Day 5- The Colosseum and Forum

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Up and early ready for our walk to the Colosseum for our pr booked 3 hour tour of the Colosseum and the Ancient Ruins. The walk was 25 mins and we still had not found a place for a bite to eat for breakfast. After David taking us down every small lane we found a takeway snack place and ordered a panini to share and Thomas found a couple of serious sugar donuts and Kate kept it healthy with pringles. Still needing a cafe! The meeting point was easy to find as the group of people were all holding at Viator tour booking sheet. The gypsies selling their wares were in full force having no recollection of who they had already approached. The tour guide was a lovely girl names Franccesca who explained that her name is the patron saint of Italy Saint Francis of Assisi and so every second woman has her name. We attached our headphones to a blue audio device which would hang from our neck for 3 hrs. Tested the sound and batteries then off we headed down the ancient escalator to the level below. The entry to the colosseum had the biggest line to get in but the tour of about 10 people marched in through the express line which was all so worth paying for the tour. Franchesca was very informative. A steep climb took us to a model of the pulley system that was setup under the arena where wild animals were popped up with trees etc and everyone watching the show would believe this to be magic and Emperor Nero to be godlike. We discovered where the different classes of people sat and how women had a separate are. We also saw the place where they went to the toilet and brought their own brushes for cleaning and running water. This is where I caught up with the group but David missed where we turned. I just thought he saw where we had turned and before I knew it we had exited the Colosseum with no sign of David. We waited and tried to call and facebook. We continued to walk to the Forum still trying to contact David. Finally David located us but was quite unimpressed that the guide did not wait. On we went to the Roman Forum. Franccesca likened the Roman ruins as the lasagne affect where building were added to over the years and once excavated the many layers and periods were revealed. The weather stayed fine and the weather a mild 17 degrees celcius which was great. We were all quite tired from walking and taking copious amounts of video and pictures. Kate started to get homesick so we are trying to distract her.

Franccesca recommended we head over the Tiber River Bridge to Trestavere for a lovely Roman lunch away from the tourist crowds. A good move even though more walking was involved. We found a great place called Tratorria il Ponentino. It was buzzing with what appeared to be locals. The speciale was 12 euro and was a traditional Roman lunch consisting of tomatoes and bruschetta, pasta with seafood and salmon ravioli then a fish grill selection and creme caramels. Kate and Thomas tucked into another large margarita pizza….well Thomas sort of ate both as Kate does not quite consume the amount Thomas does lately. After a few rosa vinos and the larges birra bottle ever we strolled back over the river to the world of Roman Tourism again. The traffic is amazing and to get across a street even on a pedestrian crossing you must stare down the driver speeding towards you. We meandered through markets and shops until we discovered a rather large building with a column portico….the Pantheon. We will go inside then next day when we can feel our legs once more. Spotted the coffee shop we also need to visit.

Back at the apartment we all crashed on the 2 lounges and fell asleep. 10pm we woke up and decided it was too late for a late dinner and we were still all tired.

Goodnight Rome

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