Rome’s, if not Italy’s, most enduring icon is undoubtedly its Colosseum. Built between A.D. 70 and 80 A.D., it was in use for some 500 years. The elliptical structure sat nearly 50,000 spectators, who gathered to watch the gladiatorial events as well as other public spectacles, including battle reenactments, animal hunts and executions. Earthquakes and stone-robbers have left the Colosseum in a state of ruin, but portions of the structure remain open to tourists, and its design still influences the construction of modern-day amphitheaters, some 2,000 years later.

Entering the Roman Collsseum was entering into another time! Cletus Jr. ran in the middle and began pretending he was about to fight a lion. We let Cletus Jr. play in the middle, white Clawdette and I climbed to the top area where past kings would sit and watch. It mind blowing to imagine all the events that took place so long ago.

On our way out we saw an old gladiator uniform. Too bad it was so large or Cletus Jr. would want to bring it back to the bayou!!