What to see in Rome... day two

After our funny, crazy, very wet night in Trastevere during part one of this post, we woke the next morning to find a bright, warm day. The sight seeing continued with us stopping frequently in the middle of streets and even roundabouts to marvel at monuments and architecture.

We noticed that galleries and public spaces alike are desperately trying to infuse more modern art in among the classics, presumably to appeal to new audiences. While this was appreciated by most, in some cases they were quite abstract pieces and left the crowds feeling a bit bemused. 
There is no denying the beauty of the artwork on offer and this gilded, painted masterpiece of a ceiling is no different. You could get lost for hours staring up at ceilings in this City, trying to examine the detail and also the messages that the painter was trying to convey. As there was disharmony between religion and science during these times, if you look hard enough, I'm sure it'd be easy to spot a few tongue in cheek pieces painted mockingly.  
We enjoyed lunch outside under the beautiful blue sky, finding a secluded picnic spot where we sprawled leisurely and ate fine Italian deli foods. 
After lunch we hastened to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. This is reported to be the most ancient part of Rome where all manner of public life took place, such as trials, elections and markets. 
There are a number of ruins to see up close, such as the government buildings which were once used to manage the ancient civilisation.

It really is astonishing to wander around these great pillars, ruins and artefacts and imagine yourself in amongst the Rome of old. The free audio guides I have mentioned previously really helped with this and brought the stories to life for us.
We couldn't visit Rome and not take in the Colosseum, which was an ancient ampitheatre used to pit gladiators against each other and all manner of wild animals. 

You can look amongst the rows of cells that would have divided fighters, criminals and beasts. They were deliberately kept near each other to frighten the life out of them. Imagine being crouched in your cell and hearing the almighty roar of a starving lion next to you! Gruesome.

As unfathomable as it is for us, in those days it was quite the fashionable day out, where noble people and commoners alike united in their love or hate of particular gladiators. This was their entertainment and there are still etchings were women and children have carved the name of their favourite fighters onto ancient stone to be discovered thousands of years later.
It truly is an awe inspiring place and worth visiting. We stopped by a couple of times throughout our visit; during the day it teems with tourists but by night you can sit with your lover on a stone wall, with a beer and gaze admiringly at this ancient piece of history, without being disturbed at all. Locals busy themselves to and from work or meeting friends and barely even register a glance at these amazing relics of the past. I suppose when you live amongst them every day you do become a little blase.
To end the Italian adventure I'd planned for my other half, I'd bought tickets for a big Roma v Juventus match at Stadio Olimpico on our final night. After me (ha!), football is his main passion, so I thought it would be a lovely birthday gift and way to top off the trip. Unfortunately, the pope had other ideas and we found out just before the match kicked off that the game had actually been played several days before due to the cannonisation of two popes (which I mentioned here). 

We were understandably devastated and I immediately went down to the Listicket office, which was the company I bought them from online, to try to resolve the issue. They point blank refused any responsibility to have notified me, despite others receiving an email about it, or to refund the ticket money. Our lovely guest house owners tried to help us by calling them but they would not budge. Finally we were advised to go the Roma FC store to complain but they would not help either. 

I lost a lot of money that day, which not even my insurance would cover because the match still played, but it also spoiled a surprise for my lovely fiance. To that end, I learned that if planning to go to a football match in Rome, it might be wise to do it when you get there, as I have been told there are often seats still left. I thought the response from the club and ticket agent was very short sighted given how big a business football tourism is, but hopefully this might help others avoid the same fate. Has anyone else gone to a match in Italy or experienced something similar? 
Despite the sour end to the trip, it really was a most fantastic adventure through Italy, taking in so many amazing places. Travelling by train was an excellent experience and allowed us to see so many other places as we passed through. Italy, you were a dream and I can't wait to come back again one day.

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