Traveling to Italy - A Visit to Rome & Cats (Not Lions) in the Colosseum
Worth a Thousand Words
I was fortunate to have visited Italy in the 1980s with my mother - to the land where my grandparents were born.
I realized only when I was older, how brave they were to take a ship from Naples to a foreign land - America; with hopes of a better life.
Years later I would write about the architecture of Rome for a class in college.
I thought it would be a great idea to combine both:
I will share some of my photos and the history of these ancient buildings.
In this hub I will discuss The Colosseum as it may have been in 70 AD.
When in Italy, like most tourists, I purchased items to remember my visit (like the plate shown of the Trevi Fountain).
When traveling to Italy, a must see is the Colosseum (or Coliseum). Originally the Flavian Amphitheater, it is the largest to be found in Rome.
This concrete vaulted building of steeply rising rows of seats can hold over 50,000 people!
At the time, you could see elaborate spectacles such as battles between animals and gladiators, in various combinations and mock naval battles. (The area was flooded for the event).
The Colosseum when seen from the outside:
This 16 story building is divided into 4 horizontal bands with large arched openings in the lower 3.
The arches are framed by ornamental Greek orders with the sequence of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian from the ground up. It is classical architecture with its framed arches and engaged columns that carry a lintel.
Entertainment at the Colosseum
Ticket holders would enter through one of 67 numbered entrances that led into the seating areas. As the seats are marble, a seat cushion would have been sensible.
If you were going on a sunny day, awnings would have been used to cover the top of the Colosseum.
Once a month they held "bread and circuses" when food would have been served to 150,000 people at the Porticoes of Minucia on a first come, first served basis.
Free entertainment was provided for all.
As for the cats, we have been told that the "Christians were thrown to the lions." That may be factual when it applies to the big cats.
While I was visiting the Colosseum I saw some stray house "cats" that probably live within this historic structure.
All photos of the Colosseum are provided by the author, Camille Gizzarelli.
Modern Day Rome
In 2013 it was found that pollution from cars accounted for the some of the disrepair of this priceless monument; the mayor suggested that the surrounding roads be closed to traffic. If you were to visit today, scaffolding may surround the amphitheater and a subway may run nearby.
It appears that the popularity of the "Gladiator" movie has brought about an increased interest in the Colosseum. Are there any Russell Crowe fans out there?
I enjoyed my visit to Italy, with all its antiquity. It is a land filled with history. As the Romans conquered many lands, perhaps there's a little bit of Italy in all of us.
Who doesn't love the cuisine from Italy?
If you've visited Italy and enjoyed your stay (or not), I welcome you sharing your experiences with the Hubpages readers