A day out in Rome

Monday 2 December 2019. It was the first morning of the Handels’ six-week tour of Europe and Britain and we were in Rome. Rome is a fabulous city for walking. The main sites of interest for the tourist are conveniently clustered in the Centro Historico, the historical centre. We were staying in Trastevere, a wonderful area over the Tiber full of cafes, shops, churches, quiet squares, cobbled streets etc. From here we had perfect access to the centre. We could cross the Ponte Palatino for the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill or the Ponte Garibaldi for the Pantheon, Piazza Navona etc. We duly set out from Trastevere to walk via the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) and the Circus Maximus to the Colosseum, the Forum and the remarkably quiet Palatine Hill. We followed the advice of numerous blogs and bought our timed-entry ticket to the Colosseum (which includes Forum and Palatine Hill entry) at the Palatine Hill ticket office (no queue) on Via di San Gregorio and walked a further five minutes to the Colosseum. As familiar as one may be with this building through countless photos, films and documentaries, there is nothing quite like actually being there. It is magnificent. After an hour at the Colosseum we walked back to the Palatine Hill ticket office and entered the archaeological zone. We wandered about the beautiful green hill of ruins marvelling at how peaceful it was, then at the Forum the crowds reappeared, but no matter – nothing could dampen the enjoyment of this day in Rome. Back in Trastevere we had coffee and cakes at La Nina, a nice little cafe, and visited the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, a lovely old church containing relics of the eponymous martyred saint.

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