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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Photo Blog: Tour Bus, Coliseum, and Ancient Ruins (Rome Day 3)

I am posting the blog just about a month after our actual trip to Rome. Shortly, I'll move this post back to where it occurred chronologically within the blog...

Today in Rome we're doing our standard "city introduction" where we take one of the double-decker tour buses around the city to get a nice overview of the city and the sites -- even if we are not able to get to all of them during our stay. When in Paris, we choose "Le Tour" -- and this time the Rome Open Tour -- owned by the same companies with the bright greenish-yellow buses.

Also, we will get to spend some time at the Coliseum -- my personal favorite monument in the world. Not just because it was recently in the movie Jumper, but it has long been my favorite since I first visited it back in 1996.

Here are a few shots from the day...
Our Rome Open Tour bus.  Overall we were pretty happy with the time tables, route and the information on this particular tour bus of Rome.  It helped us get around the city -- above ground -- and also provided a nice background on the sites we went drove past.Our Rome Open Tour bus. Overall we were pretty happy with the time tables, route and the information on this particular tour bus of Rome. It helped us get around the city -- above ground -- and also provided a nice background on the sites we went drove past.

When we arrived at the Coliseum, there was a snaking line to get in due to one of the metal detectors being shut down.  A great tip we found was there are some tour guides that will add you to their group for just 10 euros and give you a guided tour of both the Coliseum and the Ancient ruins.  We joined a group and dropped our wait time from 1 hour to 5 minutes.  Small price to pay with a limited time in a city!When we arrived at the Coliseum, there was a snaking line to get in due to one of the metal detectors being shut down. A great tip we found was there are some tour guides that will add you to their group for just 10 euros and give you a guided tour of both the Coliseum and the Ancient ruins. We joined a group and dropped our wait time from 1 hour to 5 minutes. Small price to pay with a limited time in a city!

Just a quick pose inside the Coliseum.  A lot of updates to the structure since 1996.  You can explore many more levels, there is an interior museum and they are reconstructing a portion of the stage.  You can get a great feel and pictures throughout the site!Just a quick pose inside the Coliseum. A lot of updates to the structure since 1996. You can explore many more levels, there is an interior museum and they are reconstructing a portion of the stage. You can get a great feel and pictures throughout the site!

Ashley taking a quick photo from inside the Coliseum in Rome.Ashley taking a quick photo from inside the Coliseum in Rome.

After our 90 minute tour of the Coliseum, we headed over to the Ancient Ruins for a self-guided tour.  It was so hot on this day that we only could manage about 1 hour on the site before needing to seek refuge and grab a bite to eat.After our 90 minute tour of the Coliseum, we headed over to the Ancient Ruins for a self-guided tour. It was so hot on this day that we only could manage about 1 hour on the site before needing to seek refuge and grab a bite to eat.

Back on our bus, we head past Circo Massimo -- a huge expanse that festivals with over 100,000 people can happen here -- not to mention the chariot races that occurred in the past.Back on our bus, we head past Circo Massimo -- a huge expanse that festivals with over 100,000 people can happen here -- not to mention the chariot races that occurred in the past.

Castel Sant'Angelo off of Piazza Pia -- the fortress.  A lot of street vendors around this area -- we only were able to make a quick pass by.Castel Sant'Angelo off of Piazza Pia -- the fortress. A lot of street vendors around this area -- we only were able to make a quick pass by.

Ashley goofing off as we wait for our shuttle back to the Hilton Rome Cavalieri.Ashley goofing off as we wait for our shuttle back to the Hilton Rome Cavalieri.

We took the last tour bus of the evening to check out all the sights in the night lights.  Here was a quick photo snapped over the Coliseum.We took the last tour bus of the evening to check out all the sights in the night lights. Here was a quick photo snapped over the Coliseum.

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