Day 6: Colosseum & Galleria Borghese

On Day 6, we inadvertently violated our own rules about “only one major attraction per day” and “no tour groups” all at once.

The Colosseum

Secretly, I really wanted to see the Colosseum but I didn’t want to put any pressure on the family or insist on a tour in order to get in. So I casually said to the family “Why don’t we just go ‘see’ the Colosseum? We need to learn to use the Termini station for when we come back, and we have to transfer there to get to the Colosseum from Barberini.” Somehow, this was a miraculously convincing argument for the family!

While it was a real treat to just see the Colosseum for free from the outside (which anyone can do), it was also a happy circumstance to break the “no tours” moratorium. It turns out that even if you can’t book tickets online, in advance, the tour companies also cannot tolerate a family happily learning about and enjoying the Colosseum from the outside, with only the free placards and timeline displays. We were genuinely engaged in the “free” stuff and it drove them mad! Suddenly, they were practically begging us to join their tours to go into the Colosseum that we previously couldn’t reserve tickets for. I held out. “Well, we have tickets to the Borghese this afternoon … how soon can you get us in? How long will it take?”. Well, it turns out, pretty much immediately and only about 1.5 hours total!

I can’t say if this is a possibility in the summer, but in the spring and fall, if I were to do it again, I would hold out even more and ask for “uno sconto” (a discount!).

It was a relief to find a tour group and tour guide who got us into the attraction, gave us “value added” information about the attraction, but was also happy to let us continue as we found best, without any demands or requirements. I am hoping (🤞) this is a harbinger of being able to do future site-specific tours to get back and see the things we missed!

Chillaxing On The Balcony

If you really want an “off the beaten track” thing to do, go back to your vacation rental, have lunch and *relax* between activities!

Galleria Borghese

Back on Day 3, we took a walk through Villa Borghese. We wanted to visit Galleria Borghese, but tickets were sold out. So, lesson learned: Galleria Borghese limits the number of people in the building and tickets run out. This is good news in that, once you do get in, it will be relatively uncrowded. Another good jet lag day activity would be to walk through Villa Borghese and get your tickets for some time during your trip. If you want to book ahead, I believe Viator has some “skip the line tours”, but I have not used them.

Anyway, on Day 6, we finally got to visit!