Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

But I'm sure as hell going to try and see it in a day - rain and tired feet be damned. 

Erin and I bought tickets for the Roman Colosseum online last night, allowing us to bypass the lines upon arrival. Being inside the Colosseum was absolutely breath-taking. It’s incredible to think that this was built in 70 AD and still has this kind of beauty.

There were exhibits inside detailing the history of the Colosseum, including the Inaugural Epigraph of the Colosseum. There was even a realistic model of the complex that without a doubt beats my 9th grade history project model.

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We spent about an hour inside, taking in the magnificence that is the Colosseum before moving on.

Right next to the Colosseum is the Arco di Costantino, commemorating Constantine I’s victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

Your admissions ticket for the Colosseum includes the Palatino and Roman Forum so we made our way there next. Right at the entrance is the Arch of Titus, erected in 82 AD to commemorate Emperor Domitian’s brother Titus. 

You can choose to go right first, down towards the Roman Forum, or left, up towards Palatine Hill - one of the seven hills of Rome (sound familiar?). Erin and I went towards the forum.

Once we were done, we made our way to the top of Palatine Hill to get a birds eye view of the ruins, as well as the Colosseum. 

You can also take a stroll through the gardens.

And then you stumble upon the ruins of the Palace of Domitian.

Soon we began walking towards the Trevi Fountain (we did grow up in the age of The Lizzie Mcguire Movie, after all). Along the way we passed the Altar of the Fatherland, an exccessively large monument in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.

When we made it to the Trevi Fountain, we were greeted by mass crowds trying to throw pennies over their shoulders into the water. I saw people doing this from a few rows away from the fountain itself, so if you ever make it to the front just be aware of potentially being pelted by pennies.

We grabbed lunch at the least touristy looking spot we could find that was nearby, after which Erin headed back to the hostel and I kept going.

The Pantheon was a 5 minute walk away, but as I was heading that way I stumbled upon the hurch of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius. There were no tickets required, and it was beautiful inside. Plus there were hardly any tourists. 

Then I arrived at the Pantheon which was also free. Much more crowded, but honestly not that much more beautiful. But I guess the historical significance makes the difference.

Up next, the Santa Maria sopra Minerva Basilica. Right outside was the Obelisco della Minerva - aka the lephant and Obelisk.

The anta Maria Bascilia was probably one of the most beautiful church interiors I've seen. The vibrant, blue ceiling was truly incredible.

Unfortunately my camera battery died at this point, and I discovered I left my spare battery in my luggage. I still had my iPhone which takes good enough photos, but the remainder of my photos don't even begin to do the sites justice.

I began walking towards the river, and along the way passed Largo di Torre Argentina - an ancient square that has the remainders of the Theatre of Pompey. I love Rome because you just happen upon random ruins as you walk.

I arrived at the Tiber River and made my way to Ponte Sisto, a historic bridge that honestly wasn't as exciting as I was hoping.

Further down the river is Ponte Rotto, which is the oldest Roman stone bridge. It's no longer functional, but rather just some ruins chilling in the middle of the river.

Right after passing this, you find yourself at emple of Hercules Victor.

Keep walking and you soon find yourself at the Circus Maximus (which is on the other side of Palatine Hill). Nothing is really there anymore, but it's neat knowing that this is where all the Roman chariot races took place.

I almost took the metro back to the hostel at this point, but saw a sign for more ruins and thought to myself "can I guarantee that I'll ever be in Rome again?" And of course, the answer is no because nothing in life is ever guaranteed. So carpe diem. 

I kept walking and found myself at Porta San Paolo, one of the southern gates of urelian Walls.

Right next to Porta San Paolo is a random pyramid - the Pyramid of Caius Cestius.

I was finally ready to head back to the hostel. But directly across the train station was a monument, Tutti Potenziali Bersagli, which translated means all potential targets. It's meant to honour the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Italy.

Now it was really time to head back to the hostel to meet up with Erin for dinner. We went to a restaurant I found on Spotted by Local (thanks Melissa for introducing me to the site) that was about a minute walk from our hostel, very reasonably priced, and super delicious. We got a ridiculous amount of house wine that I had to finish most of because Erin is a lightweight. And the iramisu alone was enough for me to be sold.

But there was also a "Certificate of Excellence" from the Crown Prince of Montenegro and Albania to help seal the deal.

The table next to us, who were speaking German with each other and broken English with the waiter (who spoke broken English himself), ordered two large beers. Let's just say the waiter took them very literally.

They were hysterical and not expecting that much beer. Erin and I got good laughs out of it as well. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.