Back in Time to the Coliseum and Forums

by Jessica on February 20, 2008

Together at the Coliseum

There is nothing like zipping along on a speeding subway to remind you that you are a guest in a bustling metropolis. So, it takes some mental adjustment when you emerge from the underground and right in front of you stands the Roman Coliseum. Once you cross the street, jockey the lines, and finally enter the ancient wonder, you are instantly transported to the glory days of the Roman Empire.


The Colosseo, as it is known in Italian, was our first stop upon arriving in Rome. After landing in Rome early that morning, our plan was to hit the ground running and try to stay on our feet as long as possible to stave off the jet lag. The boys had just completed a year-long study of ancient cultures that ended with the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. The glory and grandeur of the Coliseum was fresh in their minds. To help flesh out the Coliseum, we traveled with a pocket sixed copy of Roman Monuments: Past and Present. The book shows a picture of the monument in its current state, and then allows you to flip an overlay onto the picture to show what the monument would have looked like in its heyday. It is a very useful visual guide for the kids.


From the top of the Coliseum we could see some great views of the Forums, so we made that our next stop. We walked past the Arch of Septimus Severus to reach the heart of the Forums. Once again we used our flip book to help us to imagine the Forum at its height.

The Forums

At the suggestion of the ticket agent at DFW, we went searching for Mamertine Prison at the end of our Forum tour. The prison is tucked in between two buildings and is somewhat difficult to find, but definitely worth the search. It is believed that Saint Peter was imprisoned here before he was executed by Emperor Nero. Whether or not Peter was actually imprisoned here, it was easy to sense the stories of the prisoners as we stood in the oppressive prison.

Trajan’s Column

As we rounded out our visit to the Forums by exploring Trajan’s column, we were all beginning to feel the drag of jet lag. It took quite a bit of prodding to get the boys to continue to walk on to the Pantheon. We explored the domed structure, with the boys being more interested in the holes in the floor than anything else.

The interior of the Pantheon

Outside they were fascinated by the sheer circumference of the columns. They experimented with trying to link arms around the column, and then invited Mom and Dad to join. With all of us linking hands, we were able to encircle the column, and make a memory in the process.


After the walk through the Forums to the Pantheon, the boys had reached their walking limit. They practically begged to take a taxi back to the hotel. The ride to the hotel only served to make us even sleepier, so we gave into the jet lag and fell into our beds for a short, a hopefully refreshing nap.

Posing next to a fallen column at the Coliseum

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