Flying into Rome, I took the chance to look out the window, and surprised myself. I had looked at the maps, I knew where Rome was. I also had my mental picture, from my history books of seven hills and the Tiber river. Approaching the airport, we flew over the ocean, where swimming pools, and beach umbrellas were visible along the coast: NOT my image of Rome.
In the morning, we left the apartment and headed to the nearby Metro station, only to find that the Metro was closed for an unexpected technical problem. After several fruitless minutes staring at the bus stop poster and trying to match up bus stops with our tourist map, we turned back to the apartment for wifi access and a better bus route plan.
A few hours later, we were fed, and armed with a bus schedule and a plan. The bus took us to Plaza Venezia, where we were able to walk a few blocks towards the Roman Forum. We had a guidebook tip to buy our tickets at the Forum, which would be good for both the Forum AND the Coliseum. This was the best part of my day. There was NO line at the Forum, while the Coliseum line was several hours long. After a walk through the Forum area and Palatine Hill, Boy discovered his highlight of the day, a lizard in the dirt!
We continued on to the Coliseum, where we bypassed the line and walked right in with our tickets. The bookshop there brought us some new reading material for the afternoon, in English.