Roman Forum and Colosseum

A couple years ago I finally ventured across the pond and traveled to Europe! I was fortunate enough to have four of my closest friends traveling with me throughout our two-week, multi-country adventure. The first destination on our itinerary was none other than the eternal city of Rome. We had but a mere three days to experience as much as we could and I think it’s fair to say we covered a lot of ground!

After landing in the Fiumicino airport, we took a taxi to our lovely Airbnb (which was located in the Monti neighborhood), dropped our luggage, had a quick bite to eat, and promptly headed to the Roman Forum. It was around late afternoon which meant that we had timed our visit to the Forum perfectly for “golden hour” with the sunshine hitting all the right places for the most amazing photos. Walking through the Roman Forum was an incredible experience – we were literally walking in the steps of Julius Caesar and standing where Cleopatra was paraded through the square. I studied Latin for four years in high school where I learned about the history of Ancient Rome extensively, so this was especially meaningful to me to see the place that I had only read about and seen pictures of in books. Below is a collection of some of my favorite photos that I snapped while walking through the Forum and Palatine Hill. IMG_2157

The next day, we woke up bright and early, grabbed some cappuccinos to go, and made our way to the Colosseum. We didn’t wait in line very long since we arrived first thing in the morning. Since we were there the first Sunday of the month, entrance to the Colosseum was free – for the Roman Forum the previous day, we had purchased skip-the-line tickets in advance online to avoid any long lines since we knew we would be arriving at the Forum later in the day.

The Colosseum was stunning from the outside, of course. We had seen the outside the previous day – it’s pretty hard to miss if you stroll down any street in the general vicinity of the Colosseum (the Forum is almost right next to the Colosseum). Once we were inside, though, it was fascinating. Again, after only ever reading about it or seeing pictures in books, it was amazing to finally experience this amazing monument in person. We walked all the way around the Colosseum to be sure we didn’t miss any of the spectacular views. I can only imagine how it must have looked in the days of Ancient Rome. Below are a few of my favorite photos I took of the Colosseum.

IMG_2175If you’re planning a trip to Rome, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are a must-see. Although we split these two sites into two days, it’s definitely possible to do them together in one day. I would recommend purchasing skip-the-line tickets online in advance, especially if you’re visiting in the summer. If you happen to be visiting on the first Sunday of the month, entrance is free and skip-the-line tickets aren’t applicable to those Sundays. However, I would recommend getting there as early as possible (I believe we arrived at around 8:00 am) to avoid the long lines.

Definitely bring water and your camera and always be respectful of others’ photos; everyone wants to have their picture taken at the these places, so it’s possible you may be waiting in line just to snap a photo of a particular viewpoint. I personally enjoy taking just a few photos and then the rest of my visit I try to soak in the experience as much as possible without focusing on my camera. These ancient sites are so magical; I’m very happy I was able to visit them!