Rome is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever visited. Far removed from Scandinavia in climate, culture and history, Rome is truly the Eternal City. Rome has two and a half thousand years of history, so it was pretty hard to cover in five days. Therefore, I will not attempt to cover it in one blog post either… The city is roughly broken into five neighborhoods: Ancient Rome, Vatican City, Northern Rome, Pantheon area and Trastereve. I’ll try and cover each in an individual post (or combined a few :)).
Let’s start with the oldest part of the city, Ancient Rome. This area holds many of the classical sights in Rome like the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Capital Hill. One could easily dedicate a whole day in this area and with a little imagination the history really comes alive. Audio guides and travel books really help when visiting Rome and in Ancient Rome they are a must. We used Rick Steves’ free audio guides and they were great (even better if you have his guide book).
Impressively big, old and in surprisingly decent shape the Colosseum was our first stop in Ancient Rome. Completed in 80 AD, this massive 50,000 seat arena was home to the greatest spectacles in the Ancient world. We did a self guided tour of the different levels and enjoyed the best view of Ancient Rome (located on the third level). The Colosseum is basically about death. To be honest, it’s kinda sad learning about all the people and animals that were killed here. When the stadium first opened, a 100 day festival was held in which 2,000 men and 9,000 animals were killed. Events like these continued in the Colosseum for roughly 500 years.
From the Colosseum we ventured to The Forum, center of ancient Roman public life. This is a well maintained area of unwell maintained ancient relics. Touring the Roman Forum requires a lot of reading and imagination to try and picture what this impressive area must have looked like. All that being said, some of the standing buildings are 2,000 years old so what should one really expect :))
And for those of you with extra time on your hands… Here is the “long version” video of Ancient Rome