All Roads Lead to Rome

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~Isaiah 53:5

Although this post is not strictly an Easter post, buona pasqua.  If I were to blog extensively on Easter, it would include commentary on the bells at midnight to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, our service at San Giovenale today, our pancake brunch after church in which the children hunted for chocolate Easter eggs, and the refreshing lack of commercial-ness related to the Easter bunny and hallmark cards, making this one of the most genuine Easters.  But with or without any of this, Christ is still risen, and for that we celebrate.

Yesterday I was able to go to Rome a second time for a phenomenal visit.  For it being the Saturday of Easter weekend, I am surprised it wasn’t more crowded and chaotic than it was–overall, it felt like normal city-life.  We left on what was supposed to be the 8:57 train from Orvieto, although it turned into more of the 9:15 train after all the delays (what was that about things in Italy not working how the should?).  The train was crowded with several colorful people on it.  Before our last stop I switched seats to be nearer my friends and away from the sketchy people.  The next thing I knew I looked over and the girl next to me was petting a guinea pig.  I don’t know where it came from, but it was on the train to Rome.

Once in Rome, we found our way to the Roman Forum.  That and the Colosseum constituted the main sights that I wanted to see on this weekend’s excursion.  We leaned over the edge to get some distant pictures, then looked at the line.  It was long-ish, and we debated about whether or not we really wanted to stand in it, then considered just going to the Colosseum.  We decided to give it a shot, and we rewarded.  The line moved fairly quickly, and within 20 minutes we were at the ticket counter purchasing combined tickets for the Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill.  After that, we were in the Forum, walking through the ruins of ancient columns.  It was pretty remarkable to be able to climb on two thousand year old marble that had once been used in the forum.

After a little while gallivanting through the ruins, we decided to move on to the Colosseum.  At first, we couldn’t even find the entrance.  The line stretched outside of the building, and we learned later that it continued inside and wrapped around the Colosseum.  We already had our tickets, since our Forum ticket got us into the Colosseum, so we were trying to figure out where people who already had tickets got in.  That ticket pretty much became our ticket of power.  There was a guard standing toward the end of the Colosseum line, so I asked her where we should go if we already had the ticket.  She nodded, turned, and indicated that we follow her, and she proceeded down along the line yelling, “A destra, a destra, keep to the right.”  Within a minute we had bypassed the entire Colosseum line and stood at the entrance.  For once we felt like VIP’s at a museum, which is probably the last time something like that will ever happen.  So, word to the wise, if you ever go to the Colosseum, get your ticket at the forum–the wait’s a lot shorter.

The Colosseum, of course, was amazing, but there’s only so much you can do in it since there are hundreds of other people walking around the circle.  Pictures will be posted.  After the Colosseum, we wandered through a Roman market, and I finally found a McDonald’s.  I just wanted the experience of eating McDonald’s in Italy, although I still prefer Taiwanese McDonald’s.  Prices were comparable to those of the states, if anyone’s interested.

And that was my second excursion in Rome.  There’s still a lot more to the city that I haven’t explored.  And this time I didn’t get yelled at for chasing pigeons.  After these two trips to Rome, I’ve decided that I want to live somewhere that history matters and is important in.  Not the two hundred year old history that America claims as its heritage, but the civilization-starting kind of history that shaped humanity.  But I guess we’re all living in that every day, in a sense, especially because Christ rose again.

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