The flight from Toulouse, France to Rome, Italy went off without a hitch. One thing that we noticed instantly was the change in humidity. Heat is one thing, but this was more of a South Alabama humidity! Our taxi dropped us off at the door of our Airbnb apartment, to which I noticed something I had not seen in quite a while. The luggage had become the bain of my existence at this point. I could not help but show my appreciation to the Greek mathematician Archimedes who started this avoidance of stairs in 236 B.C. The thing was operated by hoisting ropes wound around a drum and rotated by manpower applied to a capstan. In Rome, a subterranean complex of rooms, animal pens and tunnels stood beneath the Colosseum and the same capstan elevator system was used then to bring up people and animals. I guess in retrospect my thanks should go to Elisha Graves Otis, the inventor of what we know as the elevator; thus the name Otis can be found on many elevators today. Sorry. I do appreciate them much more now.
Dropping our bags, we again headed out to explore. The aforementioned Colosseum was only a few dozen meters from our apartment, so we started there. The massive structure is hard to take in when seeing it for the first time. It is a place of wonder and great sadness, depending on how a person views it. I later found out that just the marble stripped from the Colosseum centuries later produced over 900 churches in Italy. That alone can give an idea of the size of this place! The incredible engineering of this structure blows my mind. How? Not only how, but the speed at which it was built is unbelievable. I thoroughly enjoy standing at ancient places and imagining what took place there. At the Colosseum, I could see thousands and thousands of Romans packed into the stadium with the roar of their cheers and the brutality of what they were witnessing. To this day, academia can only guess at the number of people and animals that died in this one building.
Our first day in Roma ended quickly, but the next morning was our 8-hour e-bike tour of the city. We were so excited and picked a place to enjoy the setting sun and stiffening breeze while we ate dinner. If you are wondering, yes, Italian coffee is exquisite.