MAY 05,2014 - MAY 05,2014 (1 DAYS)
The Colosseum, Imperial Forums and Markets, Trevi Fountain.
Start: Colloseo Metro (line B, the blue line):
End : Fontana di Trevi.
Duration: 3/4 - 1 day.
Orientation: easy-pace walking day. We combined the Trevi Fountain after spending half a day with historical, archeological sites. The way from Piazza Venezia / Via dei Fori Imperiali or from the Imperial Markets/Forums to the Fountain is through atmospheric, typical Roman-character part of the Centro Storico: cobbled, narrow roads, picturesque piazzas and lanes with quiet and elegant houses and churches.
Note: the blog contains text and photos from a couple of days browsing Rome: 5/5/2014 and 9/5/2014. The photos indicate, incorrectly, year 2013.
Colosseum Opening hours:
Last Sunday of October to 15 February: 8.30 - last admission at 15.30 - exit at 16.30.
16 February to 15 March: 8.30 - last admission at 16.00 - exit at 17.00.
16 March to last Saturday of March: 8.30 - last admission at 16.30 - exit at 17.30.
Last Sunday of March to 31 August: 8.30 - last admission at 18.15 - exit at 19.15.
1 September to 30 September: 8.30 - last admission at 18.00 - exit at 19.00.
1 October to last Sunday of October: 8.30 - last admission at 17.30 - exit at 18.30.
Closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
Colosseum Prices: Tickets can also be bought at the ticket offices of the Palatine Hill located in Via San Gregorio No. 30 and Piazza Santa Maria Nova No. 53, near the Via Sacra (200 metres from the Colosseum) and allow entrance to the Palatine Hill and to the Roman Forum as well.
Full price: 12 euros. Reduced Fee: 7 euros for European Union citizens between 18 and 24 years old and for European Union teachers. Free Entrance: Visitors 17 and under and European Union citizens over 65 years old. The combined ticket is valid for 2 consecutive days and includes: The Roman Forum, the palatine Hill and the Colosseum.
Audioguide: 5 euros, videoguide: 7 euros.
Pre purchased tickets can be of great advantage as line to get it can be very long.
+You buy a combined ticket (12 euros for Spring-Summer 2014) for the three highlights: The Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum. Do buy your ticket in the Forum (entrance opposite the Colosseum Metro station - in the Via Sacra) or in the Palatine Hill entrance (Via Gregorio, south-west to the Colosseum). The combo ticket is valid for all 3 sites, for TWO-CONSECUTIVE days. The queue for tickets in the Colosseum is huge. The queue for tickets in the Roman Forum is far smaller and the queue in the Palatine Hill is the shortest.
+We recommend "packaging" the Forum and the Palatine Hill for your first day and the Colosseum (and other Imperial forums and markets) - for the second consecutive day. You can, easily, pack all 3 sites - into one long (summer) day. If you leave the Colosseum for your second day - start with with the Colosseum in the morning and continue to the other forums and markets later. If you are doing all three sites in one day - leave the Colosseum for the late afternoon hours with the sunset special light. A special experience. In any case you stride into the Colosseum with your combo ticket, straight on, without waiting for buying tickets in the long queues. During the late afternoon hours you'll face less visitors, in the Colosseum - than all other parts of the day.
+ the visit in the Colosseum is the shortest one. The Forum deserves 3 1/2 - 5 hours, the Palatine Hill will require 2 1/2 - 4 hours and the Colosseum will require, at most, 2 hours.
+ Get there early. Have already pre-booked tickets online. Get there before 10.00 or else the entire place will in inundated with tour groups.
+ OR: Head over in the afternoon when the crowd will be less.
+ Recommend visiting 2-3 hours before sunset.
+ Guided tour allows you into other areas that are off bounds.
+ Underground tour tickets ( 2 euros) are purchased at the booth where audio-guides are hired. You get a chance to stand on the reconstructed section of the arena floor, walk underground to view the maze of tunnels and corridors of the Colosseum, and climb up to the third tier.
