So it was with more than just a little anticipation that we travelled to the Forum early in the morning. We had been warned that it would be crowded, but also had had the tip that it would be a good idea to buy tickets at the side entrance of the Forum itself (near #21 on the map, or "Siete qui"), as they would give us access to the Colosseum as well and that they would be valid for 2 days.
9 AM turned out to be a good time; only four other tourists in the line before us who had to open their bags for the security guard, who waved his electronic wand through them before declaring us fit for entrance.
Let me issue a warning here: do not attempt to walk this plot of land on other than very comfortable flat shoes. The paths are either cobbled or appear to be cobbled. Either way, they are ankle twisters and treacherous. But breathtaking if you are susceptible to old Roman building sites.
At 9 am it was already 20 degrees, and by the time we had reached the uppermost level of the Forum it was over 26. Hardly any shadow there, so again be warned.
Thank Frith for one of those Roman water taps which are everywhere in this lovely city! It is situated in the orange grove, right next to the rose gardens.
You do need a fair bit of imagination to picture the homes and squares of this piece of Rome on the Palatine hill. There are some boards which explain, but not many. So bringing a good guide (book) is something to consider. And the open air ruins do not show many undamaged sculptures, you cannot compare it to a place like Pompeii.
Still, to me it was fascinating.
There are good vantage points to see the Colosseum as well. This site must have been breathtaking when it was newly built up; far above the rest of the city, with fresh winds and clear view lines to all sides. Clever guys, those old Romans.
By the time we were ready to visit the Colosseum, the line there was massive. Awful, we estimated it would take those poor people at least 3 hours to get in. Now we did have our tickets already, but we were certain it would be so full of people that we wouldn't be able to see anything anyway, so we decided to go back early the next morning, and so we did.
Again, you need to read up beforehand and use your imagination. And look through all those other enthusiasts who are crowding the pathways and are taking endless selfies.
Also: pee before you go in. There was a horrific line in front of the few toilets.
I wonder how those ancient Romans solved that problem, with 50,000 or more spectators in the house?