Friday, 17 February 2012

Ancient ruins and their modern-day inhabitants.

Ancient ruins are in no short supply in Rome! The Colosseum was incredible. Inside they have interesting exhibits explaining the use of the arena as well as the architecture and how it had eventually become unused. It was nice to see so much information available, and in English as well as Italian because a lot of other sites had very little information. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill was a particularly impressive, and extensive area of ruins. They were very confusing though. We were given a map to follow but here was no signage to help guide people along the map route, and when we found a larger, stationary map along our walk, the numbering and map details actually differed to those on the map given to us at the ticket office. Between the two, it made it virtually impossible to follow the audio guide we had also paid for. This was pretty disappointing as it meant we didn't really know what we were looking at in the ruins - whether the remains of a building were a home or a temple. It was still an interesting and beautiful walk and still worth a visit. I just wouldn't expect an informative visit unless you take a guided tour.

During our visits to the different ruins we noticed that there seemed to be a lot of one particular animal living in ruins. Cats! Except for the Colosseum, every ruins we visited we saw at least one cat which started a bit of a tally for us. Roman Forum: 2, Terme di Caracalla (roman baths): 1, Largo di Torre Argentina: at least 20, and those are just the ruins I can remember the names of!

Something else there seems to be a huge amount of are fountains! Romans love big open piazzas, and what better to put in that space than a fountain! And they're never boring, plain fountains either. They're always different, featuring sea creatures, mermaids and and people. It's always an interesting experience finding yourself in a new piazza.

Unfortunately I still haven't found a new photo transfer device because I took lots of photos of fountains and cats!

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