+ Tip for families with children: book your tickets in advance directly via the "co-op culture" website. You can book a group tour directly with their tour guide which is much cheaper than external conducted tours. Children are free and only pay a booking fee for the tour so 2 adults and 2 kids comes to 55 euros, including the tour of the underground area and 3rd level. These areas are restricted and you can't book them online so phone the booking line and do it in advance. They speak good English and charge your credit card in advance. You can then print out your booking confirmation and walk past the huge queues to the fast track ticket office to collect your tickets. The only disadvantage of directly booking the tour with the Colosseum is that they don't guide you round the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill but you can still enter those without additional charge with your combo ticket for 2-consecutive days.
+ Beware the pickpocketers.
+ The sight of Colosseum is amazing during the day and absolutely breathtaking at night.
+ The Colosseum is "decorated", for years, with scaffoldings around its exterior structure.
Colosseum Background: When in Rome do as the Romans do.... and go to the Colosseum. It is the largest amphitheatre not only in the city of Rome but in the world. The Flavian Amphitheatre, or, more commonly, the Colosseum, stands for monumentality. visitors are impressed with its size, its majesty, and its ability to conjure up the cruel games that were played out for the pleasure of the Roman masses. Also today there are masses: It is completely packed with people every day in the summer months. The monument is electrifying. The queues are equally colossal...
Colosseum - General: Architectural marvel of antiquity and symbol of the Eternal City throughout the world, the Flavian Amphitheatre is the largest structure for entertainment with gladiators and wild animals ever built by the Romans. Erected in 8 years (72-80 AD) by the Flavian dynasty on the place previously occupied by the artificial lake of Nero’s Golden House, using 100.000 square metres of travertine and 300 tons of iron, the Colosseum was inaugurated with 100 days of games. The 60.000 spectators that it could hold entered through the 80 numbered arches at street level and, after spending the entire day there, could leave in under 20 minutes. The programme offered hunts with wild animals in the morning, executions of condemned criminals at midday and gladiator combat in the afternoon, and in warm weather the audience was protected from the sun by a awning consisting of 240 sails maneuvered by sailors of the imperial fleet. The underground section at the centre of the arena was used to keep the cages with the animals and the equipment for the games. The floor was placed above that and was made of wooden flanks covered with a layer of sand. Walking through the corridors of the Colosseum today we cannot help but notice its ambiguous and almost paradoxical attraction as, on one hand it seems to represent the best of the Roman civilization in the grandiosity of its architecture, and on the other it seems to express its darker side in the cruelty of the shows that were offered here.
Inside the Colosseum:
Rome Colosseum 2nd floor:
Archeological artifacts unearthed in the Colosseum - in an exhibition in the Colosseum:
Underground tour tickets ( 2 euros) are purchased at the booth where audio-guides are hired. You get a chance to stand on the reconstructed section of the arena floor, walk underground to view the maze of tunnels and corridors of the Colosseum, and climb up to the third tier:
After the GUIDED visit of the underground you go up to the 2nd and 3rd floor, where one can enjoy a magnificent view of the Arch of Constantine and of via dei Fori Imperiali:
Without the GUIDED tour, accessible on two levels offering a wide overview onto its interiors, but also brief glimpses of the city from its outer arches. The view you have from the top on to the Forum is just something impossible to describe.
Arch of Titus from the Colosseum:
Venus Temple in the Via sacra from the Colosseum:
The Roman Forum entrance from the Colosseum:
Be aware of "Glidiators" outside the Colosseum site. They demand a huge amount of money for one photo...:
Horse carriages outside the colosseum:
Via dei Fori Imperiali:
With your back to the Colosseum and your face to the north-west walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali and keep to the right side of the street. Mussolini issued the controversial orders to cut through centuries of debris and junky buildings to reveal many archaeological treasures and carve out this boulevard linking the Colosseum to the grand 19th-century monuments of Piazza Venezia. The vistas over the ruins of Rome's Imperial Forums from the northern side of the Via dei Fori Imperiali boulevard make for one of the most fascinating walks in Rome.
