantheon was designed well with the floors being convex and drainage holes...the Romans were very smart back then! We got back to the campsite around 9pm...we did so much walking...our feet were just a tad sore.
The second day in a city is so much better! You're able to navigate and have a better feel of the place. It was an early start and we walked to the train station as the free shuttle service didn’t start until 8am. We needed to be at The Colosseum by 9am for our tour and wanted to allow plenty of time! Our tour guide was a young chick from Finland. She first took us to the Roman Forum – Ancient Rome! You are able to purchase your tickets for The Colosseum from here and there was no line up! Good advice for those planning to see The Colosseum! Our tour guide told us a lot of interesting stories and legends. The story of the Vestal Virgin was good. A Vestal Virgin was chosen from a young age between the age of 6 and 10. The first 10 years they were trained. The next 10 years they served and the last 10 years they spent training the next lot of Vestal Virgins. Their job was to guard and keep the sacred temple fire. They were powerful and it was an honour to have this roll. If someone sighted a Vestal Virgin on the way to be executed, they were released and spared from death (this is how Julia Caesar was freed)