The Colosseum and Roman Forum are undoubtedly two of the most popular attractions in Rome, for great reason. They are marvelous, archaic and absolutely spectacular. Built in A.D. 70-72 the iconic ruin epitomises Italy, the magnetic pull bringing culture and historical enthusiasts together. It acts as some sort of beacon for those who want to ground themselves in the historical “centre” of Europe. The Colosseum has lived a difficult life, from gladiatorial combats to animal fights; history is etched in its bones- quite literally. There are seats within the Colosseum that have Senators names etched into the back of them, preserving their seats forever in time. Left to almost ruin after the fun and games the Colosseum remains as a stoic icon of the tumultuous Roman history that surrounds.
The Roman Forum is an important archaeological site, fortunately preserved so we can see into what was once the centre of the city. The Forum is full of imposing ruins that leave their mark on the valley it’s situated in. The beauty of Rome is the eclectic mix of modernity and archaic ruin and when you are among the true heart of the Roman Forum you feel as though you are miles, if not centuries away from the modern world. So large you can get lost in the immersion, the only thing pulling you out of it is the call of pizza and wine.
As we visited Rome during winter I did not expect many queues, but forgot that we were arriving just before the sales and the Epiphany celebrations for Christmas. It felt like every single person who was in Rome was visiting the Colosseum that day. The line was ridiculously long but I imagine it would be a lot worse during summer.If you pre-purchase a ticket you will be able to save yourself some time (any time saved waiting in lines in Italy is more time to drink wine I say!) you will also be able to gain access to the underground and third tier tours, which they limit the amount of visitors per day. You can find tickets here. With the ticket you are also granted access to the Roman Forum.