The colosseum in Rome draws millions of visitors every year and for first time visitors the experience can be overwhelming. In the summer the popular Rome attraction draws huge crowds so try to buy tickets in advance if you can to avoid the queuing pushy tourists. If you don’t buy in advance there are tour guides that you can go in with to cut the queue. The tour guides use a rudimentary but effective coloured sticker system to keep the group together.
It takes patience to get a snap of the impressive ruin with no one else in your pic. Do a circuit and you’ll likely get more than a few good photos. In the summer I often carried a water bottle round with me refilling it wherever I could. One of the brilliant things I love about Rome is that there are drinking water fountains all over the city! Perfectly safe to drink and you’ll see both locals and visitors quenching their thirst. Even within the Colosseum you can stay hydrated.
Beautiful Rome! This is Ponte Sant’Angelo (bridge) over the Tiberius river with the Vatican in the background.
Exploring this part of the city is easy and makes a good walk. Start in the morning at the Vatican, make your way to Castel Santagelo, walk along the river then head to Piazza Navona before checking out the Pantheon. The last two places have fab lunch options!
No visit to beautiful Venice is complete without a gondola ride through through the city’s canals. Once the main mode of traffic with almost 10,000 gondolas in operation, the city now has fewer than 500 used to ferry tourists around the city.
There are different routes you can choose and tour operators that you can book in advance with. You could wing it and decide once you’re there! A ride typically lasts about 40 minutes and the pricing is fixed so expect to pay between 80 and 100 euros and slightly more towards the end of the day. You can also save money by sharing with others. There are gondola “ranks” around San Marco Square and near the Rialto Bridge you will also see gondoliers touting within the city.
Or, you could try something different and head to the Jewish Quarter! Search out an elusive gondolier named Koba who wears his hair in blonde dread-locks and works this area. He will take you through less congested canals of the city. There is no said area where he can be found so you’ll have to explore the quarter to find him. Happy adventuring!