Follow the tassel, Monday 7/18

A lot of the places we have been to have organized tours.  On these tours the guide usually holds a stick with a tassel on top.  Sometimes this can be pretty annoying when you are there by yourself, and this big group comes barging in.  Today we were on the other end of that.  We decided to splurge and take advantage of a tour guide for the Roman Coliseum and the Roman Forum, with two different tour guides.  We are really glad we did.  The tour guide for the Coliseum was actually really good, but the guide for the Roman Forum was outstanding!  Definitely worth the price of admission.  He gave us the story of  the origin of Rome, both the mythological, and the actual.  Gave us a lot of  background on Roman culture, especially back in the peak of the Roman empire.  For example he talked about how the Emperor would host meals, and they would average 7 hours in length.  Everyone would eat while lying on mattresses. The mattresses would form a semicircle with the Emperor in the center.  There was a mountain of exotic food, many times more than was necessary, all to show how important the host was. They would basically gorge themselves, then walk over to the side, and tickle the back of their throat with feather to regurgitate all that they had eaten.  Then they would go back and eat some more, and do this over, and over again.  Today we would call that an eating disorder. As he said, and I agree with, it is a very good example of consumerism.  He also talked about the politics, and the culture of Rome today. Everybody seems to hate the prime minister of Italy right now, and I’m not sure exactly why.  I’m not tuned into Italian politics, but they are very angry with this man for some reason. 

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