30 Before 30,  Italy

Wonder Number 8: The Colosseum

Mom and I took the train into Rome first thing in the morning, and we got into Rome to spend the afternoon and next day there. We arrived at the train station, and walked to our hotel, which was close to the train station.

I’m still scarred and don’t want to get into it, but it was a HUGE frustration. They “lost” our reservation but conveniently could send us to a super shitty hotel around the corner. I’ve rarely been so upset. (And yes, they got BURNED on my reviews.)

But alas, Mom was a much better sport about it than I was, and we made the best of it so we could head out for the afternoon. We were going to see the Colosseum.

Guys, I seriously get a bit teary-eyed talking about this one. As my twenties come to a close, seeing the Colosseum represents achieving a goal I set for myself on my twenty-fourth birthday. A goal I have spent the rest of my twenties in the pursuit of – seeing all eight wonders of the world. (Yes, there are eight – don’t worry, there’ll be a post on that soon!)

Amanda Plewes at her eighth wonder of the world

And to make this one more special, it was the first one I got to experience with my mom! There are no words for how much it meant to me to fulfill that dream and to have her by my side as I did. I might be tearing up just writing this…

Donna Plewes and Amanda Plewes at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

We walked from our hotel to the Colosseum, and watching it appear in the distance made me so excited. It really is right in the middle of the city, and it’s this cool juxtaposition between urban, modern city life and the ancient.

Outside of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

We bought tickets to go in, and spent a good part of the afternoon exploring it. I can absolutely see why it was on the “Wonders of the World” list – it’s just breathtaking and incredible! It’s funny because sometimes I’ve read people compare the colosseums at Arles and at Pompeii with THE Colosseum, and it’s just not even a fair comparison.

Amanda Plewes at Colosseum

It’s giant, and it’s crazy (and solemn) to think about the kind of place it was. There’s no getting around that in it being a place of entertainment, it was also a place of death. It always makes me think about what future people will think about our stadiums if they last a thousand years – will they look back at us and football as being just as barbaric as we see the ancient Romans? Obviously, the purpose of football is not death for entertainment, but it is entertainment that seems to shorten the lives of its best players…

Cross in the wall at the Colosseum in Rome

Anyway, back to Rome. By this point in the trip, mom and I were both just exhausted, so after seeing the Colosseum in all its glory, we decided to skip the Forum (sad day, but a reason to go back!). We took the metro back, and oh my goodness. The Roman metro system perhaps needs an upgrade. I could not believe how PACKED the cars were!

Amanda Plewes with Colosseum in the background.

I still pinch myself that I have been able to accomplish this dream. It’s been such a crazy journey, with so many people involved, and I honestly can’t believe that I’ve now seen all the wonders!

One Comment

  • Donna Plewes

    It was amazing wasn’t it? You hit it on the head with how solemn it is, down to the area where they kept animals in waiting across the way. Trying to visualize how the areana worked..up to flooding it for sea battles..just an amazing thing. Most importantly, being with you as you saw your #8….brought so much pride and emotion. Thank you for allowing me to share an incredible moment

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