Annus Who-rribilis (sorry)

Non-Whovians read on at your peril. You’ve had enough of the holiday for a while. I’ve decided to have a bit of a quick break from blogging about my honeymoon in a kind of “What I Did This Summer” style to return to writing about the subject this blog was created for: Doctor Bloody Who.

Some people may have noticed that this is the 50th Anniversary year of Doctor Who. For the pedants, these ’50 years’ do include a pretty large 16-year hiatus, but in reality I couldn’t give a toss. The show first aired in 1963, so 2013 for the anniversary it is. As a result of this milestone we Whovians are getting a shedload of little (and big) treats to enjoy as the year passes, and I’m trying to enjoy as many of them as I can, money allowing.

We’ve had the daft little collectors’ things thus far, such as the stamps – which are lovely – and everything from gold-plated TARDISes to playsets and mugs and such like. These are nice little reminders that the show is getting a little bit of publicity, albeit at times it’s a little grating to see the Doctor’s face on a packet of biscuits for no reason whatsoever. I’m not going to complain about all that too much though; at least it’s not absolutely everywhere (yet), and even if it was, it’s something that I kinda have a bit of an interest in, so sod it.

Obviously we’ve already had the seventh series of the ‘new’ Doctor Who, and, while I felt parts of it were a little weak in places, it was equally strong in others – and while I could probably say for sure there are maybe one or two episodes this year I won’t be rushing to watch again, there are at least eight or nine I could happily watch over and over. Later in the year we’ll be treated to the multi-Doctor Anniversary special, and then the Matt Smith era comes to a conclusion with the Christmas special, in which we’ll be treated to a regeneration. Also to come is Mark Gatiss’ An Adventure in Space and Time, a feature length drama about the making of the original series, which looks really intriguing.

While I’m waiting for my television to explode with Doctor Who-related goodness, I’m having to find other Who things to do to pass the time. And find these things I have. As previous readers of my blog will already know, I’ve met Billie Piper and Jenna-Louise Coleman (who I understand has now changed her name to just Jenna Coleman – probably to save time when signing hundreds of autographs at a time). That was a fun weekend, but the year needs something else. Something a bit more substantial.

First up, something that only transpired in the last few days, and something for which I absolutely cannot wait. I’d noticed over the last few days that my Twitter (@djdarrenjones) timeline had gradually been filling up with photographs and tweets about people I’m following visiting the set of the TARDIS at Roath Lock Studios – a revelation which both shocked and appalled me, in equal measure. How were people getting onto the TARDIS? How, if I’d signed up for every single Who-related mailing list in the ruddy universe over the last few years, was I not hearing about this? A quick call to the Doctor Who Experience later, and I was advised that this was a special deal being offered by the Experience over summer – to visit the current set (located next door to the Experience in Cardiff) for the princely sum of ten pounds (on top of the usual £13 entrance fee to the Experience itself). Naturally I begged, stole and borrowed (from myself) and due to some superb help from a certain gentleman at the DWE – who I won’t name, just in case he went far above and beyond the call of duty – I’m now heading to the bloody TARDIS set in a couple of weeks. The current TARDIS. So current, that it’s possible it may even be closed on the day we turn up due to filming. Flaming well hope not though.

And then on to November 23rd, the day of the Anniversary itself. I’m heading down to London to attend the Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration – a huge official BBC convention being held at the enormous ExCel Centre. All we know so far is that there will be guests (Matt Smith, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Tom Baker have been announced at the time of writing), panels, an SFX Show and “other” stuff, details of which are yet to be released. It’s been suggested that there will be some sort of event in the evening directly related to the transmission that night of the Anniversary Special, which could be anything from a large cinema showing with a ‘Q and A’ with the stars, to a small TV placed in the corner of the room which only Steven Moffat and his SDCC chums are allowed to watch. Ahem.

Either way, this convention is being billed as something a little bit special, and I do hope it lives up to the hype. The tickets sold out in a matter of an hour or so, and every single attendee will be hoping for something memorable. I’m sure as the event draws near and more guests are announced, this will be a knockout weekend for those of us lucky enough to have tickets.

So, that’s it thus far. I think a trip to the TARDIS and a chance to meet virtually every companion and Doctor in one day could really make my year this year.


