Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The Coliseum isn’t actually all that big. 55 thousand people, they say; maybe, but its footprint is less than that of the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, and the central arena (apparently named that because it was the Latin word for sand, which they covered the action area with) is significantly smaller than a football pitch. They say that before the catacombs below were built, the arena would sometimes be flooded, with naval battles staged there. Either they used scale models, or these were pretty shit battles.

Rumours of killer queues have been greatly exaggerated. Maybe people are outsmarting themselves, maybe far fewer folks are travelling because of the global economic clusterfuck, but I’ve not had any queue problems at all. 3-4 minutes waiting at the Forum to get my combined ticket to it, the Palatine hill and museum, and the Coliseum – 6.50 Euro total (I’m 24, this is the last year I get yoof discounts). Maybe 10 minutes waiting at the security control in the Coliseum, then walk right on through. Honestly, I spent more time queueing for the Eiffel Tower last year, and I wasn’t bothered then.

The heat does get to you, though. It’s sunny, just under 30 C, with gracious gusts of wind, but after some three or four hours on my feet, I am done. Sitting in the Gran Caffe Rossi Martini, typing this on my Mininote, about to spend a Euro and take the metro back to my hotel. Will go out with a local mate this evening, but a siesta is feeling mighty good right now.

The Gran Caffe Rossi Martini does not have WiFi. Maybe I’ve been too lenient on Rome.


Jens-Olaf said...

Flasher, sometimes I feel like a geek on histoy. WTF is this building behind you at 0:44. It must be build on roman ruins. Maybe that means part of it is 2000 years old an the other, ahem, younger part maybe 500 years.

antyx said...

Some church or another - it's right at the end of the Forum, on the side that goes to the Vittoriano monument.

That's Rome for you: everything, and I mean everything, is built on older ruins.

Kristopher said...

I think some of the people in the queues I encountered may have been ghosts of ancient Romans. There's more to this ruins-built-on-ruins than meets the eye.

But I don't know, there were also still too many Americans. $1.65 to the euro may not be low enough.


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