ROME – COLOSSEUM + THE FORUM

Rome – Colosseum  + The Forum

Stephen and I arrived in Rome just after lunch and checked into our AirBnb, which was within walking distance to The Colosseum. We dropped off our bags and set out to grab a snack and catch the sunset at the ancient ruins. Of course, snack meant gelato. Before heading out, I looked up spots on our walking route and loaded the address into my offline maps app. This was how we navigated through most of Italy. With just a bit of pre-planning, we didn’t really miss wi-fi as we were out and about. The first night, we only planned to walk around the exterior and we returned the next day to explore the inside and The Forum. In total, we spent about 5-6 hours at the site taking our time.

The Colosseum Exterior
It was fairly easy to navigate to the Colosseum by foot. Although, as always the case with large monuments, it was longer than it seemed. Many of the streets leading to the Colosseum made for great photo spots. If you’re coming from further, there was a subway station right across the street. I would recommend walking around the entire building to see the different angles and exposed interior walls. There were much fewer guests at the side and back of the arena. It really was a quite a impressive structure to take in. Stephen and I spent some time just admiring the arches and columns.

The Colosseum Interior
Our second day in Rome, we headed back to The Colosseum after sleeping in and grabbing a coffee and pastry. We arrived at the ticket office around 10am and there was already quite a line. The Colosseum was open daily at 8:30am and close between 4:30pm and 7pm depending on the time of year. After we bought our tickets, the line to enter moved at a quick pace. There were lots of tour guides upselling “skip the line” tickets to groups in the entrance queue.
Tip: Tickets for both The Colosseum and The Forum can be bought at The Forum, which often has a much shorter line.
Stephen and I picked up one audio guide to share (for €12.00), which had a few visuals as well. It was interesting but could have been had more content. We decided to skip touring the catacombs, which would have added another hour to our time inside.
Tip: Bring water and a UV umbrella as there is little shade.

Palantino Hill and Roman Forum
From The Colosseum, we headed to The Palantino Hill and Forum. The ruins were expansive and you could easily hours wandering the area. Stephen and I for the most part stuck to the main path, the Via Sacra. At this point, it was the middle of the afternoon and we were ready for lunch. We didn’t spend too long exploring the Palatino but made sure to stop by the main temple ruins. At one point, we did hit a dead end and had to double back to exit back to the main street.
Tip: Entrance to The Palantino Hill is included in the Fare for the Colosseum and the ticket is valid for 2 consecutive days, providing lots of time to take in all the sites at a leisurely pace.

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