ROME is where the heart is!
I was 11 years old when I said the word ‘Colosseum’ for the very first time. I still remember that day.
It was November 16th 1992, early morning at around 5 am when I woke up on my birthday feeling cold. I was looking hastily for something…… I couldn’t figure out what! I looked around and felt really out of place that day. I could not relate to the place I was waking up at (even though it was my own home) and I felt very restless.
There was a picture in front of my eyes, well, actually it was in my head and I was seeing glimpses of this magnificently larger than life structure over and over again, as though it was a flashback. It was weird and at the same time, it felt like home.
Then…..it was right then, when I said the word Colosseum for the very first time in my life.
I was well read about India’s History, but that’s about it… at 11, I never bothered to read world history or know anything more. Then it struck me, world’s seven wonders…. That’s where I had read about the Colosseum.
We did not have internet in India or at least in our homes back then, so it was not possible to go online and search about it. So I went to the school library, I think it was a Monday…. With great efforts I got one book that had pictures of the Seven wonders of the world. I read few snippets about the Colosseum. And it was since that day, I have somehow never been out of connect with that name and strangely with that place…at least pictures of the Colosseum.
It was my dream to be in ROME at the Colosseum some day and as fate would have it, thanks to a special invite from the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014 in Vienna, Austria, (after this inspiring forum) I landed up in ROME in the middle of the Colosseum on 16th November 2014 on my 33rd Birthday.
I felt at ease, at home….. it took me sometime to take all of its glory in….sometime to sink in the fact that I was finally here……
Over the years the Colosseum had so much of an impact on me that I even dedicated a poem to this magnificent architectural mega wonder in one of my books – Expressions (The Coffee-table poetry book:Now available in Barnes & Noble – Covered by the TOI team in Mumbai – Read the interview here)
The Colosseum is a site like no other. It was built originally as an amphitheatre in the Roman Empire. Its construction was completed in 80 AD and was opened with great fanfare by Titus, who was Vespasian’s son and successor.
This splendid architecture opened with 100 days of GAMES!
It’s said to have been able to host around 50,000 spectators during its time and without an iota of a doubt it truly is a remarkably exceptional feat of engineering.
Over centuries, this beautiful wonder of the world, has seen too many natural disasters and also raiding of its stone and marble. Earthquakes too had a dire impact on this magnificent piece of work. But this mega structure stood the test of time.
Even today, one can see the original wall (i.e the line of the original wall) of the Colosseum as you walk in and outside this beautiful work of art.
I had a 2 hour detailed tour of the place including from the inside from the underground hallways and corridors. The interior architecture is built from that of two Roman theatres back to back thus forming into a circular structure. One can clearly see the hypogeum which was connected by underground tunnels to a number of points outside the Colosseum from where the animals etc were said to have been brought in for the games and fights.
There is also a beautiful museum within the Colosseum which boasts of beautiful artifacts. There is an super awesome store inside that has an amazingly spectacular collection of “ASTERIX AND OBELIX” comic books and merchandise inside the Colosseum too. Being an admirer of this spectacular beauty and a huge fan of comic books, especially Asterix and Obelix (Yes, I have the complete Volume including the 50 years special edition collection of Asterix and Obelix) I was thrilled!
- Check out More Pictures in the links given in the blog posts below:
- Weekend photography click posts: Vienna, Istanbul and ROME –CLICK HERE – https://ananthv9.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/weekend-photography-click-posts-vienna-istanbul-and-rome
- Vienna to Istanbul to Rome travel sky view pictures – CLICK HERE – https://ananthvclicks.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/vienna-to-istanbul-to-rome-travel-sky-view-pictures/
If you visit the Colosseum (and I think everyone should, at least once in their lifetime) make sure to take the inside tour too. It is about 2 hours but let me tell you….time flies when you are inside. One does not understand whether to make use of digital and technology tools including the mobile phone to record videos and take pictures or simply stare and take in the beauty and this magical magnanimous structure offering you centuries of stories of the amazing Roman empire.
The name Colosseum has long been believed to be derived from a colossal statue of NERO. This statue was later
remodeled by Nero’s successors into the likeness of Apollo, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown. In the 8th century, a famous epigram attributed to the Venerable Bede celebrated the symbolic significance of the statue in a prophecy that is variously quoted: Quamdiu stat Colisæus, stat et Roma; quando cadet colisæus, cadet et Roma; quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus (“as long as the Colossus stands, so shall Rome; when the Colossus falls, Rome shall fall; when Rome falls, so falls the world”).
In Italy, this beautiful amphitheatre is known as Colosseo.
I was there in ROME for three whole days and it was just not enough. I loved the streets, the architecture, the history, the culture, the warm and caring people always ready to help and guide us through the ancient buildings and streets during any time of the day.
It was beauty everywhere. I had the scrumptious PIZZA’s and CALZONE’s (Vegetarian ofcourse) and I sat at the beautiful dining areas in the open spaces of the restaurants (make sure to note that in ROME, when you eat in Restaurants and book a table in the open spaces, you pay more and let me tell you….its worth it!).
I saw The Trevi Fountain, St Peter’s Basilica, Republica ROME, Pantheon, Vatican Museums, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Square and so many more stunningly breathtaking places.
I was drooling when I entered the Sistine Chapel. It really is the work of GOD!
This city is filled with the Masters artworks…. From Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo to Raphael….the place brims with sculptures, murals, paintings and so much of sheer beauty!
There is plenty of delicious food for everyone who loves to eat and for both meat eaters and Vegetarians alike. The city has houses that boast of beautiful flower baskets outside their patios and even on their small windows. There are fountains everywhere. You can feel the music in the air as you watch and hear the birds chirping, you can be one with nature as you see flowers, trees and nature in its glorious form.
I did…. I truly did fall in love with this magnificently beautiful city and the people there.
Some do’s and don’ts in ROME:
- Do not go barging in loudly into restaurants enquiring stuff or speaking in English or any other language. Wait for a moment, smile and if possible greet them with a ‘salut’ may be and then speak softly. The people in ROME are very warm and extremely helpful.
- Do not be careless with your belongings (passport, wallets, camera etc) while sight-seeing. This goes without saying in any country and any city. But more so in ROME, because the city has so much beauty to offer, that we might get drawn into it and become oblivious to our surroundings.
- Take note of your directions and landmarks very carefully. Make sure to pronounce the names of the places the way the locals do, or else you might end up running around looking for a place that’s actually just around the corner.
- Keep a map with you at all times.
- Most important of all. Take a tour guide from a genuine touring company who can actually guide you around and ensure that you see every place that will take your breath away. And yes, last but not least, try to stay for a few days, more than two at least if you need to even remotely do justice to the awesome beauty this marvelously gorgeous city has to offer.
NOTE: These are merely my views based on my experience in ROME. When and if you plan your travel, do not take my word for it. Always be aware of your surroundings, cross-check and always take care of yourself and your loved ones. Book with a genuine tour or at least make sure you have someone with you who knows the place in and out…. may be me 🙂 just kidding!
ROME for me is….where the heart is!
Have an awesome weekend ahead.
(ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHTS OF ANANTHANARAYANAN V 2014) and are not to be used or reproduced without written permission from me.