First sights you'll see from the boulevard include the ones already explored during your visit in the Roman Forum: colonnades that once surrounded the Temple of Venus and Roma. Next the back wall of the Basilica of Constantine/Maxentius.
Shortly, on the street's north side, where Via Cavour joins Via dei Fori Imperiali are the remains of the:
Nerva's Forum or Transitorio: The Forum of Nerva was the fourth and smallest of the imperial fora. Its construction was started by Emperor Domitian before the year 85 AD, but officially completed and opened by his successor, Nerva, in 97 AD, hence its official name. It is also referred to as the “Transient Forum” (Forum Transitorium) from its function and location between Forum of Augustus and Forum of Vespasian, Your best view is from the railing that skirts it on Via dei Fori Imperiali. It is actually in Largo Romolo e Remo Roma - where is the northern entrance to the Roman Forum.
It was built by the emperor whose 2-year reign (A.D. 96-98) followed that of the paranoid Domitian. You'll be struck by just how much the ground level has risen in 19 centuries. The only columns surviving are the so-called "Two Colonnacce" (ugly columns) with a relief in the attic representing "Minerva and frieze with female figures linked to the myth of Arachne". This forum was once flanked by that of Vespasian, which is now completely gone. It's possible to enter the Forum of Nerva from the other side, but you can see it just as well from the railing.
The next forum you approach is the:
Forum of Augustus: The Forum of Augustus is very well seen also from Via Alessandrina - from elevated wooden platforms, temporarily built along the Allessandrina road and the Forum of Augustus. You can see this site entirely from the main road (via dei Fori Imperiali). It is somewhat confusing as Augustus's Forum is wedged between those of Nerva and Trajan (see below). There doesn't seem to be any separation until you sort it out with a map or the minimal signage around. The Forum is dominated by a Temple to Mars. The Forum of Augustus was built to both house a temple honoring Mars, and to provide another space for legal proceedings, as the Roman Forum was very crowded.This was built to commemorate the emperor's victory over the assassins Cassius and Brutus in the Battle of Philippi (42 B.C.). Fittingly, the temple that once dominated this forum - its remains can still be seen - was that of Mars Ultor, or Mars the Avenger, in which stood a mammoth statue of Augustus that, unfortunately, has vanished completely. You can enter the Forum of Augustus from the other side (cut across the tiny footbridge). There is night light & voice spectacle (21.00, 22.00, 23.00) about Ancient Rome inside Foro di Augusto through every evening (15€): During the evening-night hours the Forum of Augustus, the forums and markets nearby are lit with lights that will stress out even more fantastic their splendour:
Nerva Statue in Via Alessandrina - opposite the Form of Augustus:
Augustus Statue in Via Alessandrina - opposite the Form of Augustus:
Continuing north-west along the railing, you'll see next the vast semicircle of Trajan's Market. From Nerva's Forum: Head northwest on Via dei Fori Imperiali, after 50m. sharp right to stay on Via dei Fori Imperiali, after 25 m. turn left onto Via Alessandrina. Walk in Via Alessandrina 250 m. north-west and continue onto Piazza Foro. After 50 m. Trajan's Market will be on the left. Admission is 8€. Entrance is at the Column of Trajan, a prominent landmark clearly visible (we shall return to this column - later below).
Another way: Head northwest on Via dei Fori Imperiali toward Piazza della Madonna di Loreto - 18 m. Turn right onto Piazza della Madonna di Loreto - 30 m. Turn right onto Piazza Foro Traiano - 110 m. Turn right to stay on Piazza Foro Traiano. Here, you see the market from its back side.
The surviving buildings and structures, built as an integral part of Trajan's Forum and nestled against the excavated flank of the Quirinal Hill, present a living model of life in the Roman capital and a glimpse at the continuing restoration in the city, which reveals new treasures and insights about Ancient Roman architecture. Thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the arcades in Trajan's Market are now believed by many to be administrative offices for Emperor Trajan. The shops and apartments were built in a multi-level structure, and it is still possible to visit several of the levels. Highlights include delicate marble floors and the remains of a library.
