Day 25: When in Rome.

Our friends weren’t due to arrive until later in the day so our morning was spent lazily rolling out of bed and indulging ourselves in the absolutely ridiculous breakfast buffet that the hotel provided. Over half of what was provided was deserts, ranging from icing covered croissants to cannelloni filled with coconut whilst the rest was a more traditional breakfast affair. After we’d had our fill we headed upstairs to wait around until we got the message that they’d arrived and were eager to grab an early lunch before heading out. We quickly met up at a local restaurant for some pizza and a quick catch up before we headed out to what’s arguably Rome’s biggest attractions: the Palatine, Roman Forums and the Colosseum.

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After elbowing our way through the crowds and various street peddlers (mostly selling frozen bottles of water and selfie sticks) we figured the lines for the Colosseum probably weren’t worth it at that point in time. Instead we got our tickets and headed over to the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum, figuring we could wander around there until the crowds died down.

This area proved to be almost as popular as crowds gathered at nearly everything we walked to. It was an amazing look into a time that had it roots in prehistory and had changed so much over the course of its life. However calling the area anything more than a ruin would be generous as much of what was built was either re-purposed, pillaged or simply destroyed. That’s pretty much inevitable though given how old everything here was, predating many of the other great buildings that we’ve visited on our trip.

We decided to head over to the Colosseum at 4PM in the hopes that the lines would be much more manageable. As far we could tell they were a little shorter but there was still a massive throng of people gathering at the entrance. Thankfully the wait in line wasn’t too long and we were in the Colosseum in short order. The building itself is an incredibly impressive structure, something that would’ve been awe inspiring back in its hey days. Even today it’s an impressive structure with the various catacombs exposed to show the complex labyrinth that made it such an amazing stage.

It was at this time however that the flight that our friends just got off of started to catch up with them and their energy levels dropped through the floor. We ambled our way out of the Colosseum in search of dinner, settling on a place that was not too far away. Our dinner was simple but highly enjoyable, even if our friends looked like they could fall asleep at the drop of a hat. We still managed to get ourselves some gelato on the way home however and I’m hopeful that the sugar rush was enough to get them home safe.

Tomorrow we’ll make for Pompeii, a trip that will likely take the whole day from us. All I’m hoping for is a train trip that’s air conditioned and a cool sea breeze as the temperature doesn’t look like it’ll go down any time soon. Not that I’m complaining mind, especially given the stories I’m hearing from back at home, but I’d prefer to come back medium-rare rather than well done.

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