Last weekend the family and I headed to Italy for my mum's big 5-0. She had always wanted to go to Rome, so off we went to celebrate and have a weekend of culture and gelato! On our first day there on the Friday we decided to go and see The Colosseum, and save the Vatican for the weekend. We managed to do Palatine, The Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain all in one day, and as we were staying near Vatican City, it meant a full-on day of walking around the city for around six hours!
So let me take you on a little (ha!) photo tour of our first day in Roma...
We started off by walking past the King's Monument; Altare della Patria, which was built in memorial of the first King of Rome, Victor Emmanuel. It's a huge white building just in front of Palatine. We walked around the back of the monument and up some steps towards a big church, searching for Palatine Hill, which is where Rome was founded in 1000BC!
Behold, Palatine Hill. This is not only the location of the foundings of Rome, but also the site where it's said that Romulus and Remus were found in a cave by the she-wolf who kept them alive until they were found by a shepherd and his wife. Rome got it's name from Romulus and Remus, when they decided to build a city on the banks of the River Tiber.
The gelato was ah-mazing, in fact I didn't have a bad gelato the whole time we were in Italy! It really is the stuff dreams are made of. I had pistachio and chocolate, it was delicious.
Finally we glimpsed the 2000 year old amphitheater, and oh....it's covered in scaffolding. Hm. Yep, ah well, it just meant we had to take strategic photos so as not to get the scaffolding in....
After an hour of queuing we finally got in. Word of advice: definitely book online in advance! Also make sure you go to the toilet before you queue, as when you do eventually get through, there's then a massive queue for the toilets actually in The Colosseum!
It was incredible to see The Colosseum up close, for years I've seen it in photos and pictures and all of a sudden I was there in person. It was a shame about the scaffolding, as it really did ruin the effect of the building, but it was still impressive and absolutely magnificent. Just to stand there and think that thousands of years ago others were sitting there watching the entertainment held there just like we do at Wembley Stadium today. And what really amazed me was that patches of the original marble flooring are dotted around the place...
Feeling very full and happy, we then walked to The Pantheon, where the crowds were insane! Just LOOK how many people there were!
It didn't take too long to get in, but it was very packed inside, and it was just breathtaking to think how old this place is. Nearly 2000 years old! It's just incredible, it blew my mind to just look at the design and construction and imagine what it would have been like thousands of years ago. The Pantheon was originally built as a temple to the Gods of Ancient Rome, however it's been used as a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century. After The Pantheon we then headed over to the famous Trevi Fountain, which was even busier!
I managed to get a coupla pics without any people in them, but it was a real struggle. The problem with Rome is there are just tourists and tour groups everywhere, it's the busiest city I've ever visited, and it actually made me feel really claustrophobic and stressed out. Anyway, that's all for today, but I still have a few posts left from Rome so stay tuned for tomorrow's one!