Rome in the winter - Day 3&4

After all the browsing we did on the second day, we planned to buy tickets for visits to the Colosseum along with Palazzo Dei Conservatori and the Roman Forum. Rome is easily accessible on foot to many landmarks, but the saying 'Rome wasn't built in a day' also applies to the length of time you need to explore it - despite having 3 full days of visiting we still didn't get time to see many things including the Vatican City (something for the next trip!).

On day 3, most of our day was occupied with the Colosseum and Roman Forum - you can get a 12 Euro ticket which covers both (if you're under 25 and a member of the EU you can get a 7 Euro ticket as long as you provide ID) and you get a lot for your money. The Colosseum took us about an hour of slow browsing and walking around the edges. We visited on a Monday which was definitely a lot less busy, but bear in mind the attractions stop admissions around half 3 on weekdays. I would recommend eating a big breakfast or bringing lunch with you for these visits - the Roman Forum was much bigger than we realised, extending beyond the view from the Colosseum and had lots more to see than we thought. We started to get pretty hungry, but there was so much to see that we braved our hunger and kept going - it was well worth it! I wore my Nike shoes which were comfy enough to deal with a lot of walking, I would definitely recommend comfort for exploring Rome.

It's surreal walking amongst all the ruins in the middle of a bustling modern city, the Roman Forum really is like a large time capsule that you can wander around and really see what Ancient Rome would have been like. Even the subtle traces are notable, with the odd slab of marble flooring, broken cobbled paths and fallen pillars that make you imagine how rich the scenery would have looked. Overtime artefacts have been stolen for their materials or damaged over time, but the amount still standing is impressive. I've always been interested in history, but I think even for someone who wasn't would be converted after being immersed in the ancient history that lies throughout the city.

This is one of my favourite photos - the Trevi Fountain at night (and me admiring it's beauty!). The Trevi Fountain is one of the most visited sights in Rome and therefore can get quite busy, but as you can see Jake got a shot (or 50 - he took loads for me) of what looks like me sat all by myself. We strategically went on the Monday evening, to see it one last time before our flight the next evening and anticipating less people. There were still plenty of people around, including a lovely couple who took our photo in front of the fountain. We sat for a while and took in the scenery, also having a sneaky laugh at a couple who draped themselves on a statue nearby and near enough dipping their heads in the water!

It's a very romantic place to visit, there was little shortage of couples and every night in Rome was a date night with food and wine (although I'm sure it's also a great trip for a group of friends!).

If you're following me on Instagram (and if you're not you can here!) you may have seen our little attempted replica of the famous Mouth of Truth scene from Roman Holiday - it's rested next to a little church which is also nice to walk through after queueing up for a photo. Tip - offer to take a photo for the person in front of you and they may offer to take yours too (it worked for us!) or even if they don't you could always ask the person behind you in the queue once it's your turn. I noticed there were quite a few solo travellers on our trip and a Japanese girl took our photo after we took hers - I know it's so much harder to get a photo when you're travelling by yourself!

Palazzo dei Conservatori was truly a sight to see - ensure you leave plenty of time in your day to visit as it takes approx 2 and a half hours to browse. Rooms are stashed with statues, paintings and artefacts - one of the most interesting rooms was a hallway filled with gravestones from Ancient Rome, translated from Latin into multiple languages. They were fascinating to read, some were for freed slaves (it was often written on the stone) some were children, mothers etc. They were really detailed and I loved the way they were written compared to how we write on gravestones now - they were written in a chatty way, one even saying that the person was 'a tomboy with a temper', completely honest about the person who had passed away and gave a real insight to life back then.

As it was a Tuesday I think we were lucky with how quiet it was (the weekdays are probably the best for visiting exhibits for less crowds - at one point we had the main hall all to ourselves. It was 12 euros entry and again well worth the money for the amount you got to see, with statues of Emperors to statues of Mythology (Medusa's head is one of the artefacts in the exhibits).

We had just enough time to have some food before rushing off to pick up our stuff before getting the coach to the airport (and grab some last minute fridge magnets) and I had an amazing lasagne right next to the Colosseum - despite it being winter it was just warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the view.

Our Air Bnb hosts kindly let us keep our luggage in our room for a few hours after check out, we left our city tax (3.50 a night per person) and set off home.

Rome was an incredible trip. It felt relaxing even though we did plenty of walking, with sights easily accessible and the days were easy to plan. The food was always great and people were polite and most spoke very good english. Four days was the perfect amount of time for us to have a long weekend away, but also left us with lots of reasons to return. Rome is definitely a fond favourite!

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