Saturday, March 31, 2012


metro -  Linea B Colosseo

The Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Rome. The Emperor Vespasian began building the amphitheatre in 72 AD. It was completed by his son Titus in AD 80 who organised its opening by 100 days of celebrations costing the lives of 2000 gladiators and thousands of wild animals.
The stadium could seat around 50,000 spectators and was usually a free event, a gift from the emperor to the people of Rome.
Tunnels underneath housed gladiators and animal cells with elevators raising wild animals to the arena floor. The arena also could be flooded to stage mock naval battles.
The Colosseum remained in use for 500 years, eventually gladiatorial fighting was prohibited and over the centuries it has been used a cemetery, fortress and quarry and the marble plundered and reused in constructions during the Renaissance.
In the 18th century Pope Benedict XIV connected the site to one thousand Christian martyrs by consecrating the site and setting up a 'Way of the Cross' and it is visited by the Pope Good Friday for the Easter service.
Restoration works are still in progress to open up more areas of the Colosseum to visitors and to protect it from pollution damage and time.

Save time, buy a combined Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum ticket (valid for 2 days) from the Palatine Hill entrance.

The Roman Forum
Via Dei Fori Imperiali/Via Sacra

The ruins of The Forum are situated between the Colosseum and The Palatine Hill and was once the centre of the religious, political and commercial life in the time of the Republic. 
When the Empire fell the Forum was forgotten and buried and used during the Middle Ages as a cow pasture.
Archaeological excavations first began in the 18th century.
Most of the site can be visited but some areas are closed off for excavation works even today.

Palatine Hill
Via di San Gregorio/Via Sacra

On one of the seven hills of Rome and standing 40 metres above the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus are the ruins of villas, baths and temples of wealthy Romans from the Republic Period to the time of the Emperors Augustus, Tiberius and Domitian.
During the Middle Ages churches and convents were built on the site.
In the 16th century the entire hill was owned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew to Pope Paul III who created villas and a botanical garden that once stood on top of the ruins.
It is now a large open air museum and green space with the Palatine Antiquarian Museum holding statues, mosaics, frescoes and ceramics found during the excavation of the Palatine Hill site.

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

Most buses and metros do get crowded and tickets must be bought before boarding and validated when you first get on but it is a great way to get around and see Rome if you are short on time or suffer from sore feet.

Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

Bus #75 takes you past the Colosseum

Bus #910 takes you to Villa Borghese

#64 & #40 Express Bus


Piazza Venezia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Campo de'Fiori

St. Peter's

The Electric buses that are around Rome can travel into the older parts of the city and wind around the narrow streets. Bus #116 travels though the streets of Centro Storico.

Ticket Options

B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro,tram or bus ride for a 100 minute period.

B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

B.T.I (Turistic) is a 3 day tourist ticket and the same as B.I.G but for more days of travel.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding ticket. Tickets once they are validated, start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.