On Monday morning, we headed out on the "Imperial Rome" tour, which included Rome's most famous landmark, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. We also did a lot of sight seeing around the city on our own during the afternoon.
You can read about our first day of the trip here.
The tour took about 2 hours in the hot, humid Roman sun, but it was totally worth it.
Inside the Colosseum ... this is the outermost layer.
Looking through one of the archways ... you can see how many layers there really were.
Relics from the original.
This is what the original Colosseum looked like.
Inside the Colosseum from the highest level accessible.
The lowest level ... you can see all the gallows beneath the main floor. This is where the animals and gladiators were kept until time to fight/perform.
Between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum is (1) the Arch of Constantine (which was the triumphal arch) and ...
(2) what is left of the Temple of Venus and Rome.
This is the most common shot of the Colosseum that you see commercially.
Now we are entering the Roman Forum.
This is what remains of the forum square.
Entrance arch to the Basilica Aemilia.
Remains of the Temple of Caesar.
A good shot of the entire Roman Forum.
After 2 hours of walking in the hot, hot sun, we headed out for some lunch. This was our first real Italian restaurant meal and we dined alfresco and had yummy pizza.
Then we walked to the famous Trevi fountain which was about 15 minutes from our hotel. This place was AMAZING. Unfortunately, they were doing repairs/renovation on one side.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you are ensured to return trip to Rome. I only had one penny in my wallet so apparently, I will return to Rome alone.
Beautiful church opposite the fountain.
The "wedding cake" or National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II and one of Rome's newer buildings. (Designed in 1885 and completed in 1935.)
The Basilica of Saint Mary above Minerva. Bernini did the elephant sculpture out front. (Bernini is a famous artist from Rome and you can find his amazing work all over the city.)
The Pantheon. Originally built in 27 BC. That is OLD!
The coiffured dome is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
Great picture to see the vestibule with many beautiful columns linking to the rotunda.
We had dinner Monday night in the Trastevere neighborhood, which is a much quieter side of Rome (across the Tiber River) and where many locals reside and hang out. Lots of restaurants and only one hotel. Our view dining outside ... the Santa Maria in Trastevere ... one of the oldest churches in Rome!
Will and I at dinner. Great food and great wine!!
The Tiber River at night ... lots of shops, restaurants and live music along the riverside.