When planning our Italy trip there were a million different guided tours available but we intentionally left our schedule as open as possible so we could explore on our own. One tour we did schedule though was the Roman Colosseum. It was suppose to be a guided tour where we each had a set of earphones so we could hear the guides remarks as we walked. Unfortunately none of the earphones worked so we couldn't hear much of what she was saying but all in all the tour was ok. We were allowed in a few areas that were otherwise off limits to the regular visitors which was cool but I think we would have gotten much more from it had we been able to hear our guide better.
When we entered the top of the Colosseum, I immediately noticed that Morley Safer of 60 minutes was just to my left! Oh my gosh, it's Morley Safer! I could not believe it! He was sitting in a small area that had television cameras around him and he was just finishing up a documentary on the Colosseum. I walked right up and took a picture of him. He didn't mind at all. Of course I'm telling my kids and my sister Look! It's Morley Safer! at which they all looked at each other and had no idea who I was talking about. 60 Minutes - you know...Morley Safer! Nope, they still didn't know. At one point one of the girls asked "Who is that?" The other answering, "Morley something." Good grief girls. When he was done with his reporting he simply walked out of the Colosseum on his own.No hoopla, no bodyguard, just him. I was impressed and surprised by that. In the U.S. there would have been people swarming him. (I think I've just shown how much of a news geek I am.)
The Colosseum was M.A.S.S.I.V.E. It seated more than 50,000 people! I was in awe. It is
difficult to express the intricate engineering that went in to this
structure. How, in 70 A.D., the people knew how to design this free
standing structure is beyond my understanding. It is truly fascinating.
The vast network of tunnels, passageways and rooms under the Roman Colosseum is known as the Hypogeum, literally meaning underground. This area was very intriguing. This is the area where the animals were transported and kept before being hoisted up through trap doors onto the wood floor for release. Although the wooden floor of the Colosseum is gone, the tunnels are still easily visible. It's eerie to realize that what we read about in our history books actually took place on this very spot. i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e.