This post is a continuation of Rome – Day 1 post.
– DAY TWO IN ROME –
Piazza della Madonna dei Monti.
Starting the day off quiet. Breakfast and coffee, people watch. This Piazza is popular with the locals and away from the tourists.
Look for La Casetta. Homemade pastries served by the owner and great espresso. Also very reasonably priced.
When done, start walking towards the Colosseum.
Visit the Colosseum
The Colosseum is such an amazing sight to see. I didn’t buy our tickets beforehand even though I was under a lot of pressure from the hawkers and tourist places. I knew it wouldn’t be that busy. Well it was busy! BUT, we were better off not buying our tickets as there are two lines of security to get in, one with tickets and others without. Our non-ticket line moved 10x faster than the other line!
Skip the audioguide, it really isn’t worth it and just enjoy the site.
The inside of the Colosseum has a nice museum of the history, art, restoration projects, churches build inside the arena, and multiple attempts at it’s destruction. Thank goodness that never happened, otherwise the world would forget this history.
Look for this sign as you walk through. It is often overlooked by tourists, but is probably the most important piece on site.
This is the original dedication sign of when the Colosseum was built and opened. The holes in the marble used to hold gold gilded letters
Next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, one of the largest of Rome’s ancient triumphal arches. The arch celebrates Emperor Constantine the Great’s victory and the battle that made Christianity the religion of Rome.
Grab something to eat at the nearby cafe before you continue on. The cafe is expensive, made for the tourists, and loud; but how many times are you going to get the opportunity to eat admiring the Colosseum?
Visit the Roman Forum
Make your way across the street to the Roman Forum. Walk and explore the site where the leaders of the city met and the imperial palaces once stood.
My most favorite place in the forum was the Santa Maria Antiquia Church, off a main path inside the forum. Gorgeous haloed saints are still depicted on the bricked walls in a state of arrested decay. Of all the forum, this place seemed the most authentic and quiet.
Climb up on Palantine Hill
After exploring the forum, and wandering the streets that Julius Caesar once did, climb up to see the ruins of the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill. Enjoy the beautiful garden areas and fragments of ancient villas.
Walk to see Circus Maximus
Chariot racing was the most important event at the Circus, although the last race was some time ago. Today, nothing is left of Circus Maximus, except a large green space good for sports or resting. We grabbed more gelato and had a rest before we continued on our walk.
Watch the Sunset from Giardino Degli Aranci – The Garden of Oranges
The park closes at sunset so come, enjoy the view of the Eternal City and take a rest. We came to enjoy the view at sunset and it was gorgeous. Really, a truly wonderful way to view the city and think about all that has happened here.
We took the metro back to the hotel for a bit of rest then went out for a special reservation at the Hosteria Constanza.
This restaurant is built inside an ancient Roman Theatre. The staff is more than welcome to tell you about the history and even give you a little tour while you wait for your meal.
We had a wonderful evening. Met some wonderful company at the table next to us and ended up talking about traveling and the restaurants history all evening. I do want to recommend that you try this amazing wine. I’ve been dreaming of it since I came back to the US and it’s only sold in Italy and shipped locally 🙁
Our restaurant was an ideal choice for the evening as it was once a Roman theater and the night we dined was the Ides of March. Get it? Caesar was assassinated leaving a theater.
I love history.
View all the places we stayed and visited on our European Tour.