It was a long day...and isn't over.
We had a great sleep, some of us (cough-Mary-cough) sleeping from 4pm until this morning. After breakfast, we headed over to the Colosseum.
I should let you know first of our major disappointment in our B&B here; no internet. Well, yes, obviously, we have it, but not in our rooms. We're using a public computer, so we can't download pictures. We'll put some up eventually, and let you know about it then.
We were able to get a tour of the Colosseum which included a visit into the underground areas of the Amphitheatre. We saw the storage rooms, the tunnel for the gladiators to enter from across the street, the supports for the wooden stage which was the reason for the building. We also went up onto the top level, where the canvas covering was anchored, this provided shade for the game-goers. Neither of these places is available without the tour, which was led by a very interesting archaeologist. She was, we think, from Eastern Europe, and she taught the group (about 20 people) quite a bit that we didn't know.
Afterward, we crossed the street, got lost a bit, found more stairs than Janet really wanted to climb, and ended up on the Palatine, the hill where the emperors lived. Mary climbed trees, we climbed and descended multiple sets of stairs, we saw amazing views, and learned some more. We visited the site of Romulus's huts, supposedly where Romulus founded Rome. The remains are from the 7th century BC, which is the right time period. But nothing is carved, "Romulus was here."
After the Palatine, we climbed down to the Forum, where we saw the center of Roman government and caused some frustration for a German school group. One of us (-cough-me-cough) decided the wait for the ladies' room was too long, and, since there was no one in the mens, well...So I went in. When I came out, there was a line of German high school students. One said, "Heir ist der MENS' toilette!" in his most upset-German voice. I sheepishly said, "Si," and walked off, hoping he would think I was Italian, Spanish, anything but American!
We also saw one of the Roman nasoni. These are described here, and I am including a picture. Too bad we didn't get any pictures of US using it! It was a lot of fun.