Its teeming arcades, stocked with merchandise from the far corners of the Roman Empire, long ago collapsed, leaving only the ubiquitous cats to watch over things. The shops once covered a multitude of levels. In front of the perfectly proportioned semicircular facade, designed by Apollodorus of Damascus at the beginning of the 2nd century, are the remains of a great library. Fragments of delicately colored marble floors still shine in the sunlight between stretches of rubble and tall grass.
Walk eastward in Piazza Foro Traiano toward Via di Sant'Eufemia 59 m. Continue straight onto Via Magnanapoli. Take the stairs 130 m. Continue onto Largo Magnanapoli 32 m. Enter the roundabout 10 m. Tower of Milizie (in Via Quattro Novembre) will be on the right. The actual construction of the tower probably dates to the time of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) under the Aretino family. This 12th-century structure was part of the medieval headquarters of the Knights of Rhodes. The view from the top (if it's open) is well worth the climb. From the tower, you can wander down to the ruins of the market, admiring the sophistication of the layout and the sad beauty of the bits of decoration that remain.
When you've examined the brick and travertine corridors, head out in front of the semicircle to the site of the former library; from here, scan the retaining wall that supports the modern road and look for the entrance to the tunnel that leads to the Forum of Trajan. It is, actually, south-west to the Tower of Milizie, between the Tower and Trajan's Market (which is also south-west to the Tower). It's entered on Via IV Novembre near the steps of Via Magnanapoli. Once through the tunnel, you'll emerge in the newest and most beautiful of the Imperial Forums. The site now lies some fifteen feet below street level, as can be seen here, where one almost is at eye level with the capitals of the columns. Designed by the same man who laid out the adjoining market. There are many statue fragments and pedestals that bear still-legible inscriptions, but more interesting is the great Basilica Ulpia, with gray marble columns rising roofless into the sky. You wouldn't know it to judge from what's left, but the Forum of Trajan was once regarded as one of the architectural wonders of the world. Constructed between A.D. 107 and 113, it was designed by the Greek architect Apollodorus of Damascus. By the way, you can arrive to the Trajan Forum, Market and column something northward (descending) from the Piazza del Campidoglia and Capitoline Hill (and bypassing the southern edge of Piazza Venezia).
Panoramic view of the forum with the Trajan's Column on the far left:
Trajan's Column and the ruins of the Basilica Ulpia:
Beyond the Basilica Ulpia is the Trajan's Column that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. The detail of the carving is stunning. This column is in magnificent condition. It's great feature is the immense spiral bas relief carvings that progresses to the top illustrating the wars. Built to commemorate the Emperor's victorious campaigns against the Dacian's in the early 2nd Century AD. The structure is about 30 metres in height, 35 metres including its large pedestal. The emperor's ashes were kept in a golden urn at the base of the column. If you're fortunate, someone on duty at the stairs next to the column will let you out there. Otherwise, you'll have to walk back the way you came. It is not possible to get close to the column, but it is still an impressive sight from the distant sidewalk. The column is hollow and includes an internal staircase to the top but this is not operative:
Trajan Column from Palazzo Valentin:
The next stop is the Forum of Julius Caesar. This is the last of the Imperial Forums. It lies on the opposite side of Via dei Fori Imperiali, the last set of sunken ruins before the Vittorio Emanuele Monument. Although it's possible to go right down into the ruins, you can see everything just as well from the railing. This was the site of the Roman stock exchange, as well as of the Temple of Venus, a few of whose restored columns stand cinematically in the middle of the excavations.
