A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Colosseum

Posted on September 6, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Rome, Travel | Tags: , , , , |

Travel - 52 colosseo

We are coming through US Customs in Montreal (I know, what?!) which I guess saves time in Chicago.  The agent casually asks, “Oh, you were in Rome, did you visit the Colosseum?”  I say, “Yes, it was great!”  She then says, “Did you bring back any stones from it?”

Ok, now I’m really intrigued because I love to collect stones, but I do know to never pick any up at a historic site as it’s a degradation to the site and it’s usually highly illegal.  I love to travel, but I never want to wind up in a foreign jail (or domestic for that matter!)

So I say to her, “No, we didn’t, but do you ever have people who say yes to that question?”  She goes on to say that, yes, sometimes she does get an answer of yes which means the traveler must cough up said stone and buy it a plane ticket back to the site!  I don’t know if there are fines in addition, but wow, what a costly mistake.

When we were in Rome I would often say to Bill, “They really have things fenced off well so that no one can take any stones.”  One time, though, we did see a small enough carved ancient Roman stone on the Palatine Hill that could have been reached and taken.  We both said, “Yikes, we wouldn’t want to mess with that!”  I was very glad for this excellent decision when we were standing in Customs!

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