Overwhelmed By The Empire

We didn’t need to get out of bed too early this morning because we had done so much touring yesterday.  Indeed, our the main focus for today was to tour the Colosseum and we knew exactly how to get there direct by bus.

So, with some “time up our sleeves” we took in a very slow breakfast and checked our emails before walking to the bus stop.

The weather today was perfect again – a little warmer than yesterday but still cool enough to require jackets.

Now it would appear that we were not meant to tour the Colosseum even though we arrived nice an early (before the 1.30pm expiry time of our tickets) the Colosseum was closed!!  The workers had some “assembly” on (union meeting?) so we had to wait until 12.30pm before we could get in.  We took the time to walk around the local area and take in some more of the sights and sounds.

Because we already had tickets we were able to walk to the front of the line and get into the Colosseum quite quickly.
The internal tour (self guided) was very interesting but we both agreed that the structure and Colosseum “experience” is more interesting from the outside than from the inside.  That said – it did provide us with some great photo taking opportunities.

With the tour complete we headed off in the direction of the a range of sights that were listed on the map that we had.  We walked through the Rome Forum again (the reverse direction of yesterday’s tour) and took some more photo’s.  Rome is a photographers delight.

From the Forum we walked the streets in the direction of the basilica which houses the “mouth of truth” before crossing the river and walking uphill to see the Acqua Paola Fonte (fountain).  The walk up the hill was not what the thighs or calves really needed however, the elevated view of Rome as the sunset was spectacular and the walk through the park lands was very special.

The sun was just setting as we walked back down toward the Tevere River and into St Peter’s Square.  Walking into the square and seeing St Peter’s Basilica for the first time was really special.  The sheer size of St Peter’s is something that words cannot explain – truly inspiring.  We are going to tour the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s tomorrow so we didn’t spend a lot of time there today – just enough time to take some night photo’s.

We decided to save our legs a bit today so we walked to the nearest underground station and caught the train back to the Trevi Fountain (after a quick stop for some vanilla gelato!!).
We had aimed to catch up with an Italian friend that we know from Hong Kong (she lives near the Trevi fountain).  However, she was not able to make it tonight so we took some night photo’s of the Trevi fountain then walked back to a place where we could catch the express bus back to the area the our hotel is located in.  This meant that we got back to the hotel reasonably early.  We bought some pizza at a local restaurant and ate it back in our room.  It was nice to stop and relax at a reasonable hour.  We have been on “the go” now for nearly three weeks and we haven’t really slowed down too much in that time so tonight was a bit special.
Off to St Peter’s and The Vatican tomorrow.  Early to bed tonight.  Yeah!!!!!
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