Today was our "ancient" day in Rome, beginning with thePantheon. We explored the exterior on our first night but took our first look inside the massive building this morning before the wave of tourists arrived. The church was the largest dome in the world for 1400 years and is still the best preserved building in Rome. The Pantheon still holds the record for the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
One of the great things about many European cities is that the main points of interest are within walking distance from each other. After the Pantheon we walked to the Colosseum for a tour around the inside to see where the famous gladiatorial battles, executions and games took place. The structure has seen many changes and been devastated by earthquakes, 2,000 years of time, and the use as a quarry, but it still manages to intrigue and impress us.
After lunch we walked through the ruins of the forum to the Capitolini museum, which is the first museum in the world. The structure, which was designed by Michelangelo, houses some of the most important Roman works, including the original bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, of which most mounted statues are based upon, and the Capitoline Wolf, which is portrayed in numerous forms around Italy.