The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum
Day 3 – Colosseo, Roman Forum, Vittorio monument… (24/10/2009)
We took the Metro from the Spanish Steps to Coliseum, to save time. It would have taken us approximately 40 mins to walk from there. We started the day with getting a €12 ticket per person at the Forum entrance on Via Dei Fori Imperiali. The ticket includes the Coliseum too. The wait was about 20 mins or so. I read that the queue at the Coliseum usual runs longer and heck it was also a Saturday morning, so as expected more people than usual.
The Roman Forum is impressive, the marvels of ancient Rome is not lost on the modern visitor at all. After our round at the lower ruins, we climbed up to the Palatine Hill for an even more impressive view of the ruins. There are so many descriptives of the various locations in the forum, one has to either read them up from a good guide book or get the audio guide. DO GET AN AUDIO GUIDE.
View from Palatine Hill
On Palatine Hill you will find more ruins mainly mansions because as Rome grew, Palatine Hill became the ‘in’ neighbourhood for the rich and afterwards the Emperors. Here lies also the Stadio or The Stadium of Domitian (Stadio di Domiziano) or hippodrome. Domitian, a Roman Emperor (51-96 AD) was crazy about sports. He implemented the Capitoline Games in 86 AD which were in a way similar to the Olympic Games. Held every four years, the games included various athletic events, chariot races and gladiator fights.
The Stadio at Palatine Hill
For lunch, we took a break after going round the Roman Forum and before heading for the Coliseum. If you like walking and don’t mind doing a bit more, from the Roman Forum, not far off approximately 15-20 mins, walk up Via Nazionale to Palazzo delle Esposizioni for a nice toilet or coffee break & quick lunch. It is modern and minimalistic designed . The other ‘older’ areas housed several art exhibitions. There is also a restaurant in there.
After lunch, we headed for the Coliseum – undoubtedly impressive and to think back during those days how daunting this building must have been. It must have also given the visitor an imposing reminder of the might and wealth of the Roman Empire.
Vittorio Monument on Piazza Venezia
Other sights we caught were Vittorio Emanuelle Monument, Campidoglio behind it and Palazzo Venezia (Mussolini’s favourite hang out place where he made his famous speeches).
If you have time hang around at night to see the Coliseum light up and the various other monuments. The ruins though including the Trajan markets, were only dimly lit.
For dinner that night, we went back to the hotel and had an excellent Roman traditional meal , including a tender roasted suckling pig at Ristorante Ambasciata D’Abruzzo which was very close to the hotel. For some excellent dolce and pastries, don’t forget to stop by Il Cigno Pasticceria at Via dei Parioli, not far off from the hotel Aldrovandi either.
Day 4 – Pyramid of Cestius & Circus Maximus (25/10/2009)
Half day left in Rome, took the car and since it was Sunday, we braved the traffic albeit slightly reduced to hit these 2 other sights.
The pyramid was built about 18 BC–12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius Epulo, a magistrate and member of one of the four great religious corporations at Rome, the Septemviri Epulonum.
The sketch and the description is from wikipedia.
Circus Maximus where chariot racing was really hip then, came to race here and Ben Hur is the filmatised version of it.
That about sums up our 3 1/2 days in Rome. Wished we could have seen more… like Travestere, Baths of Caracalla and The Catacombs. Well at least we have something to see should our wish come true at the Trevi Fountain amd we return to Rome one day.