Rome is well known as Italy’s home of tourism thanks to many of its ancient and tragedy ridden structures that still reside here. But do these darkened artifacts of times gone by really stand up as a place to holiday to? With so much hype surrounding these features including them being added to bucket list destinations, do they really hold up.
Ruins of Pompeii
In 79AD Mount Vesuvius erupted like never before. The mountain that had been active and has erupted more than 50 times on this occasion caused on the world’s greatest tragedies. Thanks to a rain of volcanic ash that flew into the sky and rained down on the city below, Pompeii and many of its inhabitants were doomed to expire underneath the molten blackness. Today tourists can visit the ruins of the once great place and see for themselves the buildings that remain of the once thriving city. Guided tours here can last a few hours and not only walk you around the remaining structures but also take you up the old mountain where you can experience the beautiful views from above. Though this is more of a solemn dark tourist destination the history here is unquestionable. More than 2000 people died here in a blink and some of the casts of the misfortunate can be still be seen here. The actual famously ash encased bodies that were persevered are held in the museum of Naples, but on the tour the casts in place really put the event into perspective. A beautifully saddening destination.
This is the one that most people pack their bags and head towards, and for good reason, the Colosseum is one of the best preserved monuments of what was Rome, providing an impression unlike any other structure of just what our ancestors lived like. Firstly, the architecture is a wonder in itself, the countless arches that cover the iconic rounded exterior required a mastery of building, especially without modern equipment. Inside, the tiered seating structure we still use in theatres today, once housed up to fifty thousand spectators at one time. This not only dwarfs many of the stadiums we now use for events but gives you a mild idea of just how big this place is. People don’t just visit here for the grim history and because of the stream of dramatized adaptations that have come out of it, but the sheer scale of this man made structure is in itself an experience to behold. The blood drenched action that happened here does of course draw in a crowd though. Inside visitors can view the segmented underbelly of the elaborate fighting ring. These separate areas not only housed those who would fight for their lives in front of an audience, but also reveal some of the incredible workings that changed the setting of the battlefield. Thanks to a complex system of rigging and hidden walls, rotating surfaces and hinges, the creators of this ever changing war ground made a deathtrap that changed height, length and environment. This marble feat of creation is in no way overrated.