We arrived at Civitavecchia and caught our own private bus for our tour of Rome. Yes, our travel agent had organised this for the seven of us before we left Cairns. Now this is the way to do a tour.....it was nice to have front row to listen to our guide, if we didn't want to see something we could skip that and move on to the next sight. Best bit even though we were only a group of seven we were still a tour group and managed to jump a lot of the larger groups at places like the Colosseum.
Dominico the bus driver picked us up with 'I don't speak much English' which is okay because we did not 'Speak much Italian'. We enjoyed the view.....especially this sign that said Roma. This only took us at the most 40mins.
Dominico, took us along some streets that seemed like back lanes...we were wondering where we were going. Then all of a sudden we were in the middle of Rome with all these wonderful icons around us. Unbelievable. With his limited English Dominico did point out certain sights. Like this Pyramid of Cestius which was built in 18BC - 12BC as a tomb for Caisu Cestius, a magistrate and member of one of the four great religious corporations at Rome.
Next sight....unbelievably was the Colosseum.
After the quick sights we stopped off and picked up Elisbeth our tour guide for the day. She loved the history and was keen to share it with us but knew when to stop sharing and let us look around ourselves. First stop was the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli where St Peters chains are kept. This church was first built in the 5th century.
St Peters' Chains.
A magnificent work of art. The bottom section was done by known other than Michelangelo called Moses which dates back to 1515. The top section was done by his students. It is hard to see in this photo. But the detail in the bottom section is so much more details with the muscles and clothing than the top section. You can certainly tell the master.
The Arch of Constantine. Erected somewhere between 312 or 315 and is 21metres high.
Love all the reds in this photo.
We are here on foot to see the Colosseum.
Can you believe this only took them 10 years to construct.....you have to remember this is just a skeleton and everything was covered in marble. Marble columns, marble seating etc. They even had a roofing construction in case it did get too hot and sunny. This was called a velarium and it apparently took about 1000 men to move it into place. Find out more info about the Colosseum here.
Isn't he so cute. Yes, there were Roman soldiers all around the Colosseum ready to take a photo with you for a fee.
Inside the Colosseum. The wooden floor structure you can see is a reconstruction of what would have existed when it was first built. This structure should cover the entire floor area covering up those tunnels and pits where the lions, bears, gladiators etc stayed before been lifted up with pulley systems to fight.
Some of the many columns that would have circled this place.
Another amazing view.
Circus Maximus where the chariot races were held. Yes, they used this in 'Ben-Hur' starring Charlton Heston.
One end of the chariot circuit.
See you in the next post.....Part Two.