March 25, 2021
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the iconic Colosseo. The ancient amphitheater was built in the first century (completed in 80 AD!!!) and has been used for countless different purposes — most famously for gladiatorial combat. We’ve all seen the movie and can picture Russell Crowe fighting off tigers and dueling the well trained gladiators of the time. But did you know that it was also equipped to hold water and mock sea battles?! The Romans were so resourceful that they initially planned canals to transport water and constructed the arena in a way that would hold enough to actually float boats and vessels (historians are still unsure how they did this!) Later, they designed underground tunnels that prevented these sea battles from taking place, but allowed better access for gladiator crusades. Of course, it has also been used for more relatable purposes such as dramatic plays and concerts (Lizzie McGuire, anyone?!). Now, it’s primarily a tourist attraction. And rightfully so! I’ve said it before, but it’s still my favorite historical site that I’ve ever seen.
This past trip, we didn’t tour the Colosseo. I’d been twice before, and while I was beyond impressed both times, we decided to skip the very intense crowds that it always seems to draw. So we woke up before sunrise and leisurely walked to the ancient site to see the amphitheater in a whole new way! Katerina Kutas documented our time as we explored the almost empty grounds. As more people started showing up, we meandered our way up the streets to a secret view from above… and it was gorgeous!
Photos by Katerina Kutas
For past blogs from my travel series, head to the links below!