During the summer of 2012, I took a trip to Greece and Rome with EF Tours with a group of students from my school.
Rome is beautiful in the summertime. It is literally an eternal city. Every day is a step in someone else’s footsteps. Julius Caesar, Socrates, Plato, and even Michelangelo once walked through the streets of Rome. Their ideas, innovations, and creativity helped shaped the city and changed the future. Rome is one giant piece of history. It is impossible to go to the city and not learn something new. An amazing combination of ancient and modern architecture is located throughout the city.
It was a hot summer day. Beads of sweat were glistening on everyone’s forehead. The sun cast shadows upon everything in sight. All around me, I hear the honking of car horns, the slur of people speaking Italian, the sound of music being played on street corners, and a subtle breeze rustling through the leaves on trees. I looked at my map of the city, while stumbling along the ancient cobblestone roads, with the other students in my group. Already that day, I had seen the dark and eerie catacombs, the majestic marble Trevi Fountain and the impressive Pantheon, but there was one more stop I wanted to make before stopping for the day. First, I noticed the massive Arch of Constantine on the left, but when I adverted my eyes, I forget all about those places.
Looking up from the map, as the blinding sun beats down on my shoulders, I see the colossal giant in front of me: the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. It is hard to image what the Colosseum many have once looked like back when it was first constructed. It used to be covered with marble and limestone. It was a symbol of the power of the Roman Empire, because it was the largest amphitheater in the ancient world. No other amphitheater, at the time, even compared to it in size. Today, it is considered one of the more impressive pieces of architecture ever constructed.
The Colosseum has survived almost two thousand years. Even now, with the all the damage it has endured, the Colosseum is still awe-inspiring. Though, the marble exterior is no longer there and some sections have broken off the main section, it leaves me breathless when I look at it. It seems as though all at once, I am hit with the knowledge that I am looking at a major piece of history; that one time in history thousands of people had been seated in the seats that surround the main platform. At one time, millions of people and animals had been in the area fighting for their lives. That I am looking at a structure that helped establish and maintain the Roman Empire.
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