For my fourth and final post about our little Rome getaway I figured it’s about time I shared my photos of our visit to the Colosseum. This was an extra special day because we were celebrating Darryl’s twenty-third birthday, so after present-opening and a leisurely breakfast we bussed it into town and joined the fast-track queue for the early Colosseum entry. I really recommend this because unless you go first thing in the morning you’ll be queuing in direct sunlight for ages, and having done that at St Peter’s Basilica, let me tell you it’s worse than it sounds. We got our tickets from this website, which I wasn’t sure about initially as it’s not all that clear when you book, but it got us in alright so it must be legit. The good thing about these tickets is that a) they’re mega cheap and b) they include access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, both of which are ‘next door’ and worth seeing. I heard it’s also worth the money to get the guided tour, if that’s your sort of thing.

I won’t blab on about the Colosseum because it is exactly what you’d expect it to be. Huge, incredible, ancient and even more impressive in real life in the photos. Basically, you should go. There’s even a little museum bit inside so you can see how it was built and how they’ve restored it over the years (this also doubles as a good excuse to get out of the sun, which you’ll want. Trust me). Anyway, after the Colosseum we flapped around for a bit, desperate for food and drink but refusing to pay upwards of £10 for a coke and a sandwich at the train station opposite. So naturally we walked for half-an-hour, uphill, to the nearest Co-op. In steaming heat. I also wore the most inappropriate footwear imaginable and ended up having a little cry in the shop through sheer pain. I’ve never been so glad to see a cheap ham roll, a Fanta and a bench.

After lunch we walked back down the hill to the Roman Forum and at this point I probably needed about three showers just to clear the sweat and dirt accumulated from the morning, which I know is a lush picture for you, but it definitely wasn’t as chilled as it all appeared to be on Instagram. Have I mentioned Italy is hot? When we eventually escaped a persistent tout and made it into the Roman Forum, we had a quick whiz round both the Forum and Palatine Hill (which you can access through the same area despite what Google Maps tells you) and made a fairly urgent exit towards a bar after an hour or so. There is no shade there, be warned. Thank God for Aperol Spritz cocktails.

After our drink Darryl was adamant that he wanted to stay and eat and I looked like the worst girlfriend in the world for being mean to him on his birthday and saying he couldn’t, but only because I’d booked a restaurant up the road as a surprise. You can’t argue with that when your table is right across the road from the Colosseum! This meal was also the best ever. We definitely over-ordered, but ‘when in Rome’, right? If you can’t decide between pizza and pasta, get both. Easy solution. Oh and no meal is complete without a stop at the Gelato shop, so that happened too. It was a good shout until we realised the ‘Nutella flavoured Gelato’ was actually just a ball of Nutella. It sounds nice in theory but not when you take a huge greedy bite. On the whole this day was the perfect end to a great holiday and it was so nice to do something a bit different for Darryl’s birthday. Until next time, Italy!

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