On Sunday, we had planned to get up at around 8am, go to our hotel breakfast and then head out to queue up for the Colosseum at around 9am, since most people had recommended that we get there early to avoid massive lines. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out like that, as I have become increasingly skilled at turning off mobile phone alarms in my sleep when I'm not quite ready to get up yet. When I eventually woke up (feeling very well rested I might add) it turned out to be close to 11:00am. Oops.
We zoomed around the room like manic people getting dressed and were sat at an outside table having coffee and breakfast within three quarters of an hour. There were fifteen minutes to go until midday so as far as I'm concerned that's still breakfast time, okay?
When we headed down to the Colosseum we got caught up by a number of tour guide reps who wanted us to part with a good chunk of our euros for the privilege of being part of a fifty strong group being led round the ruins. We avoided all of these, congratulating ourselves on our resolve, but then I got caught. She promised a group with a maximum of ten people, skipping the hour long queue, and a three hour tour of the Forum, Palatine Hill and Colosseum. I could have resisted this, but then she reeled me in: "Your tour guide is a Classics graduate from London." OH! Well that changed everything. How could I resist a tour by someone who actually knew what he was talking about? I immediately changed my tune and persuaded Sean that we really did want to do a tour actually, and within ten minutes we were hearing the story of how the Colosseum got its name.
The tour finished three and a bit hours later and we decided it was time to wander off and grab a (very late) lunch. We did a quick lap around the Circus Maximus which really is just a massive field these days before ending up at a roadside restaurant that had pretty good pasta and terrible service.
The last landmark that we saw that day was the Vittoriano, the monument to the guy who unified Italy. The Romans apparently hate it and call it the 'wedding cake'. Sean loved it and thought it was very impressive, I tended to agree with the Romans.
The end of our day was a fifty-fifty split between being terrible and being amazing. Terrible because there was a huge thunderstorm with enough rain to fill a swimming pool, but amazing because we went for pizza at the famous Di Baffeta and it was just beautiful.