Vacanze Romane (Quarta Parte)

Delicious lunch scoffed, and the first beer of the holiday quaffed, we asked for and paid ‘il conto’ (the bill) before heading back out to continue our day. As we weren’t far at all from the banks of the Tiber, that’s where we went, for a gentle stroll along the river.

Day Two: Part Two: Roman Holiday II

The Tiber, not dissimilar to the Thames, or the Seine, cuts the city pretty much evenly in half. It passes close to the Vatican, before heading south-east. The north side of the river holds pretty much all of the well known sights of Rome, while the south side has the feel of a slightly less touristy town. More about the south side in another blog entry though, as we didn’t head over one of the many bridges across the river on this particular day.

We stopped for a quick rest after some fifteen minutes slog through the afternoon sun, and checked our various maps. As soon as I rested my arm on the wall of the bank I was bitten by a sodding ant, who scarpered as soon as I spotted him. I shook my fist angrily at him as he turned around, flipped me the finger, and disappeared into his nest. We found as we turned around we were just across the road from the Bocce della Verita (the Mouth of Truth) which onlookers will recognise from Roman Holiday. It’s essentially a stone face of a “God” – thought by Romans to represent the God of the Tiber – attached to a wall in an old church. Visitors are tempted to put their hand in the mouth of the God, and liars will find their hand will be bitten off. Back in the days of Audrey and Greg, passers-by could just wander in, walk straight up to the Mouth and have a go. Nowadays, sadly, it’s guarded by a man charging five Euros to stand next to it and have your photograph taken. I was very tempted to have a go, but I could just take a photograph from the side of the queue, and to be honest, just seeing the sight with my own eyes was enough for me.

It is worth reiterating just how hot it was in Rome at this point, as the next stop on our journey involved a walk of what seemed like hours, in blistering heat, to reach the Roman Forum. On the map, it didn’t look that far, but in reality, when it became apparent that the only way into the site was through an entrance on the far side, it was a real slog. Countless bottles of water and lemon Fanta later, we finally made it to the ticket office.

The Roman Forum was one of the highlights of the holiday for me. Despite the fact that the site is most certainly a ruin, you really get a sense of how it used to look some 2000 years earlier, in the days of the Caesars, when it was almost entirely filled with marble, and was the meeting place for the high-ranked members of the Roman Senate. Some of the buildings are now almost unrecognisable – broken pieces of ancient foundations, and stand-alone columns, the weight they used to bear now long gone – and other buildings have stood the test of time much better, and stand almost as they did two millennia ago.

The Forum’s main impressive sights are all found at the bottom of Palatine Hill, easily climbed via a cobbled path under some gratefully received shade due to the rows of large trees on either side. Halfway up the path we came across a public tap, free for anyone to use to refill their bottles of water. The heat was such that after around five minutes your refrigerated acqua minerale was actually warmer than your mouth was – not the cool, refreshing drink you’re hoping for after an hour-long trek around the ruins. Atop Palatine Hill stands the Arch of Septimus Severus, which sounds like a Harry Potter plot device, but is in fact dedicated to the former Roman Emperor of the same name to commemorate military victories back in the third century AD.

A few photos and swigs of lukewarm water later we felt we had seen enough, and decided to work our way out of the Forum and take the short walk down the road to head into the Colosseum, which of course was included in the ticket price for the Forum, so we simply walked straight past the enormous queue stood outside the ticket office and headed straight in. It’s an enormous structure – outside the building you don’t get the impression that it’s that big, but once you’re inside the Colosseum really lives up to the name. All around you the stands of the stadium tower over you, and in the centre, where the central arena space used to be, the narrow pathways of the former cells and tunnels for the ‘competitors’. Thankfully, despite the throngs of tourists outside, there never seemed to be that many inside, so walking around freely was pretty simple.

We’d had enough by this stage, so after a brief examination of the tat on offer in the utterly out of place gift shop in the Colosseum, we took off back to the hotel. The day had really knocked the stuffing out of us, so there we stayed from the remainder of the evening, enjoying the air-conditioning while nursing our blistered feet, ready for the next day of sightseeing.

Vacanze Romane (Terza Parte)

First day over and done with, we slept very well indeed back at our hotel, the Daysleeper B&B – so named as the owners are clear REM fans. That’s the band, not the type of sleep, although either way it would still work. On the second day, the holiday actually started. Here, for your delectation, is an account of what we got up to on that not-so-fateful sunny day.

