Gladiator Battles

Monday, July 29, 2013
Rome, Lazio, Italy
We woke up around 9 AM and grabbed some included breakfast at Ricks Café near the train station. We decided that it would save us time and money to invest in purchasing the Roma Pass ( allowed entrance to two museums free, skip the line at the Coliseum, and free riding on public transportation, 34 euro per person). We bought the pass at the train station and decided on a schedule for the day.

Deciding that we wanted our two museums to be the Coliseum and the Galleria Borghese, we needed to book ahead in advance for the Galleria Borghese . To do this, we had to call, but we do not have an Italian phone. So, instead, we went back to the hotel and asked them to reserve the time slot for us. We got the time for 5 PM tomorrow.

After getting the reservation, we went straight to the Coliseum. The line was super long, but our Roma Pass allowed us to skip the line. We then got in line at the reservation slot. We wanted to ask about an extra tour (our Roma pass would get us into the Museum, but not on the extra tour). The extra tour would allow us to go into the bottom area of the Coliseum and also go to the third level of the structure (normally guests are allowed on the ground and first floors with the normal ticket).

We had read about the extra tour, but did not know how to book it. After asking about the purchase of the extra tickets, the ticket line navigator guy told us it would be impossible, but we could ask. We waited in the reservation line about 10 minutes later had our chance to ask . We were lucky. There were two open spots for the 2:40 PM tour for 9 euro per person. We decided to take the tickets.

On the Roma Pass (and the normal entrance tickets) the Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Coliseum are all included as 1 museum. Since it was only 11 AM, we decided to explore the Palatine Hill and the Forum while waiting for our tour to start.

After walking through the entire Forum and Palatine Hill, we decided to grab some food. Dilyara had Pasta with mushrooms and I had a Pizza Margherita. We then made our way to the Coliseum at 1:30 PM. We walked around the ground and 1st floors until our 2:40 tour. We then took the tour (well worth the 9 euro per person extra) of the other two extra areas.

We left the Coliseum at 4:45 PM, because we wanted to make the 5:30 PM free tour of the city (which left from the Spanish Steps). We took the subway and got there just in time for the tour to start.

The tour guide was not that great. She kept telling us that she would show us little secrets of Rome, then the little secret wound up being some huge church that we could have found on our own. She then persisted to only let 2-3 people inside of the church at a time. Since we had about 25 people on the tour, it took quite a while to see the churches and we felt like we were just wasting time. After the second church, we left the tour to do our own adventures.

We explored a couple other streets, found a grocery store, returned to our hotel and got some sleep for the next day.
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