Friday, August 23, 2013

One short day in Rome

This year I was lucky enough to get funding to go to some international conferences. One happened to be in Italy and I had to fly in to Rome. I have spent very little time in Italy before (one short week skiing in the Italian Alps) so I took the opportunity to spend my first day looking around Rome, before moving on to Florence where the conference was being held.

Fortunately due to jet lag from the time difference - my day in Rome started very early in the morning. I was the first person at breakfast and was out of the Hotel by 7:15am. Which was great as the light was really nice and it wasn't too hot or busy. I was at the Coloseum at 8:30am when it opened and after a short queue I spent an hour there looking around. The structure is pretty amazing and so much crazy history of the gladiators and the Roman emperors.
The outside of the Coloseum

Inside the Coloseum - even down into the dungeons below the original floor level

By 10am it got too busy at the Coloseaum and I moved on to the Forum just down the road. It was still busy but it is much bigger - so didn't feel so crowded. The Forum is a series of areas built over time by different rulers. Most of it is in ruins - but a few features still stand tall.
The Forum with a few arches and pillars still standing

By mid afternoon it was hot and time for gelati, so I headed towards the Trevi Fountain and sat and ate my first Italian gelati amongst the crowds at the fountain before returning to the station to catch my train on to Florence. 
The Trevi Fountain - I liked the way they used the travertine rocks to make some natural features as well as the statues. The water was very inviting on a hot day - but the police stand and watch with loud whistles that they blow when people look like they are going to go for a paddle.

Tiramisu and pistachio gelati

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