Day 3: Rome- Exploring the Roman Forum and becoming Russell Crowe

We woke up and the rain clouds had left Rome. I had mixed feelings about this. It was wonderful to be able to wander around in 26 degree heat in October but I was a little sad that I couldn’t wear my rain poncho. I got over it fairly quickly.

Our AirBnb is right next to the Pantheon which is such a fun  location to be in. It makes the whole of Rome very walkable indeed! So today- a day that we have been excited about for a long time, the whole reason why we had come to Rome, began after a 20 minute stroll to the Roman Forum. We got very excited indeed! Classics is Camille’s favourite subject at school and she rambled on and on about all the different stories about things that happened in this place, back in the day.  I got very excited that we might see Russell Crowe duel it out against a lion, tiger or bear in the Colosseum.

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So we popped into a café for some mango juice and croissants to fuel up for our long day of traveling back in time. Our first stop was the biggest of all sites here, the Colosseum. We had pre-booked our tickets to enter but realised that these did not include a tour. You should all know by now that I simply love a tour and there were hoards of companies offering them and skipthe line at the entrance to the Colie. Normally I would never go on a tour this way but I had no time to do my usual research so we went for Gladiator Tours…because Russell would approve.

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It was a great move. We skipped the hour long queue to get in and learnt so much more than if we simply tried to do it ourselves. It wasn’t as big as I thought that it was going to be but we could both feel how terrified people would have been waiting to battle it out. We learnt about the life of a Gladiator…a little different to how the movie depicts it…and I quickly decided that my only option in life is to marry one. I just want to mop his bloody brow. Sites like the Colosseum get a bad rep. People are all like: don’t go, its full of tourists, its not that great, i’ve seen bigger, blah, blah, blah.  That may all be true but it is so rare that you get to stand in a place that is so full of history. It really is a special experience. Especially when you get to do it with your littlest sister. It all became overwhelming.

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Striking our best Russell poses.

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So we explored the Colie as a group and then had twenty minutes to go around alone and we were told to meet our next tour guide at 12.25pm so that we would be shown around the Palatine Hill. We arrive as all good tour girls do at 12.23pm and our tour guide is nowhere to be seen. We find some other fellas and chicks who were in our group and we try and hunt the man down together. We are hugely unsuccessful but we paid for the tour, so a tour we shall get! We complain, stomp our feet and eventually get put on the next tour of the Hill. It wasn’t long until we realised that our new tour guide is the coolest man that we have met in Rome and one of the best tour guides in the whole world! We loved him. Good job Stan!

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This is the tour where Camille really came into her own. She knew all the legends and tales and translations of words, she was very much like Monica from friends…what a geek. On this tour we learnt all about Rome and Stan the man gave us some context to the ruins that lay before our eyes. Which is good. We like to understand. So we went on the tour and then spent 3 hours after the tour exploring the forum for ourselves. We walked to every view point, saw every shell of a building and posed before every bit of greenery that we could find. We did it well. We saw it all. We imagined what it would have been like to live here and tried to make up funny tales of the people who did. I think I would have done great in Ancient Roman times. All that wine, all the fighting. Sign me up!

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Where Julius Caeser was cremated, not killed…silly Shakespeare!

 

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Camille loves an arch!

With aching feet and thirsty throats we decided to take a seat in a beautiful outside café that over looked the ruins in the Roman Forum. Camille had a coke and I had my first Aperol Spritz ever….it is a clear new hot weather favourite. Bloody delicious. We sat, rested and people watched. Camille ate all the nuts. I helped her out. It was perfection.

We headed back to our flat and picked up gelato (of course we did) on the way home. We got into bed to eat the balls of gelato heaven, I tried to upload this blog post but failed miserably…damn technology and then we packed our bags had showers and got presentable for our last evening meal in Rome. The restaurant directly opposite our AirBnb- Ristorante Maccheroni- was visited by Michelle Obama the last time she was in Rome. If its good enough for gal Bam Bam then it is good enough for us. The food was simply delicious. Simple but homey Italian cooking. We couldn’t recommend it more. I ate the melanzane parmigiana, it was ooey and gooey and so yummy…so much cheese! Camille had the best bowl of spaghetti Bolognese- another reason why we travelled to Rome. She said it was the best that she ever had, then begged me not to tell Mum. We finished by sharing a chocolate moose that was as light as air but as rich as a bowl of melted chocolate. Italian witchcraft!

rome-travel-blog-30Hazelnut and caramelised fig gelato. Could life get better?

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Chocolate mousse has never been funnier!

We desperately needed to walk off some of the food. We were stuffed so we made a late night visit to the Trevi Fountain. Another place that people told us to ditch but we wanted to get our Lizzie McGuire on and through three coins into the fountain to make sure that we get to come back to this beauty city…which I will be, in March…it really worked! It is also bloody beautiful. Yes it is over the top but sometimes that is exactly what I need. We got there at 10.45pm and it wasn’t empty but no huge crowds. Plus it is lit up. What isn’t to love.

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What an idiot!

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It seems that I found the whole process of throwing coins into the fountain hysterical.

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Isn’t it beautiful!

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I JUST LOVE HER!

So here we took endless pictures, through all of our change into the fountain and eventually dragged ourselves back to bed, super upset that we were about to wake up to our last day in Italy.

 

 

 

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