The Watering Hole Blog

When in Rome…

MA & Em selfie with Colleseum in background

When in Rome…

MA & Em in front of Colosseum, Rome

“Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.”

– Goethe gotta see it to believe it. Wow! Click To Tweet

I was absolutely stunned by the magnificence of the Colosseum (built nearly 2000 years ago). Not so impressed by the horrific historical events that took place within it 🙁

Here are a few not-so-fun facts about the Colosseum:

The arena once witnessed bloody gladiator battles, epic hunts pitting humans against wild animals, and gruesome executions of prisoners of war and criminals.

It is believed that as many as 400,000 people, between gladiators, slaves, convicts, prisoners, and a variety of other “entertainers,” perished in the Colosseum over the 350 or so years during which it was used for human bloodsports and spectacles.

Many species of animals were used in the Colosseum…some in staged hunts, in which armed and trained humans would bring them down, others as “executioners” of people condemned to die in the arena. Lions, tigers, wolves, bears, leopards, wild boar, elephants, hyena, buffalo, hippopotamus, crocodile, and giraffe were all seen in the Colosseum at some point.

It is impossible to know exactly how many animals were killed at the Colosseum – but based on accounts that described hunts and spectacles and estimates on the number of events held, it is believed that the number is well into the millions.

Learn more about the history of the Colosseum here.

Putting aside (but never forgetting) that nasty bit of history, here are some more beautiful photos:





I love this next shot of Emily…still smiling 🙂 even though her suitcase hadn’t arrived in Rome when we did! We had flown from Athens to Rome – but unfortunately, the Athens airport is notorious for having a bit of a…luggage graveyard, shall we say. Thankfully, her suitcase was located and made it to Rome the next day. Phew!


Lovely shot!

And I saw the Pope in Vatican City!! We happened to be in Rome on a Wednesday, when he gives his weekly papal audience, so I got up early that morning and went to see him. Very cool! And I’m not even Catholic 🙂 If you zoom in this photo, you’ll see the Pope on the video screen…in his Pope-mobile!


And of course, no visit to Rome would be complete…without a visit to the Trevi Fountain! It is SO beautiful!! But it is also JAM-PACKED with people!

I really enjoyed our time in Rome. It was insanely packed with tourists…but I can see why! There is so much to see and experience…and eat 🙂 I will definitely go back at some point and spend more time.

We also went into the Vatican Museums to see the Sistine Chapel. Whoa! I saw it when I was 21…but I gotta say, seeing it at 55 was a very different experience. I now have a profound appreciation for the work that goes into creating a masterpiece such as the Sistine Chapel.

Thanks for reading, take care & have a great week! Next week I’ll take you to…Florence!

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a co-founder of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive Maryanne’s blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.

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4 thoughts on “When in Rome…”

  1. I didn’t get a chance to see the Sistine Chapel. On my list. But the Michelangelo sculptures in the Vatican are amazing!!!!

  2. Italy is such a magical country and Rome is its shining star, one that draws me back to it again and again. I never get tired of wandering around the narrow streets, discovering little shops and quaint medieval churches and patios. Rome has no lack of charm.
    So thank you! Keep it up, your posts are awesome!!

  3. Oh thank you so much, Katy! I am so glad you are enjoying my travel posts!! I love writing them because it gives me a chance to look at my photos again & relive the amazing memories…and share some of the beauty I have seen with others 🙂

    I am excited to return to Rome and do more wandering…I was pretty focused on seeing THE sights in the short time we were there (3 days)!
    Take care,

  4. Next time to Rome perhaps you can see the Sistine Chapel! But you are right…no shortage of incredible sculptures & paintings in Rome 🙂

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