February 20, 2016

My Roman Holiday

While Florence was compact and quaint, Rome is big and bustling. This is my first visit, and it’s hard to pace myself. So much to see! The first item on my itinerary, though, was an easy choice, and I’ll never forget the moment I turned the corner and the Colosseum came into view.

I went early in the morning, just as it was opening and the crowds were sparse. Even now, back at my hotel, I struggle to find the words to describe how amazing it was to stand inside the Colosseum. I was inside the Colosseum!

Its age, architecture, and fascinating and brutal history all made for an incredible and surreal experience. It was so wonderful — and weird — standing there and trying to imagine what it must’ve been like to be in that same space almost 2000 years ago.

Your ticket to the Colosseum also includes admission to the adjacent Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Most people flock straight to the Forum, but I started at Palatine Hill and had the place almost all to myself. I wandered there for more than an hour before entering the Forum. Again, it was hard to square the fact that I was standing amongst ruins that were so iconic and so full of history. It was … incredible! And the perfect way to start my Roman Holiday.