Day Two: Part One: Roman Holiday

The previous night we both fell asleep very easily indeed at around 7:30pm. As a result, we woke bright and early, showered, shovelled a few rounds of toast in our hungry mouths and, after pre-checking a few of the local maps and Metro routes, we exited our hotel and headed out in the dry morning heat straight to the nearest Metro stop – Manzoni. Actually, the nearest one would probably have been Roma Termini, but Francesco (our host) had warned us that due to the crowds and ruffians it might be best to head to the other one. We bought tickets to Ottaviano, some eight or nine stops along the tracks. Ottaviano is one of the nearest Metro stations to the Vatican, which was the first destination of our day. To reach St Peter’s Square, the location of the famous Vatican City, we slalomed for around ten minutes through non-stop street sellers, trying to push guided tours, fake branded handbags, sunglasses and all manner of other tat on us. We then found ourselves slap-bang in the middle of the square.

St Peter’s Square is a huge area, with a long street leading up to it from the river. Two sides of the square are towered over by huge rows of ancient white stone columns, and between the two rows stands probably the most well known of the buildings, the dome-topped St Peter’s Basilica. In the centre of the square the towering obelisk has stood since the 15th Century. It was at first a pretty surreal experience, standing in a location I’ve seen on television for years. When you see the Pope delivering his address, chances are he’ll be standing on a balcony in the centre of the façade of the Basilica, overlooking the thousands of people congregating in the centre of the square. To a Mancunian, it is clear that the architects of the Trafford Centre took the majority of their inspiration from this square – certainly the dome, the rows of columns and the many statues lining the top of each one. One of the reasons we’d headed to the Vatican that morning was with a view to taking a look at the Sistine Chapel, and its extraordinarily famous ceiling, painted by Michaelangelo. Having seen the frankly ridiculous queues to enter the Vatican museum (which you need to walk through before entering the Chapel) we decided against it. Zo had already seen the interior of the Chapel, and I honestly don’t have any real interest in religious history or art. Call me a philistine, but there are other sights of Rome I had more desire to experience. Such as the bar, for example.

Photos duly taken, we meandered along Via della Conciliazione, a wide avenue lined on each side by churches, basilicas, shoe shops (!) and general religious souvenir stalls. If you’re desperate for a t-shirt emblazoned with enormous letters proclaiming that you “HEART PAPA FRANCESCO”, then this is the place to go. At the end of the Via you reach the Castel Sant’Angelo, which stands upon the River Tiber (Tavere in Italian). This is a fascinating building. Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in AD 139, the structure you see now is drastically different. Around 150 years after it was built the walls were fortified in a deep reddish-brown brick and the huge circular Castel almost looks like a moored brick boat atop the walls. For the perfect postcard picture view of the Castel you walk across the bridge in front of it and look back. Statues of angels and saints adorn the bridge on either side, and the view from the other side of the river is memorable, and iconic. The location is deeply ingrained in my memory as this is where Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck head to for an evening dance (and a scrap with the locals) in the film Roman Holiday.

A short walk along the Tiber and a quick right turn later we soon found ourselves in Piazza Navona, a long sausage-shaped area with a grand fountain – the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – as its centrepiece. The fountain, designed by Bernini, represents four major rivers in the world: the Nile, the River Plate, the Ganges and the Danube. It’s an incredible piece of sculpture. Even the local young seagulls were happily taking a swim in the very refreshing looking waters, something I wouldn’t have minded doing, with the unforgiving heat from the sun pounding on us all morning. The Piazza was busy with local painters selling their wares, some very talented, some not so, yet business seemed a little slow.

Our next stop brought us to the Pantheon, one of the highlights of the trip, and a building I had wanted to visit for many years. Designed by the Emperor Hadrian almost 2000 years ago, the temple’s name refers to “all the gods” for whom it was originally intended. It became a church in the middle ages, and the exterior of the structure has that ancient, columned appearance you go to Rome to see. It stands in the Piazza della Rotunda (‘Rotunda’ referring to the domed interior of the Pantheon itself), a busy square occupied by tourists day and night. The magic of the Pantheon is inside, though. Free to enter, the only light is provided by a large circular opening in the ceiling of the dome directly above you, designed to allow one powerful shaft of sunlight to enter. It’s a spectacular sight, which changes depending on the time of your visit and the location of the sun in the blue Roman sky. The interior is lined with many columns, and the multi-coloured marble floor, while not the original stone, is a sight enough on its own. The artist Raphael is entombed here, and his final resting place is visible through a glass covering.

