We met our guide outside the Colosseum to begin our walking tour of ancient Rome bright and early. The area was already buzzing with tourists and a sweet bride and groom taking a few wedding photos.
Walking tours are one of my favorite ways to explore and I would absolutely suggest a guide in a place as history-rich as Rome. There are, of course, always self-guided audio tour options, but judging by the couple below, they don’t seem overly engaging.
The Colosseum itself was nothing short of impressive and our guide was very knowledgeable. She refreshed most of what I’d forgotten since my high school world history class.
After the Colosseum it was on to the Arch of Constantine. We got much closer and our guide explained all the details of the heavily decorated arch that we had missed the night before.
Up next was Palatine Hill, the center-most hill of the ‘Seven Hills of Rome’ that overlooks the Roman Forum.
We took an early train to Rome and arrived in time for lunch. After checking into our hotel (which happened to be right behind the Trevvi Fountain), we stopped for a quick bite at Osteria Allegro Pachino, just at the edge of the fountain.
We loaded up on reasonably priced and tasty pizza and pasta with cheese and pepper before starting off on a little self guided sightseeing.
Our first stop was obviously the Trevi Fountain. Although lovely, it was quite crowded (and apparently always is during the day) so we snapped a few photos, tossed in a few coins over our backs for good luck and kept moving.
We meandered by countless pretty courtyards and interesting shops, including this one that sold Pinnochio dolls in every size imaginable, as we made our way to Piazza Venezia.
The Piazza is in the center of Rome and intersects several major roads.It reminded me of visiting the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Our next stop was the Pantheon. Again, very crowded, but spectacular to behold.
The Pantheon was one of the many buildings in Rome that gave me a true appreciation of the amazing architecture. It seems impossible that something that grand and refined could be built so long ago, let alone still be standing after all this time.