My final day in Rome I saved the best for last or what you expect to the best… the Colosseum.
I had worried that I built this iconic symbol to be something more grand than what it was. Rome, so far during my trip, was extremely overwhelming. To make things worse rain had plagued the first leg of my trip and this made it difficult for me to enjoy standing outside the Vatican for 45 minutes in the line for the museum, or dinning al fresco or even viewing the Colosseum.
But when the moment came when I stepped out of the covered Metro platform into the wet cobblestone street the ancient Colosseum was standing tall and grey staring me in the face. I took shelter in its circular hall way that led me to the front on another long line. Another ominous looking thundercloud was heading our way and I imagined ancient spectators thanking their towering monument for cover. It was humbling to be taking part in an act that, most likely, has been performed for 2000 years and will surely continue long after I am gone.
I truly recommend to spend an entire day with the Colosseum. See how she looks in the light of the dewy morning then change depending on the weather to a grey or look like sand. But sunset is when she shines her brightest and most hauntingly beautiful. She is gold like the sky and glows like the sun. The cobblestones, when wet, take on her colour as she is bright enough to reflect in your eyes.
It is odd when people complain about the Colosseum being crowded with tourists, students and families. It is as if they think that it should be experienced in quiet and alone. But this was never how the Colosseum was meant to be experienced. It was always a public place of gathering, for various events, bloody and other, but whatever the occasion, it was meant to be experienced in a populated place.
On that note, it is relieving to escape the crowds. I took a seat at one of the overpriced and empty cafes that bombard the edges of the streets parallel to the Colosseum. I sat outside and the rain clouds unleashed upon Rome. Spumante or Champagne is a most suitable choice of drink for you will toast to the life of such an impressive and longstanding living monument. Cheers to her life and to yours! Cheers to the Rome that swept me up and carried me, against my will, to her complexities that lie around every corner.