There are a few interesting discoveries we've made over the last few days. One, it's okay to be lost in Rome. The saying goes that all roads lead to Rome, but it seems that when you're in Rome, the roads often lead nowhere. And that's okay, the bewildered looks on peoples faces as they peer at maps of all shapes and sizes gives us a good degree of confidence that we're not alone.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of walking to some of the major attractions with Sergio, a local tour guide. For six and a half hours, we didn't need a map, were never lost and were regaled with some of the lesser known aspects of the history and culture of Rome. Perhaps you know, but we didn't, that the Coliseum (Il Collosseo) held only 65,000 people, all requiring an invitation, so shmoozing was a full time job in ancient Rome; Sergio told us that contrary to later Christian propaganda, believers were not fed to the lions because of their faith, as Roman polytheism was far more tolerant than monotheism. Rather it was for criminal activity that people of all faiths were tortured in the arena. The truth may lie somewhere in between. Circus Maximus held 250,000 people of all classes and charged no entrance fee. This was where all the chariot races were held; it took Michael Angelo five years to paint the Sistine Chappell and it took the restoration fifteen years (financed largely by the Fuji Corporation which may explain why you can't take pictures anymore...copyright!); 20 to 30 percent of all water delivered to Roman families comes from the aqueducts and pipes of the ancient Romans! Also, the Roman "nose" (drinking water fountains) spews forth clean cool drinking water and it's free!!!
Finally, we have a new found respect for sweat, as the more you sweat the less you have to use the toilets :) (although we've been lucky it hasn't been too hot), both of us could survive the U.S. Navy Seal training program after walking around Rome for the last 3 days and as a side benefit, it's great for tightening butts.
Off to dinner now. More posts to come.