We purchased our Roma cards today which make getting around Rome and getting into museums much easier. We hopped on the Metro and went to the Colosseum with a few thousand other tourists. With Rick Steves as our guide (Paul has the app on his phone) we walked around and marveled at the amazing engineering feat the Romans (with slave labor) managed to create for viewing all kinds of barbaric entertainment (think football). I kept thinking about the short story The Lady or the Tiger that I used to read with eighth-graders because they loved both the romantic and barbaric aspects although the ambiguity drove them crazy. The story doesn’t take place in Rome but in some semi-barbaric kingdom with an arena. Maybe my favorite part of the tour was when Mr. Steves explained that Roma and Amor together form a palindrome.
We then went to the Forum and I was disappointed that nothing funny happened on the way. I wish we had more time there because there’s much to see, but we managed to get through about half of the Rick Steves tour before we decided we’d had enough. You can see some of our pictures on the Rome page.
In the evening we went to Opera Roma to see La Traviata. The hall is beautiful and we were seated in a box with three lovely Italian ladies who delighted in practicing their English with us during the intermissions. This is our third time seeing La Traviata this year. We saw the Met Live in HD production at the movie theater and the Opera Maine production in July, but one can never see enough La Traviatias, right? This production was good; the orchestra was great and the singing was okay although a bit dull in the first two acts. I think we have become accustomed to seeing great acting in operas on the Met stage because when it’s being broadcast to theaters around the world, the singers play to the cameras. It was still a great experience seeing an Italian opera in Italy (directed by an American, Sofia Coppola) with both English and Italian supertitles.