Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Do you know what I find most surprising about Rome? Roman ruins -- like the Colosseum (Number 69 on my Bucket List) -- are smack dab in the middle of the city! They sit among modern buildings, like high-rise condos and Blockbuster Video stores. Yes, Virginia, there's a Blockbuster in Rome. Odd, I know.
Do you know what's even odder than that? The fact that no one is desecrating these international monuments. There is a quiet respect and dignity afforded these historical landmarks where no one dares mark it up with graffiti, or fly an airplane into it. I think that's because Roman history is really mankind's history. If you trace modern civilization back to its roots, you will find that all roads really do lead to Rome.

Do you know what else I find surprising? The Colosseum's exterior is made of travertine! Who knew? I thought travertine was a relatively new-fangled, very expensive kind of stone tile. I think it was expensive back in 80 A.D., too, because there were stonerobbers who would steal big chunks of it off of the amphitheater. But how did they do it, roll rocks of travertine down the street jagged end over jagged end? And where were the polizia when all this thievery was going on?

Not to worry, though. They didn't completely ruin the place. There is still plenty to see, and it is open to the public every day (unlike our White House where you might get in and you might not, depending on the Terror Alert of the day.)

I'm just glad I got to marvel at, see and touch something that is thousands of years old.

1 comment:

PatriciaW said...

Rome is definitely on my bucket list.