We took the tram to Colosseo from the hotel and I knew immediately that was a mistake. The tram took way too long and I was buzzing with excitement. When we finally got off the tram, I was stunned. I kept saying to J “Look at it!” and he just looked at me like I was crazy (to be fair I am, just in this moment it was x100). We were standing in front of the Colosseum and I was at a loss for words. This famous Roman building which was built in 70AD as an amphitheatre has become an icon in Rome, just as Big Ben is to London and even 1946 years later; it's still a sight worthy to be seen.
We had purchased Omnia cards as we were going to be in Rome for 3 days. (Side note: unless you are going to go to the Vatican City, don't get the Omnia Card, get the Rome Pass. The Omnia Card is beneficial only to bypass the queues at Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica, the rest of the time it's your Rome Pass which is in use.)
The Rome Pass allowed us fast track access into the Colosseum and I was grateful for it as the queues were too long and didn't seem like they were moving.
When we walked up the stairs to the main arena I was amazed at how much of the structure is still intact. I found myself imagining what it would have been like to be a spectator, watching the latest tournament or better yet, the adrenaline that would have been pumping through me as a participant. I could hear the boos and the cheers of the people. It made me grateful to the Romans for being able to build legacies.
From the eastern side of the building you could see Palentino Hill where legends say Rome was formed in 731 BC. This was where Romulus started building a wall that angered Remus which then led to Romulus killing him. Your ticket into the Colosseum allows you access to the Roman Forum and Palentino Hill and counts as part of your Rome Pass. We decided to not go in there as there was a lot to see and not enough time.
As it was a Sunday, via dei Fori Imperiali was pedestrianised which made for plenty of photo taking opportunities. Along this road you are able to see The Imperial Forums which are the forums of Trajan, Augustus, Neva and Caesar. Some of these ruins amazed me as you could see the foundations and some of the pillars were still intact. Out of all of them, Caesar's were the best, even the friendly seagull thought so too.
I guess King Victor; the first king of Italy had a thing for marble because II Vittoriano is pretty much made up of only marble in his honour. I took a risk and sat on one of the sections with more of a worry of being told off than of falling. From where I was sitting I had a pretty impressive view of Morden Rome. The roundabout in front of me was chaos as Italians were driving as they always do crazy. In that moment I began to reflect on my trips so far, how they've all been totally different and how I've learnt something from every one of them and all I could think was keep them coming. Eventually I did get told off so we left and decided to head over to the museums.
Now if you've been following my journey on the blog, you know museums aren't my thing when I visit. But J showed me that you learn a lot about the city from the culture to how it was founded and I'm so grateful for that persuasion. We went to the Capitoline Museums which is a group of 3 Museums which are in the same area. Every room and corridor was filled with the cultural things that influenced the Romans. Their love for art adorned the walls and the ceilings. Even the chandeliers were works of art. The best part about going to the Capitoline Museums was getting to see the Roman Forum during sunset. See we thought we had missed it out, but what we didn't realise was that the museum was located next to the Roman Forum, offering the best seat in the house. I almost cried as the soft orange coloured skies danced around this ancient town. In that moment I realised that sometimes we go out to find the magic, but most of the time, magic seeks us out.
If you only had a few hours in Rome, I definitely would recommend going to Ancient Rome. We didn't manage to see much of Morden Rome, but after spending time in Ancient Rome, it didn't bother me as much. It was more of an invitation to return and return I (and hope we) shall.
Stay tuned for the next post.
Till next time