Friday, 21 June 2013

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

When in Rome there are some sights one can hardly overlook. Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are definitely on the very top of every must see list that has something to do with the Eternal city.

Since you can only buy admission to all three together they are usually mentioned together. It is worth noting the ticket is valid for two consecutive days and since Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are really huge, I suggest you take advantage of that. Those two are linked together and once you enter either of them, you can not do it again on the next day with the same ticket.
Consequently I suggest you visit Colosseum on the first day and use the following one on Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (or vice versa).

If Colosseum can be seen in a few hours, you should definitely reserve a full day for the other two - they are spread over a huge area and just walking will take a lot of time.
Even the Colosseum can take a lot of time if you are into details. The really interesting part of it is its underground area. Unfortunately that is not covered by the standard ticket - you will have to book a separate guided tour to see underground chambers, cells and cages once occupied by gladiators, convicts and exotic animals.

To bypass the usually very long queue at the entrance I suggest you book your tickets online. Do not forget to print your confirmation!

In theory it should not matter if you print the confirmation from your email or the actual confirmation page at the end of purchase procedure. In my case though, the email printout was not enough. The lady at the entrance mumbled something about me not being on her list. She even consulted her colleague and they were not happy with anything I could provide on the spot. I even logged on their page with my smartphone and presented the confirmation.
I had to go find an internet place where I could print out the exact same data I already had in a bit different layout. Fortunately this did the trick. When I asked the lady to explain the difference between those two pieces of paper, she just repeated the same line again: "You are not on my list."

I was not pleased with that to say the least but there was not much more I could really do. Nevertheless, I definitely did share my views of the whole situation with the "kind" lady before entering.

If you fail to book your tickets online ahead of time I suggest you purchase them at the entrance of Roman Forum or Palatine Hill. The queue tends to be much shorter there compared to the one in front of the Colosseum.

I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the value of these attractions for the money but was definitely convinced in the end. Even though the ticket is not at all cheap, it is not very expensive either (€13,50 at the time of our visit). Especially if you take into account the time you can spend there - you can easily spend one and a half days for all three attractions.

Apart from everything else there are countless excellent photo opportunities available within and near these attractions. One of the best views of the Colosseum is actually from the Palatine Hill (not far from the entrance). The best view of the Roman Forum in my opinion is from the Capitoline Hill.

If you liked these photos you are welcome to also check out my other posts about our Roman adventure. You will not be disappointed!


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