For the brief window of time that Roman museums opened back up, I tried to take advantage of visiting all the sites I could. The eerie but beneficial part of this pandemic is that we are able to see the city and its landmarks completely emptied out. We’ve been given an opportunity to enjoy the Centro Storico in a way that we might not have been inclined to previously. So, if you especially hate crowds like I do, going to a throng-free Colosseum was a natural choice for my pandemic sojourn.
The genesis of this magnificent visit to the Colosseum, which you can read about here, came from the curiosity of visiting the Pompeii exhibit. While it’s scheduled to be on display until May 9th, hopefully its run will be extended to allow for more people to visit this small, but amazing display that I highly suggest you put on your to do list.
I love the stories that history has to tell, but dates and names have never been my strong suit. One of the most outstanding parts of the exhibit for me was the realization that the construction of the Colosseum was completed mere months after the deadly disaster of Pompeii’s decimation by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Once I realized these 2 monumental bits of history were happening concurrently, it became so much more real and fascinating to me to wander through the stadium walls.
As I mentioned it’s a small display, but full of beautiful artifacts, Roman and foreign alike. From statues to art to pieces of interior walls, the level of the Colosseum that has been dedicated to Pompeii gives you a true taste of the lingering importance this port city had. Highlighted among the display is the outstanding color Pompeian Red, which we still see in use today.
It’s hard to keep making lists of things we want to do once everything is normal again, but at least this option is local and doable for when we return to the sunny Zona Gialla that we’ve all come to…love? Take my advice and visit the Colosseum and its Pompeii exhibit once Rome is open again. It’s absolutely worth your time and you’ll be grateful for the perfectly empty memories.