Oh Roma...where do I even begin? The last time I visited Rome - I didn't get it. I thought it was crowded in a bad way and sort of hectic and the sites weren't what I imagined. THIS TIME HOWEVER God revealed this hidden city within a city. In the insanely vibrant sunshine a truer Rome became illuminated.
We spent our first day exploring the many ruins, taking our time to just stop and wonder at the history and enormity of Rome's ancient remnants. We started at one of the city's towering monuments - The Vittorio Emanuele War Museum.
The white marble shining in the bright light of day, the beauty of the architecture, and the scale of it all overwhelmed and mesmerized us. After a morning stroll around the grounds we found ourselves making our way towards the Palatino and Foro Romano.
The Foro Romano was the central marketplace of ancient Rome. All sorts of events took place there from trials, to elections and parades. So many of the ancient cities most important buildings are close to or inside the Forum. Visitors are free to rome the grounds with almost total freedom. It's crazy how much still remains of the original structures some dating from the 7th century BC.
When I think about it - it is a wonder that so much remains after millennia of life, growth, war and development. The power of what this place once was can still be felt in the air, as a universal awareness of a time that was so defining. There we were in the ancient center of government, power and culture in Rome - and in many ways the world.
After getting lost in the beauty of the Forum we made our way to Rome's crown jewel - The Colosseum. The Colosseum, at nearly 1, 900 years old, has retained SO MUCH of it's original infrastructure. Although the seats and floor have been lost to time and re-structuring, the basic rim and lower tunnel walls are remarkably in tact.
After circling the arena, we decided to take a break and get some gelato near the Trevi Fountain. We stopped to get some lunch and slowly walked through the city towards the famous water feature. This was a surreal moment for me as I stood near the fountain with my wonderful husband. About 6 years ago prior I stood near the fountain for the first time, tossed my coin in and made my wish. "I wish to come back here someday with my husband." And God, who gives good gifts, made my wish come true that day.
We finished up our day of site seeing with a trip to the Pantheon. The Pantheon now functions as a church but was originally a temple built in 126 AD. It is a very peaceful place to walk and pray in the center of such a busy city. I am still in awe at how beautifully it has been maintained especially given the fact it has a genuine skylight.
Our first day in Rome was amazing with the highlight being sharing it with Jeff. The last time I was in Rome, I was super homesick and was definitely not appreciating the richness of the history around me. This day revealed to me how much Rome has to offer, and we made the most of our adventuring in the days to come. Until next time...
~ A ~