After spending Friday afternoon at the Maratona di Roma expo and having dinner with my cousins & aunt, my cousin Simona took me back to The Beehive for some sleep. Saturday was a big day. A few months before I had met another marathoner via instagram, Laura, from the Washington, D.C. area who goes by @laurentinaphoto – Follow her – she’s amazing! Anyways it was her first marathon and somehow she came across The Roman Guy (follow them too :)) again via instagram and they (Sean & Brandon) were also running their first marathons and were going to do a little tour/shake-out run the day before the race. I have been lucky to have been to Rome many times, but since I have family that lives there, I don’t always get to do the touristy things so I thought, this sounds like a lot of fun and signed up as well. For 45 Euros, we got a tour of the Colosseum & Forum, a run thru the city & a super cool, Team TRG New Balance tank to commemorate the day.
So Saturday morning, I fueled up with good American style breakfast – eggs and toast 🙂 and set off for the Colosseum. The tour was going to start there and then we would do a 2 mile shake-out run going hitting up a lot of the best tourist spots in Rome.
I got there a bit early so I just walked around getting the lay of the land – before heading back to meet up with the group. It was kind of cloudy so I was hoping it wouldn’t rain.
Notice how the section on the right looks different than the section on the left? Brandon told us that they had actually renovated a portion of the Colosseum because they had taken a lot of the Travertine for other projects around the city.
It was a bit of a cloudy day, but the 12 of us runners weren’t going to let that get us down and so we started off with a tour of the Colosseum. Brandon did most of the tour, Sean was the photographer for the day and a lot of the photos you’ll see today are from him (THANK YOU!).
I’ve been to the Colosseum twice before, but it was really nice to be on a tour, Brandon & Sean had insight into things that you just can’t know from looking around.
Inside, they had built a partial floor to show what it would have looked like back in the day, I don’t remember that from my last visit in 2003. But that’s not to say it wasn’t there, 2003 was a long time ago :).
After a quick tour of the Colosseum, we headed over to the Roman Forum to walk around for a bit.
So after we left the Forum, we started down the stairs by the Palazzo Victor Emmanuel, which looks a lot older than it is. This was right near the start & finish line of the marathon.
And so off we went. In Italy, unlike here in the States, cars stop when you cross the street, in fact they expect you to cross and if you wait for them they stop for you. It’s very interesting how it works.
The Pantheon is actually 50 years older than the Colosseum. It’s fascinating to me how it looks like a regular building on the outside and then a dome inside and where the famous Rafael is buried.
We hit up the Spanish steps but there were so many people, I didn’t feel it was photo worthy 😉 LOL. Little tidbit about the Spanish Steps, the poet, John Keats lived in the building to the right of the steps before his death at 25.
And on we went to Piazza Navona, where we saw Bernini’s fountain – I always think of Angels & Demons when I go to Piazza Navona now :).
And then we finished up in the Campo dei Fiori, the market, in the center of Rome.
I really enjoyed this excursion and I would totally recommend it to anyone. It was an awesome way to see the city, Brandon & Sean were great tour guides, they seemed more like friends than guides 🙂 and I met a lot of really nice runners. If you are in Rome and are looking for a great way to see the city, I totally recommend contacting The Roman Guy.