The Forum of Caesar and the Temple of Venus Genetrix:
We completed the historical/archeological part of the day. We'll find a typical, budget place to dine and continue to Trevi Fountain through interesting part of historical Rome. Return to the Via Alessandrina road and walk until its north-west end. Continue direct to Piazza Foro Trajiano when the Basilica Ulpia and Trajan's Column and Palazzo Valentini with its fountain on your left:
Continue in the same road, now, named Via di Sant'Eufemia until its end. turn left into the Via 4 Novembre and, immediately, right, onto the quaint, impressive Piazza Santi Apostoli. The Palaazo Colonna and Chiesa dei Sani Apostoli on your right:
Pass Via dei Santi Apostoli on your left and a few steps further, on your left try your fortune for dining at Antica Birreria Peroni bar-restaurant, Via di San Marcello, 19. This is a typical, Roman, crowded, noisy and very informal restaurant with reasonable prices and GOOD food. It is full with locals, dining on long,common tables with very busy, but still, polite and patient, hurrying waiters. The food is down to earth but excellent. it is exactly the type of local place you would want to go for the local scene. It is very difficult to find a non-touristic restaurant in this area - so close to the Imperial sites, Piazza Venezia and Trevi Fountain. Open: 12.00-24.00:
Head north on Via di San Marcello toward Via dell'Umiltà. Turn right onto Via dell'Umiltà and, immediately, turn left onto Piazza dell'Oratorio. You arrived to Galleria Sciarra - one of the less known gems of Rome but, still, a stunning surprise. Situated very close to the Trevi Fountain on Piazza dell' Oratorio, this gorgeous and utterly surprising arcade is easily missed. The arcade is named after the building's original owner, Prince Maffeo Sciarra, who in the late 1880s commissioned the architect Giulio De Angelis to design a glass-domed galleria to serve as a fashionable shopping centre for Rome. Painter Giuseppe Cellini decorated the space and the frescoes he produced are a wonderful example of the influence of English pre-Raphaelite art on Italian artists at the end of the 19th century, in their mixing of Renaissance decoration with images of contemporary women: Misericors -is cutting her long hair and thus making a sacrifice, Fidelis - points to her faithful heart, with a dog symbolically placed at her feet, Amabilis - stretches out her arms in welcome.
Cross the Galleria Sciarra from south to the north, continue northward along Via di Santa Maria in Via. Immediately after leaving the Galleria Sciarra you see, on your right, this relief:
Take the first turn to the RIGHT - Via delle Muratte. It is long, busy, colorful market road - leading you to Trevi Fountain and Piazza. Be careful with most of the restaurants around: touristy, over-rated and not-so-good service. The only one which deserves your attention is the Al Moro, Vicolo delle Bollette 13.
Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi) is a fountain designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, and is a popular tourist attraction. The Trevi Fountain is situated at the end of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed in 19 BC by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. Legend holds that in 19 BC thirsty Roman soldiers were guided by a young girl to a source of pure water thirteen kilometers from the city of Rome. The discovery of the source led Augustus to commission the construction of a twenty-two kilometer aqueduct leading into the city, which was named Aqua Virgo, or Virgin Waters, in honor of the legendary young girl. Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei – but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732 and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Salvi's death, when Pietro Bracci's Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche. Salvi died in 1751 with his work half finished. The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, who substituted the present allegories for planned sculptures of Agrippa and "Trivia", the Roman virgin. It remains one of the most historical cultural landmarks in Rome. The central figure of the fountain, standing in a large niche, is Neptune, god of the sea. He rides a shell-shaped chariot that is pulled by two sea horses. Each sea horse is guided by a Triton. One of the horses is calm and obedient, the other one restive. They symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. Every day some eighty million liters of water flow through the fountain. The water is reused to supply several other Roman fountains, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Tortoise Fountain and the Fountain of the Old Boat in front of the Spanish Steps. Tradition has it that you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the fountain's water basin. You should toss it with your right hand over your left shoulder (or left hand over your right shoulder) with your back to the fountain. You're not allowed to look behind you while you're tossing the coin but the fountain is so large it's basically impossible to miss:
From Trevi Fountain it is 12 minutes, 600 m. walk to Piazza Venezia or 4-5 minutes walk to Via del Corso. Both of them - with plenty of buses from and to all parts of Rome.