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Touring in Italy

Updated on December 8, 2014

Beneath The Colosseum

On arrival in Rome the first historic site my children recognised was the Colosseum. As it flashed past the cab's windows they instantly came alive with excitement. Needless to say it was the first site on our tourist agenda.

This awesome shot, beneath what was the main arena, was taken way back in 1979 and the colours have faded somewhat but the detail is enough to show the immensity of the building that was the colosseum of Rome. Here two little kids, Karen 9 and Andrew 10, are awestruck as they walk around outside what appeared to be hundreds of cells that once housed men and animals who performed and died in the games that went on in the arena above. You could almost smell their sweat and blood after nearly two millennium of passing time.

The image demonstrates the power and might of an empire with capabilities to conquer the known world while their lack of human rights and animal welfare allowed obsession with blood sports that saw many torn to pieces, if the historic details of the events are accurate. These two little innocents knew nothing of the history of Rome and they arrived here as tourists to take it all in. What confronted them is a story worth telling.

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Roman Soldier's Uniform
Roman Soldier's Uniform

A Roman Soldier's Uniform

This history stuff is all very well for a young bloke but the ice-cream came first. As in all historic tourist sites there are vendors and even beneath the Colosseum we managed to find one for a brief distraction for their young minds.

Andrew eyed the uniform that a soldier once wore but what kind of impression did it make? At his age he was unaware of war, empire or occupation and standing here in this setting demonstrates how the real thing must have impacted on children at the time. The body covering leather garment is as tall as Andrew so how big was the soldier who wore it?

We wondered that as we envisioned the troops standing before us in full regalia. Little kids like these must have been swooped quickly out of their path by anxious adults as we were sure the soldiers would not have cared too much if they were run over by their chariots or trodden on by passing battalions. It was something not worth contemplating for long.

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Views of the Colosseum

Karen Takes a Rest
Karen Takes a Rest

The Top of the Colosseum

Karen's little legs were burning after the long climb to the top. The step risers are about twice the height of the one's she was used to back home. So we wondered why that was and also why the bricks in the building were so lacking in depth. The amount of bricks used was amazing.

There was much to learn about this building that could have taken a lot longer to ponder over were it not for the exhaustion of just a couple of hours here caused. We were only in Rome for three days and there was a lot to see. Children of this age don't need to know all the details and what they experienced gave them a wonderful start to their education in ancient history.

One thing we did appreciate was the height above the ground and this was not even the very top.

Flavian's Colosseum

A doorway to nowhere
A doorway to nowhere

A Bit of Amusement

There wasn't much to laugh about inside the Colosseum when one takes into account the purpose for which it was built and the number of people and animals that died here. But Andrew was bemused by what appeared to be a little entrance going nowhere. This wonderful piece of Roman architecture demonstrates the size of the bricks used throughout the building as well as the attention to detail in the construction of the arch.

With his little camera in hand it was worth taking a shot for the album. Was it a doorway for animals, he wondered? It was obviously too small for people to pass through so what was this intriguing part of the building used for? That's something we ponder to this day. We satisfied ourselves that iit was one of the many arches that supported the roof.

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Still images from Dreamstime - click here

© 2012 norma-holt

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    • norma-holt profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @RomeFan: Thanks for the comment. A documentary on National Geographis television channel called MegaStructures showed a Colosseum in a southern Italian town that is intact. It displayed all of the underneath chambers, how animals were raised to the top floor and suddenly appeared in the arena, plus much more. An exit tunnel was possibly the way in which bodies were carried out beyond the perimeter and disposed of. Fabulous stuff! If you get a chance you should watch it

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The Colosseum is one of the best sightseeing spots I ever had been in Rome. Not only adults like us enjoy touring around this gigantic amphitheater but my kids as well. It just amazed me how such a mammoth structure was made, and made to last for more than 2,000 years. Have you seen the chambers underneath the Colosseum? Well, it's so amazing as well. Anyway, thanks for sharing all these information. Your photo with a kid on top of the Colosseum stands out.

    • MayaIxchel profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice lens! I have been to the Colosseum and found it very interesting. Great story and photos! Thanks for sharing! Greetings from 'the land of eternal spring'!

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel blessings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice cool lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice cool lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fun lens! Thanks!

    • alidabdul profile image


      6 years ago

      After watching Gladiator made me to visit Rome one day, thx for the beautiful lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I can see that your children have a great joy for learning as you do I believe I've taken all your Rome related quizzes and can recommend them not only as an opportunity to gain a lot of points but they are excellent learning tools that you have spent countless hours researching. Just had too check and I missed Roman quizzes 2 and 5, so will be back another time to be humbled. Congratulations on home page honors!

    • MillBucks profile image


      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed your Roman quizzes and I did learn quite a bit about the fascinating history of Rome. Congratulations on your well deserved Purple Star!

    • gatornic15 profile image


      6 years ago

      I guess I'm not so familiar with Roman History after all. Great lens...Blessed

    • allenwebstarme profile image


      6 years ago

      Congo for Purple star, Roman history is always an interesting topic.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have never been to Rome. I'd love to, but in the meantime it was good to read your lens and see pictures of the Colosseum.Thank you for sharing this story with us. Congratulations on your purple star lens being on the front page. Angel Blessings**

    • cgbroome profile image


      6 years ago

      I failed at the quizzes - guess I need to study more but it was still fun! Really nice lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I would love to visit there, but haven't had the chance yet. My parents both went.

    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      Great picture-such interesting history and Andrew is cute


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