The Colosseum in all its glory. And a crane.

Probably the most famous site in all of Rome, and something everyone in the world has probably seen in some form, is the Colosseum. I caught the metro from near the hostel down the few stations to get there. They planned all this pretty damn well, because as soon as you exit the station BAM its in your face and no matter how many times you see it its always cool.

As soon as I walked closer to it I started to be mobbed by people telling me to do tours. Normally I tell them to get stuffed (in a polite way) and ill go in and do my own thing. However, today was saturday, and by 10am the line to get in was a few hours. If you do a tour you just go straight in. So I eventually said yes to one of the official tour peeps, it was 20 euros instead of 12. I figured that saving a few hours was worth 8 euros, plus id get a guide for an hour here and also at the Forum after.

The tour was starting and we were all ushered past the hundreds of people waiting in line to go in. The tour lasted for about an hour, and wasn’t really so much a tour as standing there with a dude telling you about the history of the place. Considering how bad i am with remembering dates in history that i don’t care about you can imagine how useful this was to me. The weather wasn’t very good at all, completely clouded over, so I just made a note of where the sun was at that time so I could figure out the best time to come back later when there was clear skies. Walking around the Colosseum though its just amazing, to think back all those years they were able to build such a structure to seat around 55 thousand people. A lot of people I spoke to assumed that it would be bigger though which was strange. I came back a few times at night to take photos of it as well which was good.

After the Colosseum tour was over it was time to meet up with the other guide to take us all around the Roman Forum. The entrance is a few hundred meters down the road and on that walk I think passed about three wedding photography sessions going on. The Roman Forum is the biggest section of ruins in Rome, and also the most important, its where the Roman civilisation developed (or something like that). Having just done Pompei two days earlier all of the ruins weren’t meaning much to me and all looked the same. This is not to say it wasn’t an amazing site, because it is. The main thing that strikes you is just the sheer size of things, not just the site that they are all on, but the structures. Huge pillars outside all of the buildings for example, that are still standing today. Them Romans sure knew how to build stuff to last.

Seeing just those two sites takes up an entire day, and thats with skipping the lines to get in to them as well. So you can definitely see how Rome can take a while to see. Just a tip though, if you don’t want to pay the extra and still not wait in such a huge queue, go buy your combined ticket at the Roman Forum first and walk back to the Colosseum, or just do the Forum first. Or on weekdays its pretty much fine whatever you do, second time I went to the Colosseum was at about 10am and I just strolled straight in with a line of only about 5 people.