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‎⁨Colosseum⁩, ⁨Rome⁩, ⁨Centro⁩, ⁨Italy⁩

Exploring The Colosseum at Night & Rome Scenic Sights

Rome — day or night is beautiful and exciting. This was our first night in Rome, Italy. After arriving in the morning, we were exhausted but eager to beat jet lag and see the sights, so we rallied and ventured off on a nighttime tour of the Colosseum. The night tour was spectacular — we saw the underground and parts of the Colosseum that you can’t access without a guide. We were blown away by its beauty, the history, and the tour.  I highly recommend doing this if you’re visiting Rome and have yet to see the Colosseum at night. You’ll beat the heat and the crowds and receive a personalized experience. Just check out the difference between the daytime picture of the Colosseum and the nighttime images below.
The Colosseum in the day

The Colosseum in the day transforms at nighttime.

Spectacular view inside the Colosseum at night

Spectacular view inside the Colosseum at night

Colosseum, Rome, Italy – mesmerizing at night

Someone said seeing Rome at night and in the day is like two different cities. I would agree. Nighttime exploration is ideal in the blazing heatwave that Italy has been seeing recently. Fortunately for us, the weather had turned a bit cooler but was still warm during the day. Rome is vibrant during the night, and the city bustles during the day. If you want to visit the common tourist attractions such as the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, you must plan ahead. We found our visit to the Trevi Fountain in the early morning is the only way! Far fewer people, but as the day grows, the people gather so much that it becomes a pedestrian traffic jam. These sights are definitely worth seeing, but do remember everyone thinks that.

We visited the Trevi Fountain in the morning, and by afternoon there were swarms of people.

The Villa Borghese, especially the Piazza de Siena is where the 1960 hosted the Summer Olympics dressage and jumping competition. Today, as you can see it’s a pretty grassy area for relaxing, sports, and picnics. It dates back to the 1790s and is a beautiful walk or place to just unwind. In 1605, Cardinal Borghese began turning his vineyard into a garden, forming this nearly 200-acre garden — the most extensive in Rome.

It is a beautiful area to meander through the garden and catch your breath away from crowds.

The Spanish Steps were surprisingly quiet; we could sit for a minute and take a break after walking about 11 miles (nearly 30,000 steps!) I believe the best way to see Rome, or any city, is on your feet. You miss too much if you’re in a Taxi, Bus, or car. I understand there are times when vehicular transportation is a must but do try to walk as much as you can. With that in mind, do bring good walking shoes. I wore Hokas, AllBirds, Birkenstocks, and Baretraps (just so I could have a “high heel” shoe) and I fit in perfectly. Overwhelmingly, the shoe of choice by tourists was a sneaker. I liked that I had several options and the shoes all served my feet well and helped me endure my long walks each day. And, whoever said you can’t wear socks with your sneakers — nonsense — lots of people including the Italians did! I brought many pairs of Brooks no-show white socks and was glad I did. 

Spanish Steps – Rome, Italy (on a not-so-crowded day)

You could even get a quick picture on the steps without hoards of people.
Spanish Steps

John Pollard on the Spanish Steps.

Beautiful night along the Tiber River in Trastevere. This river is vital to Rome. The Tiber River connects to the Tyrrhenian Sea of the Mediterranean near Ostia Antica. It’s been called various names over the centuries. The Romans referred to it as Albula because of its milky water color. Crossing over the Ponte Sisto gives you beautiful views of both the water and the city and takes you into this area I love so much, Trastevere.

Tiber River in Rome Map

Tiber River in Rome Map

In Trastevere, there are many restaurants, including one nearly impossible to get into called Da Enzo. They don’t take reservations. So, we tried to go one night and arrived at 7 p.m. when the restaurant opened (thinking we were early) and found a line that wrapped around the building. Ah, a reason to return to Roma!

Da Enzo crowd waiting to get in for dinner.

Da Enzo crowd waiting to get in for dinner.

Trastevere deserves its own blog post, so stay tuned for that. But know that this is an area you don’t want to miss. You can take a Taxi or an Uber to get to it, but guess what? I recommend walking! From the St. Regis, Rome it took us about 45 minutes or so. 

Tiber River

The Tiber River is essential to Rome. It connected the city of Rome to Ostia, a vital ancient port. Phoebe Chongchua enjoying a quiet night along the river in Rome.

The column of immaculate conception (19th-century monument) in Rome shows the Blessed Virgin Mary in Piazza Mignanelli. This is where, every year since 1953, with the help of Roman firemen, Pontiffs come to place a bouquet of flowers at the base of the column of the monument to commemorate the Feat of the Immaculate Conception.
Column of the Immaculate Conception

Column of the Immaculate Conception

One of my favorite things to do while exploring Rome on foot so far is a walking food tour with a small, lovely group of people in Trastevere (an area where my daughter studied abroad.)
Dinner in Trastevere with group of people

We did a walking dinner tour in Trastevere. I highly recommend this.

The wine cellar at Spirito di Vino in Trastevere. There are 5000 to 7000 bottles of wine in the cellar; John could stay here a very long time!
Cellar at Spirito di Vino in Trastevere, Rome

Cellar at Spirito di Vino in Trastevere, Rome

Rome is such a fascinating city with so much history, beauty, interesting people, and shopping. But for us, Toscana was calling. So, it’s off to the Tuscan countryside to explore medieval villages, wineries, and more. We head to Siena, Italy and see how the Sienese live, plus discover a grape varietal we knew nothing about! Read about our travels in Siena. Looking for another excellent restaurant in Rome, run don’t walk to Roscioli. I’m not kidding; it’s that good! Plus you’ll enjoy the unique experience of dining in a wine cellar or alongside their salumeria. Read about our dinner at Roscioli in Rome and how we squeezed in without a reservation (not typical) but we got lucky!

When I’m not blogging about travel and lifestyle, I’m creating digital content and marketing strategies for clients. I share stories that matter about your brand and teach clients to "Be the Media." I was named a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow" for my podcast "The Brand Journalism Advantage." Listen on iTunes or at