Friday, January 6, 2012

T & R : Rome (11th day out of 2 weeks in Italy)

Travel and Review : Rome (11th day out of 2 weeks in Italy)
As this city is as historical as it sounds, practically every few blocks, you will tend to stumble upon some historic monument. So as a good start in the morning, it is best to visit the most iconic of all Rome monuments, the Colosseum. Thereafter just beside this monument is the The Forum and Palatine Hill. You should give yourself a day to cover all three sites. Plus, be a smart traveller and get a ticket online before you go to these sites. You can buy your combo 3 in 1 ticket here.
There will always be different exhibitions in the Colosseum…. while I was there, it was on Emperor Nero.

But regardless of the types of exhibitions available, this monument in itself majestic. (Not to mention very bloodied – as you walk imagine how many people shed their blood here)
(directly above) A renovation of structures that had collapsed.
After many hours, traversing this ancient monument nooks and crannies, it is time for your lunch! However, if you rather go ahead to the next door neighbour (since you should have bought the 3 in 1 ticket) then skip your lunch and head on to your next adventure.
If after looking at the above few pictures, you are wondering what is so great about these so called famous rocks then you should invest on getting an audio guide. (as shown below)
Spend a few hours here, and enjoy the history that is The Forum. Personally, I find it hauntingly eerie yet at the same time calming……… having that foreboding thought that where I am standing would be where a group of people could be gathering praying to some the gigantic altars dedicated to the Greek Gods.
(Below) There are no seats (or lack of) thus if you feel like really tired, well there are certain rocks which you are allowed to rest your butt.
Once you have gathered your strength (and do bring plenty of water along), then continue on your adventure to another part of The Forum.
Rome was built on seven hills, and the Palatine Hill is the central hill as well as the site for one of the oldest parts of the city. It is in a cave here (picture above) that (legend says) Romulus and Remus were suckled by the famous she-wolf – Romulus being the one who founded Rome once he grew up – so this hill is not only extremely well-known but also revered in Roman mythology. The importance of the Palatine Hill is more than just based in myth, however, as excavations here have revealed evidence of people living on the site around 1000 B.C.E.
The Palatine Hill overlooks the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. The buildings on the hill once included palaces of Augustus, Tiberius and Domitian, as well as other important Romans of the period, and a temple dedicated to Apollo. This site was also where ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Lupercalia, honoring the saving of Romulus and Remus by the she-wolf.
What exists today on the Palatine Hill may disappoint, as the ruins are pretty minimal, but the views overlooking the Forum and Circus Maximus are nice. And with the recent discovery of what archaeologists believe is the cave in which ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia, it’s possible that tourists may be making more of an effort to climb up the hill to see this amazing find – although it will be quite awhile before it’s open to the public (if it ever is).
But before you say goodbye to the Palatine Hill, have a last good view of the Colosseum because unless you actually live in Rome, this is your last chance to view it from the hill.
From train station Colosseo, you can easily navigate to the city centre (take less than 10minutes) to have great dinners (too many varieties to list). Rest your legs because the next day, its another train+walking trail but this time in the Vatican City.