The Pantheon can get a little crowded inside, partly due to the fascinating interior, and partly due to the fact that getting in costs nothing. As such, we decided to move on. Just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Piazza we happened across another famous sight of Rome, the magnificent Trevi Fountain. I’m not sure I can do justice to the spectacle of the Trevi, unless you’ve seen it in person. There is a reason why this place is so famous and so popular with tourists and locals alike. As you would expect, there are a constant stream of photo-opportunists here although it’s not that difficult to make your way to the front of the crowds for an unrestricted view of the fountain. We were happy standing near the back however – the views are just as grand back there. The fountain represents the two contrasting moods of the sea – Neptune is accompanied by Tritons on either side, one of which is struggling to control a wild horse (of the sea, but not a seahorse) and the other is finding it much easier to master another, more calm horse.

Now we were hungry. We wandered to another Piazza, the Campo dei Fiori. This is a market square, the centre of which is filled with stalls peddling spices, pasta of all shapes and colours, clothing and kitchenware. Around the outside is a selection of trattorias and pizzerias, into which all the waiters attempt to drag you if you go within 100 yards of the front terrace. We were duly coerced into a lovely little trattoria with red and white checkered tablecloths, and we sat in the sun on the terrace. Zo ordered a tuna salad, I had a diavola (‘devil’) pizza – so named due to the spicy salami topping – and we both had our first beer of the trip. The food was perfect. Inexpensive and tasty, it was an ideal lunch to replenish our energy after a tiring morning. It was at this trattoria where we first encountered the sadly very common sight of unwanted musicians playing unwanted music at the most unwelcome time, while you’re trying to enjoy lunch and a chat in a peaceful terrace. They play their songs and then enter the terrace with paper cups, requesting donations. Although I have to say it’s a much nicer way of begging for money than just asking for it, it’s really pretty rude, and he barely earned a Euro from us or our fellow diners.

As the rest of the day still gave us plenty to do, I shall leave this post there, and carry on with the next entry shortly.

Vacanze Romane (Seconda Parte)

So, we’d arrived in the Eternal City, found and explored our digs for the next few days, and had smartened ourselves up after a morning of stressful travelling (for me, anyway). Donning our walkin’ shoes we left the Daysleeper, picked up a few bottles of ice cold water from a nearby Supermercado and headed out into the afternoon sun to begin our Roman Holiday.

Day One: Part Two: Arrival

Given that we were a little bit knackered after our travels, and that our hotel was only a relatively brief walk away, we decided to start off with a look at one of the most famous, iconic buildings in Rome, if not the world. The Colosseum is quite simply a magnificent structure, despite the fact that half of it has fallen off, and another huge section of it looks like it was built a few weeks ago. For those readers who have never seen it, it’s a perfectly cube-shaped structure, with a retractable roof and a McDonalds in the middle. No, not really. Everyone has seen the Colosseum – it’s just one of those ridiculously famous places on Earth, like the Eiffel Tower, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. To reach it, we simply had to walk along one long, curved road which led straight from the hotel right to it. I had a feeling as we walked that it would be one of those sights which you don’t see for ages until you get really close, and then it just jumps out at you. I was quite right. Nothing for around twenty minutes, and then suddenly, there it was.

I think we were probably expecting to see thousands of tourists, given that it was the middle of the afternoon when we reached the place, but it wasn’t actually that busy. That said, it wasn’t busy on the outside – but we’d done our research well enough to know that if you turn up on a midsummer afternoon and expect to walk straight into the Colosseum without queuing for hours, you’re kidding yourself. We had already decided to leave all the tours for subsequent days, as we wanted to simply wander around, take in the atmosphere and get a general idea of our bearings. We also knew, thanks to a very handy tip from my old friend Michael, that the ticket for entry to the Colosseum also grants you entry to the Forum (the very large and impressive area of ancient ruins just down the road) and vice-versa. While the queues for the former are normally enormous, and a good hour or two long, the queues for the Forum are tiny, and more often than not non-existent. The trick, therefore, is to head to the Forum first, buy your ticket and then do both without having to queue at all.

