Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Everything we needed to know about Ancient Rome, we learned from Gladiator

Days in Rome: 2
Sites seen (adding to yesterday's list): Colosseum, Arc di Constantine, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, Capital Hill (and the exterior or the Santa Maria 'Aracoeli), the Pantheon, Piazza Navona (again), and one of the nicest McDonald's that we have ever seen/eaten in.

Today we threw on our toga's, polished our armor, and headed to that glorious tourist mecca – the Colosseum. Once out of the metro (which, is surprisingly easy), we were accosted, not by gypsies, nor men in gladiator costumes, or even Chris's dreaded Roman con-artists, but by semi-attractive English-speaking college students. The horror, the horror.
Apparently, the thing to do for those students is to find any clearly foreign peoples and to explain that there is nothing whatsoever explained in our mother tongue inside the museum/monument. They then offer their generous services, exclusively to you, and at a totally “fair” price.
Well, armed with not only our own tourbook, but also Chris's austere knowledge of general antiquities, we opted to ignore these offers. We were (fortunately) right. The general area had a plethora of bilingual signs from which we could occasionally hear these oh-so-knowledgeable guides paraphrasing or directly quoting to their apparently illiterate assemblies. My personal favorites were the guides who had tourbooks (possibly purchased at any of the giftshops along the way) with them that they read from. I am not blaming the guides for this. I am blaming the lazy tourists. The guides are genius.
Chris and I have found our new careers and will be duping.....I mean, assisting... tourists for the remainder of the summer.

Okay...that was a lie. We miss Portia.

Speaking of guides, I think Chris and I have finally perfected the art of accidental-tour-grouping. Throughout our day, we would occasionally happen to hear a legitimate tourguide offering some interesting anecdotes to his/her formal tourgroup. While we may have slowed our walking paces, stretched our legs a little, or just generally lallygagged, I do not believe that we stole this information, exactly... I think we simply absorbed their wit and wisdom. Like cheap sponges.

The Pantheon


  1. I would like to hear some narration with the videos. Even a "wow this is cool!!"

  2. Hey there!!!

    I would like to see more pics of the funny man in the dress, with the feathers in his cap, but that's just me :)

    Also, I would like to see either of you in some videos. It "appears" you are visiting these sites, but we can't be sure you haven't had your video camera stolen and your blog hyjacked - let us know you are still there. The waving in the gold, we ok, but not a clear enough shot to confirm you were there.

    Your dog left me on Monday evening..(I must say, she was very well behaved the whole time she was up here), but it's been hell ever since she left.....I actually have to carry my own chair and snacks up and down from the beach now.

    Too bad we can't post video back to you on this blog...it could be really funny!!!!

    You should have shot video of the "tour guides" that were offering their services in English....that is what you said, right? Not to mention, the guy happily carrying/balancing the fruit....would even have been funnier to see one of you helping him carry the fruit :)

    Love and kisses!!

  3. Hahaha...whoever knew that traveling into Rome would lead you to make a Heart of Darkness reference. And I too, would really like to have seen Happy Fruit Man.

  4. Admit it Sara. You just miss us. You miss the sight of our faces, and the sounds of our voices.