Holy Hell it's the Colosseum - Studying Abroad in Italy Part IV

Studying Abroad in Italy Part I - Fun Things You Should Do Before Leaving:

Holy Hell it's the Colosseum - Studying Abroad in Italy Part IV

I’ve always been a history nerd and fan of gore.

When I first started to learn about the Colosseum and all it’s bloody history, I was absolutely in love.

In elementary school, we had a writing prompt with the topic, “If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?” I wrote an enthralling and disgusting story about how great it would be to see lions eat the gladiators. Somehow I wasn’t called into the guidance counselor’s office.

We of course walked to the Colosseum.

As we got closer to our destination, the Colosseum became larger and larger with each step. I began to pick up my pace. My heart was practically beating out of my chest. I had a lump in my throat the size of a baseball (once again from holding back tears. Sheesh).

And even though the Colosseum was just a tiny speck in the distance – I had already snapped at least 10 pictures of it.


When our walk finally ended and we were standing beside this massive ancient building, our professor gave us a mini-lesson and we entered. She bought our tickets for the Colosseum and Roman Forum in a bundle ahead of time (yay for cheap prices and skipping the line!).

She asked us to download a Rick Steves podcast about the Colosseum. Personally, I would rather walk around and take in the moment without having someone yammering in my ear. I don’t think any of us really enjoyed Rick Steves (later on in the trip I would just pretend to be listening…I know, I know. Rebel).

We stood at the first level for what seemed like forever.

The day was the windiest and coldest I remember from the trip but it was like the Colosseum had weather of its own. The air was refreshing and warm.  The high winds didn’t penetrate the walls and only allowed a cool breeze to follow us inside.


After we felt we had enough of the lower level (and about 50 pictures later) we searched for the narrow stairs and made our way up.

Standing on the second floor made everything seem more realistic.

At this point it finally hit me that I was actually standing where history was made. Okay, so history was made in almost every square inch of Rome, but this was major. We walked around more, took pictures, listened to Rick Steves and made our way back outside.

We crossed the street to the Roman Forum and made a quick tour. It was remarkable to see what Ancient Rome had become. You can barley make out where the buildings once were.

After our adventure we made our way back to our hotel, ate a lovely dinner and promptly fell asleep.


Insider Travel Tips:

If you’re going to visit the Colosseum, walk there! Sometimes the journey is more exciting than the destination (not for me in this specific case). But we did see some amazing things on the way.

Also – if you can, buy your tickets in a bundle and online. Our professor was able to buy 80% of our tickets before we even stepped on the plane. They were cheaper this way and we felt like kings and queens as we skipped people standing in mile-long lines.


Travel story shared by Nichole Manna