Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Colosseum and Forum

Okay, I love the Colosseum. Fantastic building way ahead of its time. We only took 215 pictures of the place. If you have never seen it, it's everything you've read about, heard about, dreamt about. It's mind numbingly popular with tourists, and justifiably so. The crowds were even more in the way for us because it rained a bit while we were there, and so folks were taking shelter in the covered areas.

But who cares. The place is magnificent, both on a large scale and in the small scale details.
And big 
Really, really big 
Yet the details are just as interesting 
As is the imposing exterior 
Gladiators doing their thing
It's even more cool when you realize that half the exterior wall is missing...
That's the inside wall. You can just imagine the whole thing
Just imagine
...and they took all the best parts -- the marble, the metal holding it together in spots -- and used them elsewhere (including to build St. Peters). It's such an awesome place that the awesome Arch of Constantine sitting next to it is relegated to a mostly ignored extremely poor second sister.
A huge wow, but not when it sits next to the Colosseum
And technically, it's not the Colosseum, it's the Flavian Amphitheatre. It got the name the Colosseum because of the colossal statue that was at one of the main entrances. The only bits left of that statue are part of a foot and part of the head, both of which are gargantuan.

Of course, next door is the Forum. This was my 3rd time into the Forum, and after seeing Ostia Antica and Pompeii, I realized the Forum was less impressive than either of those two. But it is in downtown Rome, so the setting's pretty impressive. Still, we took 293 pictures in the Forum.
Arch of Titus 
A whole lot of history 
Art shots 
I like columns 
All columns 
Titus in the sun 
More columns 
Same ones

Yeah, you can just shoot a LOT of photos in the Colosseum and Forum. A lot.


  • The ticket for the Colosseum and Forum allows for one visit to each in a 48 hour period. Most people do them both in one day, and you certainly can do this without being rushed. But you can also hit just one each day and do them in more depth.
  • There are 3 ticket entrances. The one at the Colosseum is mind-numbingly busy; avoid it. The main one for the Forum off Via dei Fori Imperiali is busy. The Palatine Hill entrance near the Arch of Constantine is a lot less busy, plus it's all of 5 minutes from the Colosseum. With your ticket, you basically walk straight into the Colosseum without waiting in line. So get your ticket at the Palatine entrance, then go the Colosseum.
  • There's a Carrefour Express grocery store that sells pretty good fresh made sandwiches behind the Colosseum on Via dei Santi Quattro (turn LEFT coming out the exit).

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