Rome is best visited in Spring and Fall, the weather is much more pleasant and the crowds of tourists not as large.
Rome is delightful but there are so many things to see: the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the list goes on and on. The good thing about Rome is that you can see all the monuments in about two days and you won’t even have to hurry. They are all conveniently situated close together. If you can’t walk very far (because that’s the best way to see Rome) take the Hop on Hop off bus. Here is a short list of highlights:
One of the first places you will want to see is the Colosseum. You can see the Colosseum from the outside and this may be enough for you but my advice is to take one of the guided tours. They cost €15.50 but they really bring the building to life. You get to go into many places you can’t even see from the outside and most of the guides live for their job and actually act out their talk. I had been a couple of times before but when I went with a guide I enjoyed it more.
A short walk from the Colosseum lies the largest ruins of Rome, the Foro Romano and the Palatine Hill. The Foro Romano was the administrative area of ancient Rome. It is across the road from the Trajan Markets and in front of the Palatine where the wealthy political figures lived. Some parts of the ruins have been restored but basically it has been cleaned up and left as it was. The streets are visible and there are several rows of columns still in place and there are the remnants of several churches and temples (Rome still had a foot in both camps) It should take you about two hours to walk through this and the Palatine Hill which joins onto the back of it. You can once again see it from the outside or you can pay the ticket price which will allow you to stroll through.
While you’re in the area, you can visit Circus Maximus, where all the chariot races were held. Originally The Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus built to seat 250,000 people, it is often used today for festivals and rock concerts. There are seats up on the edge and its lovely to sit and rest while watching families enjoying themselves or joggers running around the circumference. Used primarily for chariot racing, it was also used for the Italian games where boxing, foot races and wrstling were held along with musical and theatrical performances. This is one place where there’s no fee to enter.
Piazza Bocca della Verita
Next on your walk is the Piazza Bocca Della Verita, a really busy ‘hot spot’. Closer to the Tiber River, you can join the queue to put your hand in the mouth of Verita. If you’ve been telling lies watch out, it will have your hand off. If you have been truthful it will let you go. I myself cannot fathom why people wait for an hour or so just to put their hand in a cold carving on a wall but if you want to experience everything Rome has to offer, join the queue. Very popular with tourist coaches!
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