Venice to Roma on a speed train through the beautiful Italian countryside (even at 200 MPH)
Why not start with a tour of the Colleso at night complete with an entrance to the underground where the animals were kept and Gladiators walked.
We are standing on the reconstructed stage. There are only about 20 of us and it is quiet. No other tourists can get in until we leave. Our guide is an archeologist who is still digging below and she shows us with fresh excitement! Looking up at the stands one can hear the roar of the crowd, see the blood on the stage that seeps through the wood to the waiting Gladiators below, hear the roar of the lions… Well maybe after the guy next to me takes his selfie… OK back to the Romans (in my mind). Time to go underground…
The wood above is the new stage platform finished this year. It is still easy to imagine the terror of this dark place as a Gladiator (the real story not the movie version). Our guide was extremely descriptive as she had personally unearthed many relics below where we are standing. She told us of 50 lions against just a few men, the blood of the kills dripping through the wood floor, the smell of the animals, humans, death. We saw where the water was flooded in and drained out for live ship battles. She also explained that they have been trying to add another metro line for 30 years but every time they dig they find more artifacts! A lot of the exhibitions and museums have been revealed since 1998.
Grand palaces with their marble facades pillaged long ago have been excavated. For the past 30 years Rome has been trying to put in the 3rd Metro line. Each shovel full reveals more treasures to our delight as tourists.