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Rome: Colosseum

When you're in Rome, you're going to want to go to the Colosseum. Over two thousand years old, Vespasian began its construction, and it was finished off under the rule of Titus.
It's under restoration at the moment, and will be until 2016 - as a few other things in Rome also are, notably the Trevi Fountain and the Trinità dei Monti (the church at the top of the Spanish Steps) - but it's still looking pretty impressive, if you ask me.

As I always recommend, book your tickets online if you want to avoid queueing up for a few hours to get inside. You'll still have to queue but, trust me, it won't be for as long.

If you're there on the first Sunday of every month, like we were, it's actually free to get inside. This means it's going to be busy though, and it looked like we had a wait on our hands until we employed the tactic I used the first time I was at the Colosseum, and also the first time I went to the Vatican Museums.

Tour touts swarm around outside the Colosseum promising they can get you in quickly. Whilst it's true they can, you'll probably pay double than what you'd pay if you booked an official tour online. This doesn't mean that they aren't good tours, far from it. Both times I've been to the Colosseum we joined a tour outside the Colosseum; both times the tours were excellent. I'll take an official tour the next time I'm in Rome though to compare!

A normal ticket to the Colosseum costs €12, which is valid for two days and also includes entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You can also book a tour that takes you to the 3rd level and the underground parts of the Colosseum - without booking a tour, you can't visit these areas on your own, unfortunately.
The Colosseum is impressive, day and night, and you have to visit it when you're in Rome. The Colosseum, along with Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (I'll blog about these tomorrow), are the closest you'll get to getting a sense of Ancient Rome when in Rome. That's why you're probably visiting Rome in the first place, right? x

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