Today, our visits were connected with the ancient world. We visited the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum and the baths of Caracalla.
It is amazing to walk around at monuments from the Roman Period and stare in awe at the fabulous architecture. How did they manage to build this wall or how could they organize such a giantess city without the means we have today? You can let your imagination run wild and see the buildings rise up in your mind. A small piece of mosaic on the floor, a hole in the wall where a statue used to be, they all help construct ancient Rome in your brain.
However, the white and natural tones we see in the monuments today didn’t dominate the street view in Roman times. No, the temples, senate buildings and so on where all painted over in bright colours, giving the city some colour.
We wanted to avoid the main traffic of tourists and went to the Forum Romanum in the morning. The place is huge and certainly worth visiting. It is actually a park covering most of the Palatine. Except from the Palatine, palaces, temples and villas give you a healthy mix of roman architecture. Make sure you don’t forget the museum on top of the hill and the amazing viewpoints over various other monuments such as the Circus Massimo and the Colosseum.
According to our guide we have Mussolini to thank for the excavations. Aparently his office was at the Altara della Patria and he wanted a clear view of the Colosseum. Consequently all buildings in between had to be destroyed.
Next, we went to the Colosseum, a bit of a disappointment to my sister. After seeing the Forum Romanum and all it had to offer, the Colosseum went over too quickly. There was les to see and the lines to see it were e as long. I, on the other hand don’t share her opinion. Sure, after spending nearly 3 hours in the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum only took half an hour. But in my opinion this was time well spend.
In the afternoon, we completed our tour with the Baths of Caracalla. Although I have seen some better preserved Roman Baths (mainly in Sicily), the site is still impressive and most of the walls are still erect.
We concluded our day with a moijito at the river banks and went home taking ancient Rome with us in our imagination.
TIP: the first Sunday of the month most museums are for free.
TIP: The Forum Romanum and the Colosseum are included in the same entry ticket. If you didn’t buy your tickets online, first go to the Forum Romanum, the lines are a lot shorter.
TIP: If you don’t have time to visit the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum, I advise you go for the Forum Romanum. There is way more to see and the queue are noticably shorter.
TIP: Relatively close to the Baths of Caracalla is the protestant graveyard. Several English poets are burried here, for example: Keats.Take notice though, the graveyard is only open till noon.