Am I Really in Rome for Two Days?


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Dear Luke and Leia,

Am I really in Rome for two days? Wake up Dan, you're dreaming, you can’t finally be in Rome. It must be a dream, a fantasy … all because it's your birthday and you’ve always wanted to go to Rome. Well, I guess it's true, I'm spending two days in Rome for my birthday! It was a great plan coming together, because after Nana got to visit Paris, now I get to see Rome.

Am I Really in Rome for Two Days?

Roman Colosseum

Where to start in such a glorious city? Way too many sites have been unfairly distributed to this one place. I think we should begin with the Colosseum. What a magnificent structure it is, and it is still standing after two thousand years. This is a building of legends.

The Roman Colosseum is an amphitheater built by Emperor Vespasian around A.D. 70-72.It was known as the Flavian Amphitheater when Vespasian’s son Titus finally opened it just 8 years later. The government hosted games here as entertainment for the public. For them, gladiatorial combats, wild animal fights, and even torture were all entertainment.

The colosseum originally had a wooden floor, but all the once-hidden passageways and chambers are exposed. After four centuries of games, it was neglected until the 18th century, when they began to restore the damage it had endured over the centuries from fires and earthquakes. Now the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Rome and a Bucket List item for tourists like me.

The Roman Colosseum
The Roman Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Passageways under the floor of the Colosseum's arena
These were once passageways under the Colosseum's arena floor
The Arch of Constantine, as seen from the Colosseum
The Arch of Constantine, as seen from the Colosseum

Palatine Hill

Rome which was built on seven hills, and Palatine Hill is the center-most hill of all. Being the center of Imperial Rome, Palatine Hill houses great attractions like Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. The hill is tied to Roman mythology because it is believed that the twins Romulus and Remus were found in the Lupercal Cave by their wolf mother.
Palatine Hill, RomePalatine Hill ruins

The remains of the Roman Forum
The remains of the Roman Forum
Temple of Apollo
Remnants of the Temple of Apollo
The arch of Titus contains images of the Romans carrying off the spoils from the destruction of Jerusalem's temple
The arch of Titus contains images of the Romans carrying off the spoils from the destruction of Jerusalem's temple
Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus, once an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium

Walking around Rome

Walking around Rome is easy, but crowded during our visit. Rather than fight traffic we took the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour which gave us a good overview and made getting from site to site far easier. It didn't take long to admit that we need to plan more time in Rome as there is so much to see. We had so little time during this trip, but two days are better than none, right?

View from the Roman ColosseumView from the Roman ColosseumWalking around Rome

The Alter of the Fatherland or Altare della Patria in Italian
The Altar of the Fatherland or Altare della Patria in Italian

Basilica Pantheon

The Pantheon was originally built in 27-25 AD to commemorate the victory of Actium over Antony and Cleopatra. It was a functioning temple with statues of various Roman gods filling the niches. Animals were sacrificed and burned in the center; the smoke escaped through the oculus above, the temple's only means of light. Now the Pantheon is a Basilica, whose dome was studied by Michelangelo before starting his work on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Side view of the Pantheon
Side view of the Pantheon
The Pantheon
The Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon
View of the oculus which vented the smoke from pagan sacrifices
View of the oculus which vented the smoke from pagan sacrifices
Niches used for Roman idols now filled with Catholic idols.
Niches once used for Roman idols are now filled with Catholic idols.

Trevi Fountain

The Fontana di Trevi, Trevi Fountain in English, is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and the most beautiful in the world. There is a tradition that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Hmmm … I wonder what throwing 40 euro coins would do for a return visit?
The Trevi FountainThe Trevi Fountain

Large crowds lend to pick-pockets. We watched the guy in black do so.
Caution: Large crowds lend to pickpockets. We watched the guy in black do so.

The Trevi FountainA few people in Rome

As always, we find a great deal of enjoyment in watching the various tourists and the antics they display while posing for pictures. We also just like to observe people as they enjoy the scenes. Here are a few characters in action:

Bust of Julius Caesar - Saw this guy all over the city... He must be famous.
Saw this guy all over the city… He must be famous.
Planking in the Roman Colosseum
I don't dare caption this one, but please do so yourself in the comments.
Woman poses with a paper umbrella; that must have been a really large drink!
Now, that umbrella must have been in a really large drink!
Little girl washing her hands outside the Pantheon
Cuteness overload.

