Our guide Tyson told us that Italians usually have black coffee and a cigarette in the morning in lieu of breakfast– but at least we were fortunate enough to have cold cuts, cereal, and yogurt that was uncannily like sour cream added to the hotel’s breakfast “buffet.” After choking down a crusty croissant with a few plastic cups of “red orange juice,” we hopped on the bus to take us to the Colosseum.
About two football fields could fit inside the Colosseum. It was… well, colossal! The ancient ruins used to hold over 50,000 spectators who viewed the brutal gladiator games. Even though the only thing that remains now is the shell of the original exterior, it was still amazing. The huge arena (which used to be called the “Flavian Amphitheatre”) contains dozens of entrances and several different levels. You can only walk around the first two levels because the six-acre arena floor is off limits, but you can still get a workout! I got a workout in the form of running away from the cameramen. Apparently, EF College Break hired two guys to film the trip, and you better believe that I wasn’t going to be caught dead on camera with the Colosseum over my shoulder saying “yeah, it’s… big.”
So instead, I wandered around the ruins, taking pictures approximately every 3-½ feet while I barely listened to the audio guide I had stuffed in my ears. It was much more interesting to people watch; after all, Rome draws tourists from all over the world. After tracing my fingers along the stone-and-mortar walls, we left to trek up the cobblestone street to the Roman Forum.
The scene looked like it was taken straight out of a film: lone, white pillars were scattered across the grass, and other pillars stood in groups of twos and threes totally unsupported. Some columns stood alone, pointing straight up to the sky. The stone arches were almost totally intact, unlike the rest of the ruined city. I had a sudden desire to grab a chunk of the ancient town that was haphazardly strewn over the ground, but imagined I would have a hard time explaining it at customs. So instead, I resulted to clicking my camera at 30-second intervals.