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Published: September 5th 2019
This was a huge day… We were up at 6am as we had to be at a meeting point by 8:15am for our 4 hour ‘Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Tour’ by Rome Experience Tours. It is about a 45 minute walk to the Colosseum from the apartment but at 7:15am, it was cool and much quieter on the roads. The walk to the Largo Gaetna Agnesi was enjoyable and we waited for a while until we found our guide, Vincenzo, and were given our headphone sets.
It was a small group of 9 - 5 of us (me, Jo, Sharon, Shelley and John) and 2 American couples. We first walked through some back streets, going back in time as we looked at some Medieval buildings and heard about the more modern Rome.
From there, we entered the Forum Romanum to look at all the buildings and listen to the history of the progressive development in the Forum. Topics/structures we learned about were the Senate house, the Temple of Jupiter, The Temple of Divus Julius and the Rostra Julia, the Arch of Septimus Severus, the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, the Temple of Antonius and Faustina, and the more
modern Medieval house of Faustus on the top of the Palatine Hill.
Walking down we went past the Arch of Titus and towards the Flavian Amphitheatre (a.k.a. the Colosseum), where we changed guides for our tour of this building.
Our new guide took us to the Arena floor, where you could see the excavated subterranean structures, plus a reconstruction of the trapdoor and lift system that brought the animals and people up to the arena.
We walked down a set of stairs to see the underneath and lift, then back up to ground level and then further up to our a higher tier, where you could walk around and look down.
Our tour included access to the top levels, so after climbing some very steep stairs, we ended up on a higher tier. From here, we could look down into the Amphitheatre, up along the back wall (little of which remains), across towards the Forum and the Arch of Titus and then over the Arch of Constantine and down the Via di San Gregorio towards the Circus Maximus.
The tour ended at 12:45pm and after standing and walking since 7:15am, we were all exhausted and
starving. There weren’t a lot of restaurants around the Colosseum so we walked back to Trastevere and found an Osteria where we fortified ourselves with a late lunch of pizza, pasta and vino.
A rest was required by everyone so we all headed somewhere to lay down as we had to regain our strength for the ‘Highlights of Rome Small-Group Segway Tour’ by Rome by Segway, scheduled for 7:30pm.
At just after 6pm, we set off to walk to our tour meeting point, which was close to the Colosseum. We had a small group of 7 people on the tour – me, Jo, Sharon, Shelley and John and a Scottish couple.
After being fitted with helmets and receiving instructions from our guide Flavio, we were up on a Segway and doing some training laps in a small area until we had learned how to manoeuvre.
We set off in single file after Flavio to our first stop at the Circus Maximus. From here, we went to the Theatre of Marcello, Camp de’ Fiori and then to see the beautiful Piazza Navona, which has 2 lovely fountains and restaurants with outdoor seating.
After this, we went
to see the Pantheon, then to the Trevi fountain, Trajan’s Column and then finally past the Forum Romanum to the Flavian Amphitheatre before heading back to the Segway office.
The city and its building, squares and fountains were truly beautiful at night, illuminated with spotlights and flanked by trattorias and restaurants with festive outdoor seated areas. The Segways were great fun to ride and a terrific way to get around as you see much more than you could if walking.
As everyone’s legs had just about had it, we asked Flavio to order us a taxi home. When we got to the apartment about 11pm, the whole area was alive with people. Paula was crossing in front of us having been out for cocktails and a gelato so we bought some pizza in the shop from the apartment (it was amazing) and all went in to have a drink and de-brief on our days.
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