FUN-travel: New 7 Wonders of the World: #5 The Colosseum – Rome, Italy

October 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: New 7 Wonders of the World: #5 The Colosseum – Rome, Italy 

#5 The Colosseum – Rome, Italy – August 3, 3012

  • Rome was the last stop of our Mediterranean cruise this summer.  (we had both been here before, but not together, so it didn’t count) The Roman Colosseum was commissioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian. The 80 arched entrances allowed easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level.
  • Roman gladiators were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Most were men, but there were a few female gladiators. These combats were attended by the poor, the rich, and frequently the emperor himself. As gladiators fought, vicious cries and curses were heard from the audience around the Roman Colosseum. One contest after another was staged in the course of a single day. Should the ground become too soaked with blood, it was covered over with a fresh layer of sand and the performance went on. The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity progressively put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans.

  • In the summer of 2007, more than 90 million people cast their votes to determine which architectural marvels in the world deserved to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There were a total of twenty-one landmarks vying for that title.
  • Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt still stand. The pyramids were given an automatic spot after infuriated Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace to have to compete for something that had belonged to their country for so long. I agree!  We saw them in 2007.

  • It is our goal to see all twenty-one landmarks. Also, Chris and I have collectively seen a lot of the twenty-one, however, not together. So the rule is, we go back and see all of them together!

New 7 Wonders of the World  we’ve been to:

Chichen Itza

  • #1 Chichen Itza, Mexico – 2005
  • #2 Great Wall of China – 2010
  • #3 Machu Picchu, Peru – 2012
  • #4 Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 2012

New 7 Wonders of the World  Runner Ups we’ve been to:

  • #9  Statue of Liberty, New York – 2005
  • #10 Sydney Opera House, Australia – 2005
  • #11 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – 2007
  • #12 Acropolis, Athens – 2007
  • #13 Angkor Wat, Cambodia – 2010
  • #14 Eiffel Tower, Paris – 2010
  • #15 Stonehenge, England – 2011

FUN-photos: Seabourn Cruise 2012

September 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-photos: Seabourn Cruise 2012 

We boarded our ship in Barcelona for a 7 day cruise in the Mediterranean. Our stops included Rosas, Spain – Sète, St. Tropez, & Monte Carlo, France – Cinque Terra, Portoferraio, Island of Elba, & Rome Italy. We enjoyed taking a tour to the Gala Dalí Castle House in Pubol. Salvador Dalí bought the castle 1970 for his wife Gala.

FUN-travel: Rome, Italy to Marseille to Arles, France – 7 Day Uniworld Rhône River Cruise

August 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Rome, Italy to Marseille to Arles, France – 7 Day Uniworld Rhône River Cruise 

Trip Day 26 – Cruise Day 1 – Sunday, August 5 – Rome to Marseille to Arles, France – Uniworld Rhône River Cruise



  • that I took my shower last night
  • clothes all laid out
  • in lobby @ 6:20 for coffee
  • 6:30 shuttle only takes 10 minutes
  • Air France is Delta partner
  • flight is only $69 per person
  • always carry a foldable flat bag
  • put overweight items in it & save 55 Euros
  • good cappuccino only costs 1.40 Euro
  • 8:45 flight only takes 75 min
  • 11 am – one hr drive to Arles
  • van has air conditioning
  • 12:30 nice wine with lunch in the lounge
  • 2:30 room ready & need a nap
  • really nice dinner with FUN tablemates from London


  • overslept and fly out of bed @ 5:55
  • coffee is really bad
  • Air France wants to charge us 55 Euro for being over by 4 kilos – we can have 3 bags and only have 2
  • cappuccino is really small – really only a half cup
  • Arles airport pickup – crammed into 8 passenger van

Roman Amphitheater in Arles

FF (FUN-Fact) – The moon hit my eye like a big pizza pie – that’s amore!

Not so FF (FUN-fact) – Rome in the summer is filled with tourists and the lines are very long like Disneyland. Glad I was already here in the 90’s.

FUN-travel: Rome, Italy – Day 2

August 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Rome, Italy – Day 2 

Trip Day 25 – Saturday, August 4 – Rome, Italy

Borghese Park



  • nice hot coffee in room compliments of my amore
  • noon walk through Borghese Park
  • Via Veneto to pick up hop on bus
  • stop @ Vatican for photo op
  • hop off bus back @ Via Veneto for nice cold beer
  • take nice long leisurely stroll to Pantheon & Piazza Navona
  • continue on to Via Del Corso
  • La Capricciosa – dinner of “you guessed it” – pizza, caprese salad & wine – this time a nice Barbera
  • stroll back to hotel
  • lots of shops open
  • 8pm taxi to airport is only $60 Euro
  • private car is $80 Euro & air conditioned!
  • pre-paid Hilton Garden Inn – decent room only $130


  • sleeping @ airport hotels
  • wasting sleeping time driving to airports in the morning (it’s a dilemma)

FF (FUN-fact) – Rome is filled with fountains that spill out fresh, cool water. Everyone stops to splash and cool down and fill their water bottles.

FUN-travel: Rome, Italy – 2 days

August 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Rome, Italy – 2 days 

Trip Day 25 – Friday, August 3 – Rome, Italy

Piazza Venezia


Spanish Steps

  • another couple shares taxi
  • no traffic – everyone’s on vacation
  • get to Rome in one hour – to hotel by 11 am
  • really, really cute boutique – Hotel Lord Byron @ edge of Borghese Park
  • take really long walk to hop on, hop off bus
  • on the way see Piazza del Popolo for  first time
  • 2:00 stop for gelato & cappuccino
  • best coffee in the world is in Italy
  • 3:00 get on hop on bus

Photo Ops include:
Spanish steps
Trevi Fountain – it is the cleanest we’ve ever seen
Piazza Venezia
the Coloseum
Circo Massimo

  • 6:00 stop Piazza Navona for serious people watching
  • filled with artists & musicians
  • dinner @ Tre Scalini starts with nice cold beer, then really thin crust pizza, buffalo mozzarella caprese salad, Barolo wine
  • taxi takes us home for only $10 Euro

Trevi Fountain


  • taxi to Rome costs $150 Euro (so we’re told by ship)
  • have to wait for a taxi
  • price is $230 Euro – OUCH!
  • then jumps to $280 when we share!

    Piazza Navona

  • no air conditioning and it’s over 80 degrees already
  • $12 Euro surcharge to eat gelato @ outside table – 2 gelati + 2 cappuccinos + water = total bill of $22 Euro
  • temp jumps to 100

FF (FUN-fact) – We made it to our 5th New 7 Wonders of the World! We’d both been there in the 90’s – but not together – so it didn’t count.

Not so FF – Beware of scams! Walking in Rome on major road with map in hand a car stopped us for directions. Turns out it was the president of Armani Milano. He was so happy that I could help him and because I was so nice he wanted to give me a purse from his fall collection that was worth $1600. Imagine that! Then he told me he only wanted some gas money. My husband was onto him before me and told me when he drove off, “I knew he was a fake because he wasn’t wearing an Armani tie.”

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