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After I finished pumping we loaded up the book bag and headed back out. Originally when we had booked the trip we had planned on exploring the Colosseum area on our own anyway, so really this new plan was actually our original plan. I felt MUCH less stress knowing that we were getting a refund for the tour and that Zach wasn’t upset about how everything had worked out. We hopped on the subway to get our Rome on…here’s our stop for our hotel, we got to know it well 🙂
It’s like the subway was some type of time travel machine…as soon as we stepped out of it BAM we’re back in time 🙂 We exited the metro station and were standing directly in front of the Colosseum!
My Frommer’s guidebook suggested viewing the Forum first as the tickets for the Forum also got you entrance into the Colosseum and it isn’t usually as crowded. Of course, there was NO signage to lead us to the Forum. We were clueless. We wandered around and ended up going up this MASSIVE hill, thinking it was the way. Got to the top of the hill and all that was waiting on us were some portapotties (which we used, never pass up a quick potty break!). Luckily the walk wasn’t totally pointless, it did give us a good view of the Colosseum
We finally found The Roman Forum
We bought our tickets and opted not to do any type of audio tour for The Forum or Palatine Hill. We decided just to use my Frommer’s book as a guide. We didn’t have much of the day left and all the things we were trying to see closed when the sun went down so we were kinda fighting the clock.
This is the Arch of Septimius Severus. It was built in 3rd century A.D. to celebrate its namesake emperor’s victories in Parthia (which is now Iran).
These artifacts are from the 4th century BC!
I’d love to steal these 🙂
Perfume containers also from 4th century BC. Isn’t it amazing how great of condition they are all in?
This is the temple of Castor and Pollux (the three columns behind me). These columns have helped many centuries of poets imagine the splendor of Rome in its heyday.
This is the Temple of Saturn. It was built in the 5th century BC. When the Forum was all in it’s original form, all the buildings were this tall!
This area is the Curia Julia where the Roman Senate met
Front view of the Temple of Saturn
Don’t know the name of this arch, but it was cool 😉
This area I first passed over because it’s just a pile of rocks but once we read the Frommer’s book we learned it was actually the Temple of Julius Caesar. It was on this mound where Caesar’s funeral took place and his body and other remains burned for 7 days in 44 B.C.
At this temple, Temple of Vesta, the six Vestal Virgins tended the eternal flame of Rome.
The Arch of Augustus
Zach is 6’6″ so this gives you somewhat of an idea of how TALL everything was!
Even though they were doing work in it, this is the Temple of Antonius and Faustina. Built in 2nd Century AD it’s dedicated to an emperor and his wife.
The House of the Vestals is where the Vestal Virgins lived…they were the only people who actually lived in the forum.
The Bascilica of Maxentius and Constantine was actually 3 times this size but a lot of it got destroyed in an earthquake in 1349. It’s where the statue of Constantine used to stand and it was built in 4th Century AD.
Entrance to the theater.
This is the Arch of Titus (which yes, Crissy, we thought of your Titus right away!). It marks the southern entrance to the Forum.
This is Palatine Hill. This is where Romulus killed Remus and founded Rome in 753 B.C.
Sidenote: A few people have asked about my dresses…I’ve become a HUGE dress fan. SO comfortable and so flattering right? (Well not this particular dress…it wasn’t cotton and it was a HOT day so I was pretty sweaty and it wasn’t super flattering on me either but you know what I mean). I got this one at Gap Outlet. It’s my favorite store! Hands down! I get most of my stuff from Gap Outlet or Old Navy. I also shop Zulily, New York and Co, Ross and TJMaxx when I have the time to legit shop. But usually I don’t have the time and I just happen to find myself some deals when shopping for the kids at Old Navy or Gap Outlet 😉 I have a Gap Visa and OMG best card EVER. I get free Gap $$$ alllllll the time so I use it to get myself somethings 😉 I only use the card to shop at Gap stores and earn TONS of points with it that amount to the free coupons (which you can spend at any Gap owned store, including outlets) and I get free shipping online so it’s super handy.
Standing at the birthplace of Rome!!!
1st arena at Palatine Hill
Playing tour guide 😉
View of the Colosseum from Palatine
Two people taking a nice little Roman nap…we totally wished we could join them!
Up next we headed over to the Colosseum. This was one thing that Zach had been REALLY looking forward to on our trip and I wanted him to get to enjoy it as much as possible. I’m not really that into art or that into learning a ton about places. I’m more of a “cool let’s take a pic so we can say we’ve been here and move on” type person haha. I enjoy full tours and learning that way, but I’m not really an audio tour stand in one spot and listen to the whole thing type. Give me the cliff notes version and I’m a happy camper. Knowing this, we decided Zach would rent an audio tour and I’d enjoy some rest at each spot. He listened and told me what to take pictures of then explained the best parts to me later. Sure, call me a lazy traveler, at that point in the day I was DONE with walking!!!
Money they used back in the day
Inside the Colosseum
These iron bars (along the floor you can see it) help hold it in place
Of course some panoramics 😉
The white seats are some of the only original marble seats remaining
This cross was added later, it is in honor of all the Christians that were killed here.
This arch is where all of the gladiators would march through on their way to the Colosseum
The area in front of the arch was once a cone shaped fountain
The area under the floor level was where they would store animals and they had large pulleys to raise their platforms up to ground level.
Their drainage system
These were once the stairs to the second level
These were the senators seats. They would chisel their name into where they sat and when the seats would change to someone new the someone would also re-write a new name into the stone.
This piece was discovered in 2008 and was brought here in 2009. It is SO cool to me that people are still finding things from such a long time ago. You’d think they would have found it all by now???
When we finished up with the Colosseum it was after 6 and I had to pump again! They had bathrooms there so Zach checked out his new book we bought at the gift shop while I went to do my thing. I walked in and immediately was tempted to walk back out. BUT it was our last day and we were in a hurry. We didn’t have the time to find a better spot so I had to make due with what I had. It was the worst pumping experience of the trip, by far. There was no toilet seat so I had to stand the entire time and I kept dropped stuff on accident. I felt like crying and was feeling really negative and frustrated. So I started singing church songs and refused to let that experience affect me!
It typically takes me 12 minutes to pump (of JUST pumping time…not including set up and clean up) but I cut that junk off much quicker! I had to get out of there!
Our second newly wed couple on our trip 🙂
While I was pumping I attempted to look through the Frommer’s book to see more info about the Pantheon…I found out that it closed at 7:30 so we had to BOOK IT to make it there on time and be able to see it before it shut down for the day! As soon as I got done I told Zach and we rushed to the bus stop. We were at one of THE largest tourist attractions in Rome right? And we were trying to go to another largely popular tourist spot. You’d think they’d have SOME type of signage or something. We knew, from our map, that it would be quicker to take a bus than the metro but we had no clue WHICH bus to take. It was one of those frustrating language barrier issue moments. There were like 20 different buses and none of them listed Pantheon as a stop name so Zach was trying to look up the names of the stops on the map and try to match up where we needed to go. We asked a ton of people and couldn’t get much help. Finally a nice teenager kid helped us. He ended up taking the same bus we did and he even told us when to get off because we weren’t sure about that either!
I promise I was trying to help Zach figure out the bus situation…but while we were working it all out I HAD to snap a picture of this girl…what in the HECK is her shirt supposed to mean?!?! All we could think was racist thoughts??? Maybe White is some pop group or something for young girls??? No clue!
One last shot of the Colosseum…doesn’t this look like a postcard?!?!
Will we make the Pantheon before closing time? Stay tuned for the conclusion of our Historic Roman tour…(play dramatic suspenseful music here…) 😉