The Pantheon is a former courthouse with an open hole at the top of it’s dome. Legend has it, even in pouring rain, the inside never gets wet as the warm air inside pushes upward and keeps the water at bay. This architectural masterpiece is filled with international tourists, some of whom jump into pictures and act like they know you.
Palace Venezia is the original version of Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace. Vegas doesn’t compare.
From the top of the stairs, one can see all of the domes of Rome, spread out across the entire city. Getting up stairs after two hard hours of practice, however, is a bitch.
Thence to Boca della Veritas – The mouth of truth. Sticking your hand in the mouth would result in nothing if you would simply tell the truth. Should you choose to lie, however, you’d lose your hand. Apparently, every so often the Emporer would have someone stationed behind the statue and take a hand off just to keep the public wary. Sure, it sounds primitive, but let’s be honest, those little advisories from the parentals about always telling the truth never really carried much weight. This takes Pavlovian to a whole new level.
I’ll skip the Circus Maximus for now, because the one-mile circle for chariot races and sporting events looks like a running track replete with bottle caps, firework remains and the rampant used condom – Romans certainly know how to treat their ruins!
Sometimes people say the Colosseum isn’t all that special. It’s not. It’s better. Maybe it’s the thought of having to use the imagination to picture 50,000 cheering Romans watching gladiators and lions duel to the death, or chariot races recreating the old wars. Perhaps more recent generations have enough technology that imagination is no longer important, because we have stopped playing with dirt and boards and fabrics and now spend most of our down time on the internet or battling it out on an XBox. Truth be told, the structure is dilapidated to the nth degree, but then, at 2000 years old, think about what your skin would look like. I had a little East meets West experience with a Japanese girl and punctuated it with this photo:
and then joined the squad for a group pose that had some of the locals laughing at the Americans who shot their picture on the wrong side of the building. Alas, there are not a lot of directions in this place unless you are a Latin major.
So between yesterday’s and today’s blog, I’ve covered one day in Rome and about a thousand years of history. Sort of makes me a little pissed off at my schoolteachers for stretching all this out over nine months or so. Then again, with those crazy salaries they are getting, I guess I understand why they don’t push too hard.
More to come tomorrow about how I scored the golden goal in an eight-nation soccer game, during a downpour. For now, I’m sucking down a cappuccino and trying to decide between the Rigatoni Bolognese and the Pizza Quattro Formaggio. Hope the local clothing store is stocking up on plus sizes because my ass and I will be in there shortly.