I have previously written a fairly lengthy post about how to see the main sights of Rome in one day there, but I thought I’d give you a little more insight into my personal favourites and show off some of my absolute favourite photos from these historic locations.
The Colosseum is about as far south in Rome as I have travelled and is of course, constantly heaving with tourists. The iconic arches and circular structure of this ancient building mean it’s just too good not to visit whilst you’re there. If you’ve got a Rome Pass then you can skip most of the queue, and if not, head for the Palatine Hill ticket office where you can get tickets for both the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill (which is also well worth a visit). The queues are shorter here and you can therefore pack more into your time at the Colosseum!
When I first made my way into the ancient building I was struck by how much smaller the outside felt to me than I had imagined, however the further we ventured into the Colosseum the more vast it became. The small holes that poc mark the stone were made by people stealing the metal from inside the columns, something that seems like madness now as we marvel at this piece of architecture. Recently there was an article about some tourists carving their initials into the building, I feel like it’s stating the obvious but don’t do that!
The building itself has been damaged by earthquakes and age, meaning there are a variety of arches to be seen as you walk around the outside. Inside, the beauty of this architecture is even more obvious and despite the huge crowds which are a constant presence in the Colosseum you can’t fail to be taken in by the impressiveness of it all, and take hundreds of photos.
Of course you can buy almost anything you can think of with a print of the Colosseum on it in the surrounding area from any of the hundreds of stalls and roaming street sellers. However, I felt that definitely in this instance, my own photographs and memories provided a far better souvenir than anything I could buy for €5.
My top tips for visiting the Colosseum:
- Get there early. Cruise ships and coach tours won’t start arriving until about 11am, so if you can beat that rush you’ll be grateful.
- Take your time. There are sign posts, guide books and tour guides everywhere, you have no excuse for not taking in as much information about this incredible building as possible. With the huge crowds it can be tempting to rush through and get out of the way, but as long as you don’t loiter for too long in the middle of a path trying to capture the perfect shot you’re fine.
- Don’t forget the Palatine Hill. It’s a little less obvious and a whole lot less crowded than the Colosseum but no less ancient and impressive when you visit.
- Plan your ticketing. Whether that’s through a Rome Pass, buying at the Palatine Hill office or booking in advance. Do whatever you can not to spend hours in the queue before you get inside the building.
I absolutely love Rome. It’s crowded and parts of it can be very pricey (I’m looking at you Spanish Steps) but the atmosphere, culture and history of the city is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. If you’ve got any great photos from Rome I would absolutely love to see them! Tweet me @cpfcrox!