Mark Fetters/Staff Reporter
With finals behind me and a month-long break before the start of classes, a well-deserved trip was in store. My passport was full, so I needed a new one before I could travel. A trip to downtown Atlanta for a few hours and a new passport obtained, I was off to the airport. I checked in for my flight and, after a delay, I was on the plane to Rome, Italy. With a few days to explore such a large city and no real plan, I headed to what Rome was famous for, the Colosseum. Built around the year 70 the primary purpose was for gladiator battles and late a place for shows. With seating for 50,000 people, the difference between the Roman Colosseum and a modern day arena is maybe a roof and lights, as well as a little nicer design, but the history that surrounds the inside will never be found anywhere else. A short walk away is the Roman Forum, which is the largest area remaining of ancient Rome. With the walls and columns in great condition, closing your eyes and thinking of what it might have looked like 2000 years ago is not hard. Walking through where Julies Caesar once stood makes being in Rome for the first time a little surreal. One ancient Roman building still in use is the Pantheon. The Pantheon was built around 120 AD and is one of the coolest buildings in terms of architecture and the best preserved in all of Rome. Since the Seventh century, and to the current day, the Pantheon is used as a church. While buildings in ancient Rome are great to explore all day, nothing beats authentic Italian food. I ate my first lunch just outside the Pantheon at a little hole in the wall restaurant and enjoyed the best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever had. I learned from that meal that the pasta could be store bought, but the sauce is what makes the food so great. With a couple more days to explore, nothing is more breathtaking than going into all of the basilicas Rome has to offer, each one is just as magnificent as the last. After three long days of exploring Rome, it was time to move and see what else Italy had to offer and next on the list would be Florence and Pisa.