Our tour guide was very good, informative and brief (a rare combination). Also the tour group was small and included another couple from the cruise we just ended. Small world.
Weather continues to be comfortable with highs in the low eighties. This is a good thing because you could easily bake out there with all those antiquities and very little shade.
The most interesting sight for me in the Forum was an triumphal arch dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish temple and the sacking of its treasures which were brought back to Rome but then "lost". Can you imagine losing the original artifacts from the temple of Jerusalem? Talk about a big "oops". Personally, I would check the Vatican -- that's all I am saying.
The coloseum is very large that is the first thing that strikes you upon seeing it. That and the fact that the building is undergoing a thorough cleaning and stabilization effort meaning (of course) that a good deal of the exterior is covered in scaffolding.
Just as in the Forum it's funny to see what remains of the past and how/if these things strike the fancy of modern day visitors. The coloseum obviously impresses people now as it must have when it was first constructed but it's strange to me that a building devoted to violence and butchery should be so popular with modern day visitors.
We went on a special tour that allowed us to visit the basement and the third tier which are two areas normally not accessible to visitors. It was certainly worth it if only to escape the crowds.
View of Coloseum from "basement"
Today we went on another food tour. The area we explored is called Trastevere. It's a great neighborhood with a real neighborhood feel to it. Of course it was Monday today so it wasn't too crowded or busy. The star of the tour, other than our tour guide Jasmine, was the Porchetta at this one shop. Juicy, with bits of well-browned meat and a pleasant rosemary flavor. Fantastic-o. Or as the gal at the cookie shop we visited showed us, it was "crazy good".
Here he is -- the king of Porchetta!
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