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The Colosseum – A place of Legends

The Colosseum in Rome has long been a place of myth and legend and has heavily featured in many movies and television shows most notably Spartacus, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Roman Holiday as well as in the computer game Assains Creed: Brotherhood just to name a few. The first thing that comes to mind for most tourists when visiting Rome, Italy is a must-see visit to the Colosseum and it was certainly on my bucket list to see the 7 wonders of the world.

The Colosseum and The Arch of Constantine

Fascinating Facts About the Colosseum

Fact 1: The tunnels you can see in the photo below, held Gladiators and animals on event days, which were covered over with wood to make the arena floor and had 36 trap doors to create special effects and entrances much like what we see in the WWE wrestling on television today.

Fact 2: The Colosseum hosted many events, most notable were the Gladiator events as depicted in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and the television show Spartacus, other events included Gladiator Vs Beast (it’s estimated over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals lost their lives during these games. A less known event held at the Colosseum was the Navel reenactments in which the Colosseum was flooded so epic mock naval battles could be reenacted.

Fact 3: The Colosseum has over 80 entrances and held approximately 50,000 spectators who all had free entry. But not all seating was equal as you can see from the shape of the Colosseum there are four tiers and were arranged according to ranking. The best seat was the Imperial Box/cubiculum on the north side of the Colosseum, which was reserved for the Emperor and those close to him. Around either side of the Imperial box were the Imperial seats marked for the most elite of the Romans which included members of the Royal family, senators, nobles and priests. The next tier up was the Knights and the wealthy, the third was the ordinary Roman citizens not of nobility or wealth and the fourth tier was for the poor and the slaves.

Fact 4: As you can see from the picture below there is a taller side of the Colosseum, I always thought that was part of the design but it’s actually not. The white marble from which it was made, was so highly sought after by Architects back in the day that it was robbed. It has even been known to have turned up at St. Peter Basilica and other later monuments.

Fact 5: The Colosseum took 10 years to be built by 60,000 slaves which started in 70AD and finished in 80AD and was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian founder of the Flavian Dynasty of Emperors and the first games were held under Emperor Titus (son of Vespasian).

Fact 6: The final fact although not in it’s original state the Colosseum has stood tall through earthquakes, fires, war and vandalism. The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.

Inside the Colosseum, looking into the gladiator pit.

Tips for Visiting The Colosseum

Tip 1: Avoid the queues by pre-booking your tickets online or getting the Rome Pass or even joining a small tour group. This way the only line you will be in is the bag search one, which moves pretty fast.

Tip 2: If you want to get into some of the restricted area’s of the Colosseum, go on a small tour.

Tip 3: Your ticket to the Colosseum also covers the Roman Forum and Palatine hill which will take the whole day to really get the most from your experience.

Tip 4: Bring some water and some snacks, as the shop is quite pricey.

Tip 5: Wear comfortable shoes you will do a lot of walking and the steps are very steep.

Tip 6: Keep your valuables close to you as this is a busy tourist attraction and pickpockets like to distract tourists.

The vomitoria is where the rich used to excuse themselves when their stomachs were full up so they could be sick

Where is the Colosseum and How to Get There

Address: Piazza del Colosseo

Public Transport:

  • Bus: Line 75, 81, 673, 175, 204
  • Tram Line 3
  • Metro B – “Colosseo”

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9 Comments
  • Lisa
    November 20, 2017

    You’re so right about taking your own snacks, it’s get very expensive here! The Colosseum is one of those places everyone needs to visit once. Just make sure to buy your ticket beforehand!

  • Bhusha
    November 20, 2017

    Great tips. I went there last year and it was one of my most cherished trips. Very true about booking tickets in advance and bringing water with you. Really water is so damn costly here!

  • Raghav
    November 21, 2017

    One of the most notable monuments in the entire world and what an architectural wonder. I am told the acoustics are astonishing on the inside and of course from the outside it is a true marvel. I love the photos which really capture the grandness of the Colosseum. Thanks for all the tips especially about taking a tour so as to visit the restricted areas.

  • Yukti
    November 21, 2017

    Colosseum is one of the splendorous structure of Rome. Also the location of it is great as it is very near to City centre and don’t have to go far from Rome. All your tips are very useful specially to avoid Q’s. I went to Rome in snow time so never had any Q there. You have taken nice shots of this wonderful structure.

  • Soraya
    November 22, 2017

    Oh wow, how I would absolutely love to visit the Colosseum one day. And what a deep, rich yet maybe a little bit dark history. It’s an incredible number to learn that about 500,000 people and over a million animals lots their lives during these Gladiators events. I would totally prebook my ticket online to avoid lining up – I can only imagine the long queue to get in!

  • James
    November 22, 2017

    I visited the Colosseum years ago and forgot how big it was. In the day holding 50,000 spectators must have been an amazing atmosphere. I still can’t believe how advanced they were. There is nothing obstructing the view in any seat of this structure!

  • Rosie
    November 22, 2017

    Everytime I see pictures of the Colosseum I am left speechless! It looks incredible and I hope I get to visit one day, your tips and recommendations will be very useful, I would definitely take the tour.

  • Parnashree Devi
    November 23, 2017

    This is such a helpful post for those people who are still planning to visit Italy. I loved the fact that you have mentioned facts and also tips in the same post. Since it is a huge tourist attraction, it is always advisable to book your pass in advance through online. thanks for this guide.

  • Manjulika Pramod
    November 24, 2017

    In Rome, Colosseum is a must do. What took 10 years to build is definitely a masterpiece! 80 entrances sound interesting. Thank you for sharing the tips. Also it was good to learn that ticket to the Colosseum also covers the Roman Forum and Palatine hill.

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