Italy,  Rome,  Travel in Wanderland

Italy Travel: Colosseum and Roman Forum

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Our second day in Rome was spent exploring the Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. I booked this 10:00 AM walking tour a few days before we left for Rome using Viator.com. There are many tours being offered on Viator.com, most of which include Skip-the-line tickets. It’s only a matter of personal preference if you want to join a big tour group or a private one.

This particular tour was operated by City Wonders Ltd. Upon confirmation of booking, you will receive an email with a link to the booking voucher. All the instruction you need is on that voucher, so be sure to print a copy. The meeting point of the tour group is at Largo Gaetana Agnesi, which is above the 2nd floor of the metro line B (blue line) stop “Colosseo”. We arrived 10 minutes before 10:00 AM and the tour guide, Sabrina, was already there waiting for the tour participants. We were given a sticker (so that they can easily identify who is part of the tour) and headsets so you can hear the guide’s commentary.

Colosseum Rome #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome

COLOSSEUM/FLAVIAN AMPHITHEATRE

Official Booking Website: Coop Culture

Directions to Colosseum:
Metro: Line B station “Colosseo”
Bus:Bus stop Colosseo (MB) ~ Line 75 – 81 – 673 – 175 – 204 
Tram: Line 3

Before the start of the actual tour, our guide Sabrina gave an introduction about the Colosseum as well as for instructions to tour participants (in case we get separated from the group or we need new headsets).

The tour promptly started at 10:00 AM. Sabrina was very nice, very informative and seems very passionate about Roman history. I made the right choice in booking this tour! Skip-the-Line tickets to the Colosseum (and Roman Forum/Palatine Hill) are included in this tour.

Tour groups enter the Colosseum through, of course, the group entrance. Skipping the line alone is worth the additional money we spent on this tour. Entrance to the Colosseum for regular ticket holders are long and may take you an hour or more to get in (especially during peak hours and peak season).

Colosseum side photo #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome

There is a special area in the Colosseum reserved for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins. On the same level, are seats reserved for the senatorial class and the tier above it is for the noble class or knights.

Our tour only includes access to the first and second tiers. There is a different tour for the Underground chambers or the Upper tiers.

The upper levels of the Colosseum are for Rome’s plebeians, with the lower part for middle-class citizens and the top-most level for the poor. Last October 2017, they reopened the upper tiers for tours, the first time in four decades.

Across the street on the east side of the Colosseum, you can see the ruins of the gladiator’s training school and barracks. Ludus Magnus was also known as the Great Gladiatorial Training School. The gladiatorial school is connected to the Colosseum by an underground passage.

Columns, some inner areas and the outer walls of the Colosseum were once covered in marbles and limestone. The holes in the walls and columns are from the iron clamps that anchored the marble to the surface.

Ancient Rome’s biggest temple, the Temple of Venus and Roma is situated between the Colosseum and the eastern edge of the Roman Forum.

We finished exploring the Colosseum about 11:45 AM and headed to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The ticket to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill is included in this tour. We skipped the line again at the entrance!

ROMAN FORUM AND PALATINE HILL

Official Booking Website: Coop Culture

Directions to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill:
Metro: Line B station “Colosseo”
Bus: Bus stop “Colosseo” ~ Line 75 – 81 – 673 – 175 – 204
Tram: Line 3

Arch of Titus #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome
Arch of Titus

The largest building in the Roman Forum is the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine.

Roman Forum Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome

Roman Forum Temple of Vesta #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome
The Temple of Vesta (from behind)

Vestal Virgins are a powerful and influential force in the Roman state. There are certain qualifications to become a Vestal priestess and it would require a commitment for 30 years and a vow of chastity. The main task of the Vestal Virgins is to keep the sacred fire to Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home, burning and alive, as well as guarding sacred objects. After their service, they are free to live the rest of their life as the wealthiest women of Rome.

Roman Forum vestal virgin statue #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome
Statue of a Vestal Virgin

The Tabularium is where they keep the official records in Ancient Rome and also serves as an office to many of the city’s officials.

At about 1:00 PM, the tour ended and we returned our headsets and parted ways with Sabrina. Since we are still inside the Roman Forum, we can actually still roam around and see the ruins but we were already hungry so we decided to just go out and look for a good restaurant in the area.

Before the tour ended, Sabrina made some recommendations on where to eat in the Colosseum area. Following her instructions, we ventured out and headed to a cluster of restaurants and cafes just a few blocks away from the Colosseum. According to Sabrina, this is where locals eat, so you can’t go wrong with any of these restaurants. We chose Cafe Gavi, a restaurant along Via Celimontana and guess what? Sabrina was right! Everything was delicious!

We actually ordered more than what was in these photos but we were too hungry so we ate right away when the food arrived. Not pictured were Cacio e Pepe (a must-try when in Rome!) and delicious roasted chicken with potatoes and salad.

There are plenty of restaurants in this area. We were only able to try Cafe Gavi (highly recommended) but I’m pretty sure any of these restaurants will surely make your tummies happy and full. Even if you are not planning to see the Colosseum, it’s easy to go to this neighborhood since it’s only a couple of blocks away from the Colosseo Metro Station.

CAFE GAVI

Address: Via Celimontana, 6, 00184, Roma, Italy
Hours: 7:00AM-10:30PM

Walking Map from Metro Colosseo to Cafe Gavi #Rometravel #Rometravelguide #Romanvacation #mustseeinRome

Overall, I highly recommend booking a guided tour from Viator, or even Klook. At the very least, purchase skip-the-line tickets to save time when you visit. If you want to get the tickets on site, it is best to purchase your ticket at the Palatine Hill Ticket Office because the line there is usually shorter.

The only downside with this guided tour is that we were not able to explore the Colosseum on our own (since we’re pressed for time) and you can’t go back in once you exit. Still, a guided tour for me is much more interesting and helpful because I like the fact that I’m learning the story while on the actual site rather than searching it on Google before or after the visit.

After lunch, we went to the Hotel Genova near the Roma Termini station to pick up my pocket wifi rental from Expressowifi. The rest of the day was spent walking around our apartment neighborhood and Via del Corso for some window shopping.

Hope you enjoyed this photo tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum with me.

Check out the rest of my trip using the links below. I have also listed some Rome Travel Essentials you can book in advance for a better travel experience.

Private Transfer between Fiumicino Airport and Rome City Centre
Shared Shuttle Bus Transfer between Fiumicino Airport to Rome Termini Station
Omnia Vatican and Rome Pass | Roma Pass
Rome Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
Eurail Global Pass (Flexible Days)
MyWebspot Pocket Wifi Rental – I have personally used their services before and they are great especially their customer service!

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This blog post is Day 2 of my Italy Travel Diary Series. To read about the rest of my trip, click on the links below:

Day 1: Arrival in Rome – Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps
Day 3: Vatican City (Papal Blessing/Angelus) and the Historic Centre of Rome
Day 4: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Square
Day 5: Naples Bus Tour/Pompeii Tour
Day 6: Arrival in Florence – First Class Guesthouse/Historic Centre of Firenze
Day 7: Barberino Designer Outlet
Day 8: Accademia and Uffizi Gallery
Day 9: Last Day in Rome – Night Views of the Colosseum and Castel Sant’ Angelo

Rome Airbnb Review: Spanish Steps Luxury Apartment
Sample Rome/Florence Itinerary: Rome for First Time Visitors
Rome, Italy: Photo Gallery
Florence, Italy: Photo Gallery


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