So Day Two in Rome was extremely busy and we did a huge lot of walking!!
Our first stop was to the Santa Maria Maggiore which is a really old church (free to visit) with a huge obelisk (I believe is the oldest in Rome) in the central square out the front. This was literally down the street to our hotel but in the opposite direction of the Spanish Steps.
If you are planning on doing a lot of walking in the city, I suggest you wear comfy shoes and take some Compeed with you. I had to buy some there which was quite easy to do but they were a little more expensive than those you would buy over here. I wore walking socks and just normal boots but I should have probably worn some walking shoes/boots. (I also should have done this when I was in New York the other year – I didn’t learn my lesson.)
Unfortunately, the church was closed when we got there and was all cordoned off so we couldn’t go inside. However, it was a beautiful plaza on a quiet morning which was quite nice to be able to spend a little bit of time taking photographs there.
Our first view of the Colosseum above
Now, we didn’t book any tickets prior to our arrival in Rome. We looked through blogs and trip advisor and decided that we probably didn’t need to due to the fact that we were going in November so probably didn’t need to.
The ticket for the Colosseum (I think was 12 euros) also included the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (both are through the same entrance).
Ticket touts are outside of the Colosseum trying to get you to buy from them. I don’t really trust handing money over to anyone other than a website or kiosk, so we decided to queue. The queue only lasted about twenty minutes for the Colosseum and the main reason is that you have to go through a security check to enter.
However, the Roman Forum has a ticket booth just two minutes over the way with little or no queue. We should have bought from there instead of queuing in the Colosseum queue. We then could have gone straight into the Colosseum security queue but we had to go through the ticket queue too.
Once in the Colosseum, there is a direct route around. There is a lift if you have wheelchair/pushchair or any walking disability. The stairs are quite steep!
While waiting in the queue it was quite chilly but there also felt like a bit of a ghostly atmosphere while there. I loved walking around but it still just felt strange being stood were so many people had died for sport.
Actual statue heads found in the ruins.
The makeup of the building – absolutely amazing.
You could do the guided tour for the Colosseum but I felt like it was enough for us to read the information and I did have a reference book to look at too.
Constantine’s Arch – situated outside the Colosseum
Photograph taken from the Colosseum
Horse statue outside The Colosseum
Entrance to The Roman Forum
We then made our way up the steps from The Roman Forum upto Palatine Hill.
I read a lot of stories about Palatine Hill, about how steep the stairs were but actually, they were pretty easy to walk up and the stairs aren’t too steep. If you are physically fit (you can take breaks), the views are extremely worth it.
Once you get to the top of the Hill, you get to go through the ruins of the old house that used to be there. This is absolutely incredible and there are signs all over that show the actual rooms and it is literally amazing – the sheer size of it. There is also a museum up there but we chose not to go in.
After this we were absolutely starving so we made our way down towards the Alter of The Fatherland building (also known as the wedding cake building).
It is quite an imposing building and is surrounded by Courts and Government offices meaning there are a lot of state cars AND traffic. We literally put our lives in our hands crossing the road at this point but we made it to a little deli which looked gorgeous.
We went to this little deli which was called Cin Cin bar. It was quite packed but there was room on the upper floor. We were sat just behind the open doors onto the balcony which meant we could watch the hustle and bustle without being too cold.
We ate and had desserts and it was a really nice place to sit and relax (and rest our feet).
I literally had the cheesiest pizza I could have ever eaten and Chris got a tomato based pasta which he enjoyed.
Feet well rested, we made our way to Largo di Torre Argentina. This is a ruin site that is now a cat sanctuary. One of the most random things I have ever seen. I probably wouldn’t touch the cats and you do need to be careful as there are a lot of homeless people but for the novelty touch, it is definitely worth a look.
After a swift walk back to the hotel (and a latte at the little place round the corner), we decided to have a couple of hours downtime, so we got changed and then made our way to the Ristorante Pizzeria which again was just a quick walk from our hotel.
I got a beef lasagne and Chris got a pizza which we both enjoyed.
The restaurant was a little odd, we were sat near a fish tank and there were various odd paintings etc. on the walls but the food was lovely.
Overall, our second day in Rome was such a good one. We saw and took in so many different aspects of the Roman culture and it was just so beautiful.
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