The last time I was in Italy was the first time I ever did the tourist thing by getting involved with tours of the major sites, which I rarely do when I travel. I like to go and explore things myself and then read about the places I saw after the fact. Man, am I glad that I did the tour of the Forum in Italy though. I went into it thinking that it would be just another "look over there at that pile of rubble" and "see that? that's where Caesar had his hair cut" expedition... Well, it was a little of that but it was so much more.
The temperature was scorching, the young guide spoke better english than I did Italian, and the Forum is HUGE! There is so much to take in, look at, and learn about that it is almost overwhelming. I don't remember exactly but I think we were with our guide for a couple of hours and by the time she left us we were in the area that you see in the first photo below. We had a lot of places left to explore and were pretty much in need of some food and shade. Almost all of the photos I am showing below were taken towards the end of our trek - I know this because of the clouds in the sky. Earlier in the day there were none in the sky and shortly after the last shot you see here, we were caught in a downpour. I would like to get a second chance at photographing the Forum because I feel I missed A LOT. Next time...
So, what I won't do here is post a photo and then tell you all about it as it would be so redundant being that there are so many places on the web that explain the marble thievery or the fact that the site was originally a swamp where people used to bury their dead. I do not claim to have the writer's gift so I would just butcher the few facts I know of this place. I would rather just show you my experience through photos. I do want to bring your attention to one thing in this post before I end this... If you open up the first image and take a look at where the L in in my signature rises to, you will see a family of three standing in the archway. I want to point this out so you can get a sense of the scale and of how huge this place really is. I needed something to show the scale but didn't want to ruin the image with people in the foreground so I kept my eye on all the openings and windows from where I was standing when all of a sudden I saw them (originally there were 4 people) and quickly released the shutter. BAM - one of my favorite Italy images!
Oh, I know this goes without saying but just click on an image to see the full sized version. I know, I know... Website 101 faux pas, right?
If you would like to read more about the forum online, the ItalyGuides.it website gives you a pretty extensive experience. Go check them out here.