Our first big outing in Rome was to visit the Forum and the Colosseum! Fletcher has been itching for this one, and was beyond excited. It was a long and dusty day but there were no complaints, which frankly amazes me. Whenever we stopped in an area to lecture, Lola Gray amused herself by collecting rocks (one of her favorite activities – and there were lots of rocks in the Forum!) and Fletcher took photos or whispered running commentary into the voice recorder on the camera. I wish I could figure out how to embed those recordings on the blog – I can’t even tell you how precious they are!
When we got to the Colosseum, Fletcher just kept saying “Wow! I can’t believe I’m here!” and I thought, “Yeah, I know what you mean.” It was crazy crowded – the first time I visited Rome a million and one years ago (ok, not quite 20 years, but it might as well have been a million and one) there were almost no tourists in Italy at all. The Uffizi in Florence had been bombed a few months earlier, and perhaps that kept people away? I don’t really know the reason, but I know that I walked straight into the Colosseum without any wait – and I was practically the only person there! There were, however, dozens and dozens of cats in the Colosseum at that time. The cats have been rounded up and neutered, many have been adopted, and I’m really not sure I have seen a single cat on this visit. That’s a bit of a shame, actually, since I know the kids would enjoy seeing them . . .
Regardless of the crowds and the lack of cats, the day was a huge success.