Saturday, June 16, 2012

Colosseum and San Giovanni in Laterano

The colosseum was the one place that John had to visit and was so excited to go to. You could see the excitement in him when we walked past the day before. So, first thing we did the next morning was go and visit the colosseum. We are so glad we had tickets because the line even early in the morning was long. When we got in we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had elevators! And even better was that they were willing to let us use them! 

Here is the view from the upper level. It was hard to try and explain to Peyton what it was, I just game up that it was a place where they had wrestling matches and sometimes they wrestled animals. She was not all that impressed.

John LOVED the colosseum and I was moderately impressed. I could appreciate the grandeur of the structure and how amazing it must have been in its day and how much of it still stands today. It really bothered me how many lives were lost there and how people viewed it as sport so I think that had something to do with it. It was impressive...more so to my manly engineer but I could still appreciate the beauty, size and feat it was to build.

We wanted to go to the Mamertine prison where Peter was imprisoned but I saw a sign the day before saying it was closed for renovation and we didn't manage to go around a confirm if that was true. So, instead we walked to two churches nearby. One was the Church of San Clemente which is famous for all the various layers underground. It is built upon several different churches and one of which was a first century Christian meeting place. However my traveling companions were tired and not on their church entering best behavoir so John stayed outside while I quickly looked around the main church and skipped the underground.

We then played around in the courtyard to let off some energy and headed off..

The main church we wanted to visit on this day was Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano which was Rome's first church and the home of the Popes until 1305. There are six papal tombs inside and is said to also have the heads of St Paul and St Peter. 

We took turns entering with Peyton as Graham was in a rather screaming, excited mood and each of us was amazed. It was beautiful! 

What was really impressive was the statues of Apostles and Evangelists around the nave. They were all so large and beautiful. 

It was well worth the effort and we are glad that we added it to our intinerary. I loved explaining to Peyton the mosaic of Jesus in heaven and the significance of Paul and Peter and seeing her reaction to the beauty of the basilica. 

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