We hope you guys enjoyed our trip to Rome. Luke, you would love the gelato and yes Leia, there is plenty of pasta here even for you! Got to run and catch a train to our next destination.


Nana and Pap

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Written by Dan

Professional photographer specializing in street, food and travel shots at As We Saw It travel blog. “Photography is unique in that it captures light in all forms, and since the Bible says YHVH (God) is light, photography captures Him in many forms.”

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20 thoughts on “Am I Really in Rome for Two Days?”

  1. Love love your photos! I’m visiting Rome in exactly three weeks and I’m super excited about that, but I hope I won’t be disappointed (and that there won’t be as many tourists as I imagine). I need a cocktail-umbrella that big (and the cocktail as well!) 😉

    • I hope you really enjoy Rome Vlad and make sure you cross the Tiber river to see the sites on the other side. That is a big regret for us. Thank you for you compliments on the photos.

  2. Absolutely stunning photos!! The photo of the oculus at the Pantheon is so classic. Seriously.. You actually saw a pickpocket in action?? Even caught a photo of him! Gosh… And no, I am not going to try to caption that photo either.

    • Thank you regarding the photos. Yes that guy was working with a girl. He was walking if the direction of the photograph and helped himself to a wallet out of a bag and then passed it is his girl partner walking in the opposite direction. Funny thing is if people used basic common sense and kept their bags zipped, this would change things. Darn, I was hopping you’d caption the plankers. lol

  3. I appreciate your sense of humor:) but have to be honest- Rome overwhelmed rather than inspired me. we spent 3 days and have had several enlightening walking tours (especially the one of ancient ruins) but the crowd just did me in. If i ever return to Rome it would have to be during quiet season if there is any (we have visited over May holidays when entire Europe takes several days off to travel and many choose Rome!)

    • Thank you Victoria. I do agree with you about Rome being overwhelming. Having just 2 or 3 days and trying to see everything is not only overwhelming but impractical and impossible to do. We never made it to the other side of the river or to markets, which is a stay point for us. I do want to go back with more time on my hands and also, as you say, when there are not as many people pushing their schedules upon the rest of us.

  4. Two days are indeed better than none. When we let our kids decide where to go on vacation, Rome was high on the list because my son was rather sure he’d be able to get pizza, pasta and gelato every day. We visited the same places, but alas, Trevi fountain was behind a metal fence being renovated and had no water in it.. Your photos are great. I’m going to caption that strange one “Planking for two.”

    • Thank you Michele. So planking for two is a good description, I thought maybe they were stacking up to rebuild the colesseum.

  5. Dan, I really enjoyed your photo walk through of Rome. I haven’t been in the coliseum yet, as it’s always been closed for some reason or another. I’ll get in there sometime though! Did the guy in black actually pick soemones pocket while you were watching him!?! What and adventure you’re having.

    • Hi Jim. The colesseum is fantastic. Very eye-opening to see it live understanding what took place there. YES… The guy in black had a girl he was working with. He picked what looked lick a wallet out of a bag walking in one direction and then passed it to the girl walking in the other direction. Distractions is what lends to this style if heist.

  6. I’m sure throwing coins in Fontana di Trvei will work Dan. I threw coins in the first time I visited Rome as a young 20 something backpacking my way through Europe – at the time believing I will never get the opportunity to return. I have since returned twice, I am hoping the last lot of coin tossing comes through for a fourth visit. 🙂

  7. A wonderful way to spend a birthday! Your photos are beautiful. Rome is one of the top destinations I’m dying to go to, thanks for letting me live vicariously through your trip 🙂

    • Clare, Thank you for the nice comment on the photos. I agree, anytime in a city of such prominence is better than no time. Your kids will love it.

    • Pinay, Thank you. I do love to people watch… Wait more precisely, tourist watch as they do such silly things all in front of my lens to capture and share what not to do while traveling.

  8. Wonderful photos, you’ve really captured the essence of Roma! We can’t wait to get back there after a very very long time next year.

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