We left the Colosseum area and headed down the more tourist-packed pavement alongside a busy road which led to the Forum. Again, we weren’t planning to go in on that particular day, but passing the Forum in that direction meant that we would also pass a tourist information centre and we would be heading towards the city centre. The heat from the sun at this point was getting to baking point, and we soon found that sticking to the shaded areas was getting more and more tricky. After taking a few photographs over the Forum ruins, from a handy vantage point overlooking the site, we continued along the road, lined on each side by statues of Caesar – and tourist-trap Roman soldiers, who were more than willing to pose with unsuspecting photo-op hunters, only to charge them for the privilege once the pictures were taken. We eventually reached a busy piazza, where we happened across the absolutely massive semi-circled Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, an enormous, columned, white marble monument to the first king of unified Italy. We learned later during the trip that this monument, as jaw-dropping as it is the first time you clap eyes on it, is much maligned by the locals – partly due to its bright white colouring, which contrasts starkly with the brown colouring of the other buildings in the square, and partly due to its size and utter pomposity. Tourists refer to it as the “wedding cake” while the locals tend to name it the “typewriter”. As the building faces out towards the Via del Corso (Rome’s equivalent of Oxford Street in London, say) we also found during our stay that it seems wherever you are in Rome, you always seem to end up back outside it.

Heading away from the monument we passed through Piazza Venezia and headed onto the Via del Corso. A typical long, straight Roman road, Corso is lined on each side by boutiques, high street stores, banks and shopping malls, as well as a few small trattorias (small, family-owned restaurants and pizzerias). As we found ourselves craving our first pizza of the holiday we decided to sit in the outside terrace of one of these trattorias and order ourselves a pizza. Although our food was certainly not inedible, it was clear to both of us that these were simply heated up frozen pizzas, and that we had stumbled across a typical tourist-trap type restaurant, catering cheap food for the non-locals who hadn’t quite learned where the ‘proper’ eateries were to be found. We finished our food and paid up, leaving the standard 10% tip, before deciding that we were both totally shattered. We headed to the nearest taxi rank back in Piazza Venezia and had our first experience of the rollercoaster ride that is a cab journey through central Rome. We’d had quite enough for one day, so called it a night for day one…..

Vacanze Romane (Prima Parte)

I returned from Italy safe and sound on Sunday afternoon, having not been horrifically killed in a plane crash, nor drowned on a sinking ferry off the coast of Sardinia. The following is an account of our trip, recalled through brief notes typed on my iPhone throughout. The ‘brief’ notes are extensive enough, and as such I apologise for the sheer length of this uber-post.

Day One: Part One: Departure

As is the norm when I am preparing to take a flight I awoke frighteningly early. If I could wake up as easily during the working week, my morning ablutions would be somewhat less hurried. As a result, I was up and showered by a time I have never even seen on a clock before. I was anxious about the day’s travelling, and took a diazepam to help with settling my nerves. Our flight was due to leave Manchester Airport at 7am, and as such we had to be there for around 5am. As my wife is significantly more organised than I am, 5am was the time we arrived.

We dropped the luggage off at the desk and sallied forth to the security checkpoint. After some hellish queuing we made it through to the nightmarish prison that is the departure gate area (where the shops are). This place is merely a diversion or an inconvenience for the majority of folk. For an aviophobe such as myself it’s the second worst place in the world; a close runner-up to being sat 36,000ft in the air on a mechanical metal death trap with wings. After taking my second diazepam tablet of the day I noticed signs for a smoking area and, intrigued, we made our way there. It turned out to be a little metal cage stapled to the exterior wall of the airport, full of people drinking wine and quaffing ales, an activity I would have given my right kneecap to join in with, had I not been taking the tablets. This of course was despite it being 6am on a Wednesday morning and my breakfast thus far consisting of a mere bowl of cornflakes.

