When in Rome: "The Coliseum"

on Wednesday, 30 April 2014.

When in Rome:

Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.

Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.

Listing of all blog entries:

"Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"

"The Miracle of an Incorruptible"

"The Big Day"

"The Coliseum"

"A side trip to Assisi"

"Exploring Vatican City"

"We have arrived!"

"Before we depart..."

front of coliseumThis was to be a free morning, so some of us conferred to see what we might be able to accomplish on our own.

The hotel at which we are staying is about 30-45 minutes south of the main parts of Rome, and my husband is acutely careful with our funds...so, we decided to walk to the Metro.

Some comedy here, for if you ask a local how far away something is, they’ll inevitably say, “Oh, just-a five-a meen-oots!” for nearly everywhere.

So, the walk to the Metro was a good hike, but it took us all the way to the Coliseum – which is jaw-dropping to see for the first time!

We took a tour and learned that the ancient Romans had tickets that indicated at which arch they were to enter, and then another number indicating where their seat was – wow!

I’ll also show a picture of what it originally looked like.

drawing of coliseum

The floor is gone now, so you can see down into the lower levels where all the gladiators, animals, etc, were kept.

Some of us were discussing that if we’d been there 2000 years ago, we’d be lion food!

We also discussed what kind of conversations the early Christians must have had as they approached their deaths in front of such a huge group of people.

One of our women joked that she would have asked a gladiator, “Could I please have the lion with the least amount of teeth?”

Speaking of gladiators, there are some in costume around the entire area – who try to get you to take a photo with them. They are known for roughing people up to try to get more money for pictures…and they have swords, so many don’t argue!!

inside of coliseumWe returned for an incredible night with Bishop John Magee, former Private Secretary to Pope Paul VI, Pope JP1 and Pope JP2, as he discussed fascinating and intimate moments from throughout his lifetime with these great men.

Everyone is discussing what we’ll do regarding the Canonization tomorrow, in view of cautions that have been voiced – stay tuned to find out what everyone ended up doing...

~ Lynn


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