Saint Peters Basilica from the banks of the Tiber
Castle of Angels
Frank in front of the Coliseum
inside the Coliseum
Arch of Constantine
Looking down on the Forum from Palatine Hill
me at the Roman Forum
All Roads really do lead to Rome or so thought the people in Ancient Rome. Located in the Roman Forum which was the Roman market place between the Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill is a column call The Phocas that stands still today. It was erected in honor of the Eastern Roman Emperor Phocas because of his generous donation of the Pantheon to the Pope. It is from this column where all distances are measured from. We hadn't planned on going into Rome together, but due to the windy conditions that day we were not able to go out on the sea on our friends boat. We headed into Rome starting off at the Castel Sant'Angelo which if you haven't been to Rome might know from the movie Angels and Demons. From this structure there are tunnels that lead to the Vatican and was used at some point to protect the Popes. On our agenda for the day was to see the Coliseum and surrounding area; however, Frank really wanted to take a general tour of the city with one of the 5 different Hop on Hop of bus companies. These tours average any where in price from 17 Euros to 24 Euros. They about all go to the same places, so I wouldn't worry to much which one you take. The only difference being in the Archeo Bus which only hits the archaeological sites. These tours are good in that you decide where you are going to get off, you get a tour via headphones given in many languages, and if you can't walk very far; especially in the heat. We got off at the Coliseum. I would highly recommend taking one of the tours offered outside of the gates. They are around 20 Euros. While a gate admission will only coat you 12 Euros you will not have a guide to explain everything to you and the lines can be very long. Going with a guide you will by pass the lines. The tours last around 45 minutes. The Coliseum is so amazing. It is hard to believe that it was built 2000 years ago. It seated about 50,000 people who would come all day for the show and food. What is also pretty cool is that when it was built it was reinforced to with stand earth quakes; however, the invading Germans stole the medal supports out of the columns to be used for weapons. The tour we took continued over to Palatine Hill. Did you know that Rome was built on 7 hills though by being in the city you hardly notice the hills today. The legend is that Rome was established by the one of the two brother Romulus and Remus who were suckled by a She Wolf. Our guide said that most likely they were raised by a prostitute, but that does not sound so glamorous, so the story was changed. Anyway, each brother had a different idea where the city should be built. Romulus won and in the end he killed his brother Remus. We saw all throughout the city statues and paintings depicting this legend. We were hot and tired, so we ended our day there and hopped back on our bus and then back to the hotel. I would recommend buying one of the little books that are sold throughout the city that show Rome before and after. My kids had a blast reading it. You wouldn't believe how beautiful some of the structures really were.