A Funny Thing Happened...

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September 29th 2015
Published: August 4th 2017
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So, day 2, new additions to the party, and my feet are still attached if slightly swollen. I always seem to manage to do that, walk myself half to death on the first day of a trip and then spend the rest of the trip utterly exhausted. The weather was still gorgeous at least.

On the map Rome looks very walkable but yesterday had shown us it could be a bit of a hike, the Colosseum fortunately, was actually in decent walking distance. We arrived, avoided the tacky, plastic-clad gladiators touting for photos, and found the entrance. The gladiators have since been banned - apparently they would actually try to charge 50 euros simply for a photo with them. Crazy!

My last memory of the Colosseum was on a sweltering day in mid-summer packed with crowds. Today was bizarrely quiet and we got in quicker than the pre-booked queue. My worry over not booking online was obviously unfounded.

Even with the ever-present number of tourists the Colosseum will always be impressive. It is iconic, if not perhaps very photogenic. It seems impossible to ever get a photo with all of it in, and with all the other people out. The number of people (I believe limited to about 3000 a day) manage to dampen the atmosphere a little. It's a little hard to imagine how it was when it's a bright sunny day with the ever-present sound of Roman traffic from outside.

After spending a few hours exploring the colosseum, we headed out, past the Arch of Constantine, to Palatine hill. The 12euro ticket we'd bought for the colosseum also included Palatine Hill and the Forum (the UK has a lot to learn from other countries about what constitutes a reasonable entrance fee!)

I always worry that the 'must-see' sites will be disappointing but Rome is really one of those cities that cannot disappoint (as long as you avoid ticket-touts, pickpockets, overpriced and bad-quality food and take a deep breath before contemplating any public transport.

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