Cigarette extinguished, we made our way over to the boarding gate. A third diazepam was shakily shoved down my desert-dry throat and moments later I found myself on the aeroplane itself. Although we were due to take off at 7am, we were delayed by some thirty minutes due to a strike by the French air traffic controllers. I assumed at the time that the reason for their dissatisfaction could only be that they couldn’t face being part of a system which puts people like me through this hellishness every day, but now I think about it, it was probably about pay rises or something.

The beginning of the flight was essentially as I expected. Taxiing was scary and take-off horrible. I generally find myself gripping my wife’s leg with my left hand and holding on to the seat in front with my right when in flight, as if this alone is keeping us in the air, and the wings/engine/thrust/pilot are simply backup. I noticed as the aircraft climbed higher that a fellow passenger across the aisle adopted the brace position the whole time – something even I don’t do – and I found myself wanting to talk to him. As we levelled off however, and the seatbelt light was turned off by the captain, he disappeared.

After some forty-five minutes, and a further two diazepam tablets, I stumbled through the cabin to the toilet near the front of the plane. I will not use the toilets at the tail end – the rear of the plane is a no-go area for me. Heading back to my seat I bumped into the passenger I’d seen bracing himself during take-off. I introduced myself and asked whether he shared my fear of flying, as I’d suspected. He confirmed that he did, and we spoke in the aisle for around twenty minutes, as we saw the snow-dusted Alps passing below through the cabin windows. He told me that he’d learned to deal with his fear better by walking around the plane while in flight. He felt less of the turbulence and felt more comfortable. I had to agree with him. In the past I’d been fearful of walking around on a plane at all, but we both barely even noticed the turbulence we were encountering over the mountains, and we were relatively comfortable chatting. Soon, the captain announced that he was preparing to descend, and the only part of flying I actually enjoy was pleasant enough. We soon landed at Fiumicino Airport, and then taxied for what must have been around four million years, made to feel even longer due to my desperate need to relieve myself.

We disembarked the plane, collected our luggage and traipsed over to the train station adjoined to the airport. We found that one particular train – the Leonardo Express – would take us directly to Roma Termini within the hour. So we bought tickets at €14 each and hopped on. The countryside between the airport and central Rome isn’t the most picturesque, and not unlike most capital cities, the closer we got to the centre, the more graffiti and sun-battered apartment blocks we saw. Soon, we started to catch glimpses of ancient Roman architecture – viaducts, columns and ruined temples – and we knew we were about to arrive. Seconds later, we did. The train pulled into Roma Termini and everybody lugged their sizeable suitcases and holdalls onto the platform. A quick check of the map revealed that our first hotel, a B&B called Daysleeper, was on the same street as the station. So we dragged our cases outside into the baking midday sunshine, through the crowds and the many taxi drivers trying to pull us into their waiting cabs, and set off down the road. The map, as it transpired, was not to scale – and neither did it warn us in advance of the crazy Italian drivers and scooter riders flying past us, missing us by inches, as the ‘pavement’ (for that was what it was supposed to be) narrowed steadily the whole way.

After around ten minutes, we reached the bronze-painted metal doors of the building containing our hotel. We buzzed the intercom and our host, a friendly fellow named Francesco, came down to greet us. He directed us to the lift with our luggage while he took the spiral marble staircase up to the second floor. Meeting us there he invited us in, and we chatted for a while about the local sights, and convenience stores, and transport links. He gave us a Disney-style map, which featured little drawings of all the famous tourist sights in Rome, and circled each one with his trusty pink fluorescent pen. We learned that we were some twenty minutes walk from the Colosseum, and only ten minutes from the nearest Metro (underground) station. We also learned that there are only two real working Metro lines in Rome, which meant we would have to be ready for a decent amount of walking for the duration of our stay.

Francesco soon directed us to our room. While small, it was beautifully decorated, with modern fittings, and a lovely bathroom. The enormous shower was calling us both after our morning’s travels, and so we took it in turns to jump in and get ourselves scrubbed up. After we’d both scrubbed up we checked out the room and its facilities a little more. In one corner were shelves and shelves of cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee, wafers……which we were told would be replenished, free of charge, every morning. Francesco’s wife had even left us some home-made jam tarts, which I wasted no time in shoving down my throat. We were also pleased to note that the air-conditioning was capable of making the room feel like the Arctic, should we wish. Following a short rest on a most comfortable double bed, we decided to make a move and start to explore the Eternal City. First stop, the Colosseum.