For Day Two in Rome we had a plan: Colleseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon. As we were in Rome for only 4 days, I wanted to pack in as much as we could and as all the sites are quite close to each other in Rome, it seemed possible to do in one day. We started the day quite early, opting to have breakfast in the hotel and then jumped on the Metro and headed towards the Colosseum.
I loved how easy the Metro system was in Rome, it is easy to understand, quite affordable and really quick as well. I think they had 72 hour tickets we could purchase for under 2o Euros each, so it made sense to get that for our stay. If you have read my previous post about our trip to Rome, you would know that we had already visited the Colosseum the night before, but seeing it in all it’s glory during the day time was something else. I would recommend you purchase tickets beforehand, I bought the tickets and an Ipod tour [here] – which meant we skipped the queues. There are lots of tour companies selling Colosseum tours, but you really don’t need a tour guide. Just get an audio tour and you are ready to start exploring yourself, without any time constraints. The Colosseum was breath taking, all that history just sitting there right in front of you. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the crowds baying at Gladiators and exotic animals appearing on the grounds. How amazing must it have been? Did you know they used to fill it up with water sometimes, and create battleship wars! Who knew? Why don’t we have anything like that nowadays, I would definitely go watch.
After we finished exploring the Colosseum, we went over to explore the Roman Forum, which is right next to the Colosseum. This was basically the main hub of the Roman city, with lots of important city buildings once residing here. Now a lot of the buildings are in ruin, but you still can feel just how magnificent it once were. There are beautiful orange gardens to explore and lots of ruined temples to the Roman gods. We explored leisurely, stopping off to read plaques explaining the story behind each ruin we visited. We were at the top of the Palatine hill at one point, overlooking the ruins when I spotted a beautiful green door and insisted we walk over and find out why it is there. I was hoping I could run up and take pictures in front of it, but unfortunately it was cordoned off. However my husband was determined I get to take the picture I wanted and may have suggested that I jump over the cordon. Luckily I didn’t get in trouble, it was a quick dash in and out. The doors are actually original bronze doors to the Temple of Romulus, I believe he was a young boy who died and his father, the Emperor Maxentius had it built in his honour.
Once we had finished exploring the Roman Forum, we asked lots of people for the way to see the Pantheon as that was the last site seeing destination for the day. Side note, the people we came across were so friendly. Everyone was helpful and it was so easy to get around due to their helpful nature. On the way to the Pantheon, we came across a grand monument that we just had to stop and explore. It was the Vittoriano, a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. As it was completed in 1925, everything is intact and the grandeur cannot be missed. Some Romans call it the wedding cake building, and find it too vulgar, pompous and too blinding white in their city, but we loved it. I believe it’s creation destroyed some of the original buildings in the Palatine Hill, so you can understand the frustrations. We loved exploring it, and also visited the museum located inside.
Finally we made our way to the Pantheon, which used to be a Roman temple, now a church. I wanted to see this building with a hole in the roof for myself, and see how that hole illuminated the entire hall. The Pantheon has been really well preserved and I really enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere. Being a church there were lots of people praying, and there was just a spiritual ambiance. I sat down for a brief few minutes and made my own little prayer (dua) before I left.
The evening was rather uneventful, we were totally exhausted to say the least. I can’t recall what snacks we had through out the day but in the evening we visited a local Indian restaurant. Rome Tip: Leave the Indian dining to either the UK where there are such amazing restaurant or for when you are in South Asia. The food was rather disappointing so we filled the evening with snacks and called it a night.
Speak to you soon about our third day in Rome. Tanzina x