Of course the day I tackled the ruins, it was 100 degrees out (literally).
The Roman Forum ruins were quite impressive, and as Rick Steves says, “many of the basalt stones under your feet were walked on by Caesar Augustus 2,000 years ago.” Where else can you find that kind of history?
My favorite parts of the Roman Forum:
- The bronze doors still hanging from way back in the day, just to the right of the Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina
- The Temple of Julius Caesar (where his body was burned after he died, and where there’s still a pile of ashes with flowers on top – they’re not his ashes, of course)
- Temple of Vesta, which was guarded by the Vestal Virgins, who if they didn’t fulfill their 30-year vow of celibacy were buried alive. Yikes!
After touring the Forum, I was dripping sweat, exhausted and cramping up. But I had to do at least one more part of the ruins trifecta (Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum) before calling it quits.
So I climbed up Palatine Hill. There were some beautiful gardens up on the hill, a refreshing sight of green after the brown, barren ruins. I have to admit, I kind of half-assedly explored Palatine Hill. It was just way too freaking hot. I literally thought I might pass out from heat stroke and dehydration.
I hurried back to the hotel for some much-needed AC!
But after a short rest, I decided to finish off my tour of the ruins with the Colosseum. The Colosseum was very cool, but unbelievably hot. Plenty of fellow tourists were literally sitting down in any piece of shade available, dying from the heat.
I didn’t even walk around the entire arena – it’s symmetrical, so if you’ve seen half of it, you’ve pretty much seen the entire thing, right? I took plenty of pictures, but I couldn’t last another minute so ran back to the hotel and into the shower to douse myself in cold water!