We were up early the morning of April 20th to go on our tour to Rome — our meeting time was 7:45 a.m. It was over an hour bus ride to Rome from the port of Civitavecchia – our guide, Virginia, on the bus was very helpful in describing where we were going to be dropped off in Rome and where we were to meet at 3:45 that afternoon. We were doing the “Rome on Your Own” excursion – we read the description and some of the reviews about this excursion and thought this would be a good way to see it.
We were dropped off near the Colosseum or Coliseum and Virginia walked us to the entrance for the Palatine Hills – our afternoon meeting place. We bought tickets at the Palatine Hill and these tickets could also be used at the Forum and the Colosseum. We walked through Palatine Hill on our own as we didn’t see any walking tours right when we got there. This site is one of the most ancient parts of Rome.
Palatine Hill – Rome, Italy
Palatine Hill was the site of Rome’s first settlements – it is next to the Roman Forum. The first inhabitants felt safe because it was high on a hill.
Palatine Hill – remains of buildings
We took lots of pictures while in this area – the Temple of Castor — only 3 columns survive. Our guide at the Colosseum told us that whole area became a quarry for building material used elsewhere in the city.
Roman Forum: Temple of Castor and Pollux
The Temple of Antonius was one of the few well-preserved buildings since it was transformed into a church and thus escaped the quest for building material.
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
The Arch of Constantine was dedicated in AD 315. This picture was taken when we were in the Palatine Hill area.
Arch of Constantine – Colosseum in background
We left the Forum and Palatine area and walked over to the Colosseum – looking for an English walking tour. We found several – or rather, they found us. We avoided a few of them as they seemed like vultures! We finally chose one — he wasn’t the actual tour guide and led us over to the area where a group was gathering around a couple of different guides. He gave us a great deal of history about the coliseum – I wish I could remember everything he said! Like the other areas, after the coliseum was no longer being used it was a source for building materials. Holes can still be seen in many of the columns where lead and iron were extracted. The floor of the arena is completely gone. You can see the rooms where animals and gladiators stayed until they were hoisted into the arena through trap doors.
The floor area of The Colosseum in Rome
There is an area where the floor and several seats were restored to show visitors what the arena may have looked like back in the day.
The Colosseum – Rome, Italy – April 2016
After we left the Colosseum we set out to find the Trevi Fountain. We found an information area and asked which road would take us to the fountain. We had a map but it wasn’t detailed enough. The guy told us it was 10 – 15 minutes up that road – and he pointed us on our way. Well, we walked for more than 15 minutes and found another information area. Stopped to ask them if we were on the right track to find the fountain and they told us it was a long ways away. Across the street, Jay spotted some taxis. So off we went. We got in the taxi and he took us to the top area of a very narrow street and told us it was down that way. So we started down the street – it was really narrow. Cafes and restaurants lined one side of the street with outdoor seating. Shops of all types were on the other side. There was enough room for small cars to drive down the street – only one at a time though. Lots and lots of tourists were walking in the street and would have to move aside whenever a car did happen to come by.
We kept walking and finally saw a Trevi Fountain sign so kept on going reaching the end of the street and into a plaza area and there it was. It was magnificent. Pictures do not do it justice but we, of course, snapped quite a few.
Trevi Fountain – Rome, Italy
April 2016 – Trevi Fountain in Rome
We headed back up the street to find a taxi – decided to stop at one of the cafes for a glass of beer. We were given a “free appetizer” which turned out to be our lunch for the day. It was a dish of rice, beans, shrimp and broccoli and was quite tasty.
Street that we walked to find the Trevi Fountain
We left there, found a taxi stand area and was taken back to the Palatine Hill entrance with 30 minutes to spare. All in a all, it was a great day in Rome.