Rome, the ruins

On the southern part of the central area of Rome lie the ruins of a great civilization. The legacy of a once powerful nation is a major attraction for many tourists from all over the world. For our last day in Rome, we decided to pay a visit to this magnificent site.

Our first target for the day was the center-piece of the Roman ruins, the biggest amphitheater of the entire Roman empire: The Colosseum. We tried to leave as early as possible in the morning, but after having breakfast and arriving down (after changing a bus once) we barely made it at around 10:00AM… the line in front of the Colosseum entrance was already quite long…
Colosseum
There were selling “skip-the-line” tickets at the Colosseum also, for all those who did not want to wait in the long line, and since I did not book ahead for this one, I started thinking maybe it is better to buy the tickets for us there. Luckily I did not decide right on (the price was almost double compared to the normal entry price) and after a few minutes we noticed, that the line is shrinking rapidly. One major advantage of standing in line at the Colosseum was the fact, that the line is formed under the shady pillars of the building, so there is no need to stand in the burning sun of summer. We started off from just outside the pillars actually, but even so, we got to the ticket office after a 20 minutes waiting in line (pretty good for Italian organization 🙂 )…

The entry ticket into the Colosseum (if I remember correctly) was €12.00 plus I have lent an audio-guide (which was quite useful) for €4.00. The tickets contained a short visiting route in the Colosseum, so we followed that after entering. The route started with a magnificent upper view of the building (quite impressive), after which it took us down to the lower levels and presented some of the details of the building. I think we have spent about one hour inside, so it was not too long, not too short: it was quite right 🙂 .

Right next to the Colosseum lies Constantine’s Arch (Arco di Constantino), a triumphal arch, which was preserved very well considering its age (~150A.D.). I am not sure if there has ever been some reconstruction done to it, but still it offers quite an amazing sight.

Because of the hot sunny day (it was around noon already), we decided to skip the Roman Forums(Fori Romani) and just wander around a bit in the area. It turned out that lots of the imperial forums are actually outside the so called “Roman Forums”: Traianus’s Forum for example is completely outside the area and can be viewed freely by the people passing by.
Colosseum
For a good overview on the imperial forums, there is a “cheat code”: the huge Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II is right next to the forums… climbing up just on the stairs is already high enough to see inside the forums… 🙂 of course it is not a detailed visit, but pretty much everything is visible 🙂 . For €7.00 however, it is also possible to go up with the elevator onto the very top of the monument.. now from there, the forums are really visible, and the view, well that is simply breathtaking 🙂 …

Of course there is a lot more to cover of ancient Rome in the city, but being our last day, we tried to concentrate on the more interesting parts, so we could not visit anything else… Anyway I think it gave a quite good taste of ancient Rome (Pompeii, however seemed much more interesting and adventurous…).

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