The theme letter for our travel pics this week is X (Marks the spot).
We’re halfway though this week – so let’s eXhume the past, in Rome.
Let’s be honest – if you travel to the Eternal City, you just have to go to the Colosseum at least once – it is amazing in its decaying grandeur.
Built during the era of the Flavian emperors (hence its alternate name, the Flavian Ampitheatre), the Colosseum is the largest structure of its type and regularly housed 65,000 spectators to its games – Gladiatorial battles, animal hunts, executions .. even mock sea battles at one stage, when the entire ground space was flooded.
But its below the surface that we see how amazing the Colosseum was.
Today, the surface is missing and we can see the ‘hypogeum’ (literally “underground”) … a series of passages, rooms, cages, storage facilities and more.
Above this was a wooden floor covered with sand … in fact, the Latin for sand is harena – and that’s where our word for Arena comes from.
Tens of thousands of people visit the Colosseum each year – and many go either as part of guided tours, or with recorded audio guides – well worth the (small) cost, because otherwise it’s just a confusing jumble of rocks 🙂