Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome – the Eternal City

Visiting Rome you can choose to visit any number of ancient sites, temples or churches  However one of the best things about the city is that you don’t really have to spend much money at all to enjoy it.  You can wander aimlessly and soak up the atmosphere of the cobbled laneways.  The thrill of stumbling across ancient buildings is part of the city’s charm.  You are surrounded by a rich and diverse history.  The Colosseum, the Forum, the Aqueducts, crumbling buildings or city walls are all around you.  You are living and breathing ancient Rome at every step.

The Colosseum, the iconic image that comes to mind when picturing Rome, has a fascinating history. Inaugurated in 80 AC, as you walking inside, you can just imagine the gladiators preparing to go to battle, cheered on by thousands of spectators, baying for blood!  Games were banned in 404 CE by Emperor Honorius, but the Colosseum continued to be in use. After the fall of the Roman Empire it was abandoned for many years, plundered of its marble and used as a quarry to build churches, temples and basilicas.

Finally in 1744 Pope Benedict XIV banned any further removal of materials from the Colosseum, and it was preserved as we know it today.  A local told me that this was really because the Pope’s procession would pass the Colosseum and it was thought that any further dismantling of it would detract from the pomp and the ceremony of the procession.  Whether true or not, it does make for a fine story!

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