Wow!! I have dreamt of visiting the Forum & Colosseum in Rome since I was a small child and this was definitely ticked off my bucket list. We took a tour with a wonderful lady by the name of Zander who was so knowledgeable. If we had undertaken this by ourselves we would have missed so much about this historical place.
The Forum was built at the end of the 7th Century BC and was considered the centre of Rome. This is where the first parliaments developed.
Construction of the Colosseum begun around 7 AD and could house approx 50,000 people. It was a place of battle where humans and beasts battled each other for death and glory. The even filled the place up with water and staged sea battles in it.
TIP – you must begin with the Forum and finish with the Colosseum.
A visit to the Catacombs at Callisto was something recommended to us but to be honest this was not something that I would put on my bucket list.
The history of this place is pretty amazing. The Christians of Rome began to excavate their own community cemeteries (known today as ‘catacombs’) at the beginning of the second half of the 2nd century AD, when a few wealthy families, having been converted to the Christian faith, donated their lands to the Church (read more here).
No photography was allowed at this site but you can find some on Google.
We pre-booked a tour of the Vatican with a fantastic guide called Michaelle (Michael) whose knowledge on the subject was worth the spend. Express entry was a bonus too as the waiting line was well over an hour – we went straight through (bonus).
The history of this holy place is truly amazing. The artwork and construction of the various buildings was stunning. Michelangelo’s work in St Peter’s Basilica is absolutely stunning and the crush of people in the main hall is massive.
I took a heap of photos here and culled 80% of them but these are the ones I just had to keep…
Our 1st full day in Rome involved a personally guided tour for our F.A.B. group around the older parts of Rome in the morning. Taking in…
- The Aventine Keyhole (AKA Secret Hole) – a large door in a wall which, when you look through the key-hole you can see St Peter’s Cathedral. Pretty cool – check out the photo below.
- Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot–racing stadium and mass entertainment venue which was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. A concert venue these days for Rolling Stones, U2 etc.
- Pyramid of Cestius; the only “Egyptian” pyramid in Europe and the legendary tomb of Remus
- Several cathedrals whose name I forget, but were absolutely stunning.
We arrived in Rome and checked into our boutique hotel called Albergo Ottocento which was so well located in the city (maplink) it allowed us to walk to the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and other highlights in the vicinity. We finished off what was an exhausting day (no real sleep for about 30 hours) with dinner on the hotel’s rooftop; bellissimo!