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Friday, May 27, 2016

Rome wasn't built in a day ..... but we had less than a day to see it!!

I would love to take credit for that quote - but I can't. One of the Stampin' Up! husbands said it (thanks David Taylor) but is so completely true. This place is just out of control - EVERY place we visited we could spend a few days exploring.

There were just three things I DEFINITELY wanted to see in Rome; 1. The Trevi Fountain, 2. The Colosseum and 3. The Pantheon. So, I found a tour that could take us to all three. We had an AWESOME tour guide (in fact, we haven't had a dud guide yet).

Our tour guide Daniela
She was super-cool. She had an Italian accent (of course). And, we had ear pieces listening to her commentary and it was hilarious listening to her go from speaking english to us to yelling at someone in Italian telling them to get out of the way or even stopping a protest to allow us to pass through (true story).

Our first stop was the Colosseum. We had to get there as early as we could because there was an industrial strike and it was going to be closed in the afternoon. So, she warned us that it would be EXTRA busy. Our bus pulled up and we walked the rest of the way. As we were walking, this is what we saw;

Im not sure if you can make it out but there is a large group of protesters gathered in front of the large arch which is next to the Colosseum. Looking in the other direction, we noticed that the roads had been closed. So, we just got in in-time.

In fact, the other bus that was running with us was not allowed in. Kylie took some video that I posted on my instagram feed.

A video posted by ब्रूनो (@mynameisbrunob) on

High security everywhere. But, lets be clear - this is what we came to see.

What I wish we had more time to explore was the Arch of Titus. It was constructed in c. A.D. 82 by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus' victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE).

This is as close as we got. But, this is definitely on the 'when (if) we come back to Rome list.

A photo posted by ब्रूनो (@mynameisbrunob) on

We live in Australia which has a very short history. So, when we come to places like this - actual places from history - its really quite mind-boggling to comprehend (well, it is to me anyway). This was an ACTUAL place that Christians were slaughtered. This was an actual place where gladiatorial games happened. Here are some pics from our tour;

Because of the world that we live in, it always fascinates me how a building so old needs to be modified to allowed for modern society. Metal detectors, shops, toilets handrails - all things that are required. But, all things that didn't exist at the time of the construction.

A photo posted by ब्रूनो (@mynameisbrunob) on

The guide told us that the higher up the building, the lower the class of person. Apparently, in case there was a fire it wouldn't matter if they were lost. Charming! But, these steps would not meet moderns standards. I would say that each riser was about 350-400mm. It was hilarious. Let the lower class people climb these. Totes lol (that was for you Jake). We climbed the steps to see the view.....

I think lots of others had the same idea.

But, it was worth it. I stood on my tippy-toes and took this above my head (my selfie stick would have been great, but it broke - ;-(

This was my last pic! Im still without speech that we actually were here. Hopefully we can come back one day and spend more time in the Roman Forum.

Have you been to Rome before? There are many street vendors everywhere you go. Mostly Indians in Rome, but also Sudanese and other nationalities. Some view it a pest. I think its great. Whenever I feel like a water - someone is there to give me a drink. Its really quite cool. So, as we were exiting the Colosseum, I was approached by an Indian guy who offered me a selfie stick. I was SOOOOO excited! He wasn't the first (and DEFINATELY wasnt the last). Started at 15Euros. So, we started speaking Hindi to him and eventually we paid 5.

So, I mentioned earlier that our tour guide stopped a protest march to allow us to pass.

I was just without speech. What were they protesting? Im not sure. Probably wages. Or work conditions. Or something else.

Yay! My selfie-stick works!
Next stop - the Trevi Fountain! We stopped the bus and had to walk. Honestly, we didnt mind walking. Everywhere we turned was a photo opportunity. Whether it was well dressed school kids or a beautiful cheese shop or listening to someone arguing with someone on the phone and madly gesticulating - it was just a fascinating place.

A photo posted by ब्रूनो (@mynameisbrunob) on

Strangely enough, we weren't the only ones who were there.

It was lunch time and we didn't have long. So, we had.....

It was such an beautiful place. We sat on the ledge and ate Pizza while drinking an Italian beer. The sun was shining brightly. It was an experience we will remember.

Next stop - the Pantheon.

One thing about Rome is that you walk up these tiny little roads and then, you turn the corner and you have this ENORMOUS building. Its so amazing! The Pantheon was one of these. Originally built as a Pagan temple, its was then converted to a church. It was spectacular inside.

See that roof window in the middle? Its not a window. Its OPEN! But, what about rain? Good question - there is drainage in the floor.

How beautiful are the coffers in the ceiling?

How cool is this fact - under the ceiling of the Pantheon a 43.3m sphere can fit exactly.

By derivative work: Cmglee - This file was derived from  Baukunst Etrusker Römer.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

We then went to Pizza Navona which was where I drank my first 'stand-up' espresso. I felt very Italian!

Home again, jiggly jig......

Tomorrow, we are heading to Pisa and Florence. DEFINITELY looking forward to that one.

Thanks so much for reading.


  1. Great pics of the colosseum, Bruno. I couldn't manage to fit both the top and the bottom into one shot. Not sure if it was where I was trying to take the pic or my camera or both! And yes, someone is reading your blog and enjoying it very much ��

  2. Sure enjoying your travel blog... you have a great way of telling the story Bruno!!! :)

  3. Love your jam-packed adventure in Rome!! So much history!! ❤️❤️

  4. Wow, love the pics and commentary. Makes me want to go. Great job bargaining on the selfie stick.

  5. Great pictures, keep up the good work.

  6. Great pictures, keep up the good work.

  7. Tonys favourite building in Rome is the Pantheon, it was built in 128AD, didn't know a 43.3m sphere could fit in it! Mind boggling. Loving your blogs and love of history and the marvellous Italy.

  8. Rome is one of the cities I would like to go back to. I did a half day tour from a 3 day stop and then was struck down with a bad case of the flu with 40 deg temp in the middle of summer! Someone on our tour had it from Canada. I got to see like you those three places, the Spanish steps and some local piazza's and lanes. We caught the train in. I thought it was in the US (from what I had seen on TV). Looked like a train in the ghetto with the graffiti etc. but I did have amazing pizza and pasta there ;)


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