Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy

As I sit here, attempting to conjure words that might aptly depict this historic monument, I find myself at a loss. What’s an everyday sight for local Italians or Romans is an awe-inspiring behemoth of magnificence to us “Non-Italians.”

Immersed in that moment, I felt an intricate connection to this world, as if I were a resident of ancient Rome, a witness to the age of gladiatorial combat. History embraced me wholly as our guide meticulously unraveled the layers of significance embedded within. Even though I endeavored to capture every detail through my camera’s lens, it proved an impossible task. “None of the gladiators who perished in combat bore recognizable names, except for a lone individual who etched his name onto a brick,” the guide conveyed. The words sent a shiver down my spine, as I envisaged the formidable spectacle of a group of ravenous lions facing off against a solitary gladiator. Somehow, I felt as if I were privy to that moment. Credit goes, in part, to the Hollywood film “Gladiator,” which offered us a tantalizing glimpse into the splendors of the Roman Empire. The Italians residing in Canada differ vastly from their counterparts in Italy. Although I understood that Italy was steeped in history, seeing it firsthand was an entirely distinct experience.

Walking through the intricate tunnels, I caught sight of the enclosures where the majestic creatures were once confined. As the stories unfolded, I learned that slaves were tasked with coaxing these animals from their cages, at times due to their own apprehensions. The animals often hailed from Africa, their journey spanning from that continent to the heart of Rome.

In the midst of this, I encountered another marvel of the world—the Colosseum. The privilege of witnessing such remarkable feats has endowed me with a deep sense of gratitude. Italy stands as a realm rich in history, fertile lands yielding bountiful fruits and vegetables, bordered by the sea, and adorned with countless wonders. My journey was a symphony of joy, a delightful exploration of Italy. Mamma Mia, what an extraordinary voyage it has been!