We spent the third day of our visit to Rome visiting the ancient center of the city. We toured the Forum first - good idea to do this in the morning when it is slightly cooler, even then it still was quite warm! We entered from a side gateway which did not have a long line to buy tickets. The pass covers both the Forum and the Colosseum, and saves you from having to wait in the long lines at the Colosseum. Above is the view from ground level which somewhat just looks like piles of stones.
You need to get close to the pillars and arches to appreciate the size and details.
The Arch of Titus showing the treasures from the temple in Jerusalem being carried away.
I enjoyed photographing the details of various pieces.
The Colosseum is located right next to where we exited the Forum. We cooled off in a shady spot under the pillars with an expensive Coke and watched the police play a cat and mouse game chasing off the illegal vendors. Once refreshed we went inside.
We wandered around the various levels. The stairs to climb up are much larger than normal steps and we got quite a workout! Quite an impressive building. I've heard recently that it is due for extensive restoration because one side is sinking, so glad we were able to see it when we did.
We finished the afternoon by visiting the Capitoline Museums. I got to see many works of art that I knew from art history books. Above, the statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. They were having a special exhibit called Lux in Arcana with treasured writings from the Vatican. It was amazing to look at documents written by Michelangelo and Abraham Lincoln. (Free app for the exhibit here.) The museum had a confusing layout with connections to various wings on different floors. So we were lucky that unexpectedly found the portico that looked down on the Forum. This definitely is the "postcard" view of the Forum because you get a sense of the layout of the streets and buildings.