Exploring Rome: The Colosseum
Italy is famous for its historic monuments. These symbols of the Roman Empire have even become top tourist attractions since people line-up to visit them. One of the most visited is the Colosseum – an arena where gladiatorial combats and animal fights have been held.
The largest amphitheatre, epitome of Ancient Rome
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum is an elliptical structure wide of 512 feet. Made of travertine and bring, it stands up to 187 feet. The amphitheatre has been built within a decade by a Flavian Emperor – Vespasian, back in A.D 80. The 3-storey building was a gift to Emperor Titus and the Romans to hold festivals such as the 100 days of games. The most popular were the deadly battles between slaves, criminals on death sentence and war prisoners. The events in the arena – attended by 65,000 spectators, went on for about four centuries before coming to a halt. In the 18th century, it has even become a source of building materials. Until it was opened to visitors, two-thirds of the Colosseum has been destroyed. Reparations are kept being made to preserve the remaining structure of the iconic symbol of ancient Rome.
Gearing up for your monument visit
For it’s one of the most popular attractions in Rome, the Colosseum welcomes many visitors every day. Queuing could last longer than the monument tour. However, there are several ways to sidestep the long lines. The most obvious is indeed buying your tickets beforehand on the official website. There is no simple ticket for just the Colosseum. The 12-euro combination one will grant you access to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill for 2 days. A self-guided tour will also help you avoid the queue but is more expensive – you have to buy the audio guide for 6 euros besides the entrance fee. Skipping the ticket line is also definitely possible if you sign up for a guided tour! Plus, you could have a look at the underground chambers of the Colosseum – inaccessible to people with regular tickets. However, all options can’t skip the security check which can be quite slow and create a line-up. Also, do not carry backpacks or big purses when visiting the Flavian Amphitheatre. They are not permitted inside.
What else is to see around the Colosseum?
Touring the Colosseum takes about one to three hours and it opens from 8:30 am until an hour before sunset. Should you spend the day in the Historic Centre of Rome, you could therefore have the time to visit other attractions. Besides, many of the monuments are in the vicinity: the fountain of Trevi, the Pantheon, the Spanish steps, Piazza Navona, the Vatican… If you plan to tour the city one day at a time, you could find a villa rental for vacation because a hotel could be quite expensive. A pass or a discount card might also come in handy if you consider visiting other sites of Ancient Rome. A 48-hours pass costs 28 euros. You’ll get free admissions to the first sites, free and unlimited access to the city’s public transport and discounts to many attractions and services.