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.