Gillian Marcucci: Seeing structures of power — the Roman Colosseum and the Roman Forum

The Roman Colosseum was a great symbol of Rome’s power. Many gladiator fights and events took place here to entertain thousands of spectators. (Gillian Marcucci)

Visiting both the Roman Colosseum and Roman Forum was an amazing experience. As I entered the Colosseum, I was enthralled by the large architecture. As I stood on the ground of the stadium and looked all around me, I pictured thousands and thousands of participants in the stands cheering loudly. I tried to imagine what it must have felt like for gladiators as they entered the arena to compete against one another. I imagine they felt excited, nervous, scared, determined and full of adrenaline.

The group of other students and I were able to walk around the whole circumference of the stadium on one of the upper levels, which gave us a really cool view. From this perspective, I was able to put myself in the shoes of an audience member, looking down at the gladiators fighting in the arena. When I walked behind the stands, I imagined the bustling crowds, people in line for concessions and the loud noise. 

Touring the forum made me realize how big and powerful Rome really was – just as its rulers hoped it would be. Though we can only see what is left of it today, it is easy to fill in the visual blanks and picture the larger-than-life architecture. I really enjoyed walking through the gardens and roaming around the grounds of the emperor’s palace. I couldn’t believe he had an entire stadium and multiple gardens created just for his wife and his’ enjoyment. The nature and powerful structures were all so beautiful. Visiting these two major Roman sites was truly an edifying experience.

Categories: Europe Travel, Personal Blogs

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