Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rome: Colosseum 2nd Level

 2nd Floor! This is probably my favorite picture of the hundreds I took at the Colosseum. It reflects the splendor of the design and accentuates the ovalness. In addition, the people give it scale and context.

 I am assuming these are some of the only surviving original stairs.

 The early morning light creates great shadows.

 The rebuilt arena floor (that the Pope uses now for services at certain events, sometimes).

 Love the way the green trees show through the arches.

 A quick pic in the crisp morning air. Note the orange circle sticker on my wife's top, that's how our tour leader knew who was in his group of 10.

 I've read that the Colosseum is the most photographed location on earth - and I believe it!

 From here down, the photos were taken on a different day than the Viacom tour. In order to see the Colosseum, Palantine Hill and the Roman Forum in four hours, the guide had to hustle. And we were exhausted after four hours! That's why we went back another day...

 This appears to be the only section of original seating that survives to this day. If you look closely, you'll see this section in many of the photos I took.
And this is where it dawns on me: even if the marble had not been stripped to construct other buildings (including the Vatican), the Colosseum would still be in quite a deteriorated state. Marble apparently does not hold up particularly well 2000 years outdoors.

 An interesting piece of marble that was somehow missed by the deconstructors.

 A few close-ups looking into the basement...

 More close-ups of the basement...

 Original stairs leading up to the third level seating. This is were women would have sat.

 People give this structure scale...

 Modern graffiti. I've become more forgiving of it after realizing nothing has changed in thousands of years. Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other Roman cities were covered in graffiti 2000 years ago. I still don't like it though. :-)

 A Viator tour getting ready to enter the third level. Notice the metal gate that a Colosseum employee is about to unlock. When we were there, a group of Japanese tourists tried to sneak in with us. Our tour guide quickly nipped that in the bud.

 We're not sure why, but we noted many Japanese posing with peace signs. Here is one example.

 Another angle of the original seating shown earlier.

 Modern day decoration. Fits in quite well!

Dig the guy posing!

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