The Colosseum is an oval amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It’s the largest amphitheater in the world, built under the Flavian Emperors as a gift for the Roman people. The construction of this giant amphitheater started between A.D. 70 and 72 by Vespasian (emperor of the empire of Vespasian). It was completed in D.C 80 during the rule of his successor and heir, Titus. It opened nearly a decade later with 100 days of games, including animal hunts, gladiatorial combats, executions, and other kinds of spectacles.
Built with limestone deposited around mineral springs), tuff, and brick-faced concrete, the incredible Roman theater could hold up to 80,000 spectators. Besides gladiatorial combats and animal fights, the Colosseum was also used for dramas and re-enactments. With time, Romans’ interest in the gladiatorial games diminished, and the magnificent arena was neglected. Although nearly two-thirds of the original Colosseum had been destroyed, it’s still Rome’s greatest tourist attraction. It is one of the best seven wonders of the modern world.
Each year, it hosts millions of tourists from all across the globe who are reminded of the tumultuous history. This travel guide will tell you all the tips and tricks you can follow to make the most out of your tour of the Colosseum in Rome.
3 – 4 hours
Accessibility Level – Medium
From: € 20.00
Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Kids, Teens, Adults, Seniors
From: € 20.00
If you’re visiting other sites in Rome, buy the Rome Tourist Card which lets you see the best of Rome with this popular combi-ticket. Includes access to The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica (official guided tour), and more…
230V, 50Hz, 2 pins (you might also see type with 3 holes in one line, but you can still use it with devices with 2 pins)
As Colosseum is one of the top tourist attractions in Italy, you should protect yourself against pickpockets as there will be a huge crowd. Therefore, it’s better to leave your valuable belongings behind and only carry what’s necessary in your money belt.
Reasons to Visit
- Fascinating Outer Wall: This gigantic building looks glamorous from the outside. The 186 meters (610 feet) long and 156 meters (512 feet) wide oval-shaped Colosseum can make any modern football field look tiny in comparison. Although most of the ancient structure was damaged and collapsed over the years, it’s still an absolute beauty.
- The Hypogeum: As archaeologists removed the arena in the 19th century, you can see the astounding Hypogeum and get a tour of gladiator combats. You can see the fantastic two-story underground levels by booking a walking tour. The guide will take you to the cages where the Romans used to put exotic animals and gladiators before the beginning of each battle.
- The Bronze Cross: The Colosseum arena is protected by a 5m (16.4 feet) high wall so that people in the audience don’t get attacked by the animals and beasts. Located at the end of the Colosseum, you will find The Bronze Cross, which commemorates the deaths of the Christian martyrs. On your visit to the Colosseum, don’t forget to see the Bronze Cross and revisit the glorious history.
- The Statue of Nero: In 64 A.D, after the Great Fire of Rome, the polemic emperor Nero built a massive palace for himself. Inside, there was a huge artificial lake with a historic bronze statue of Nero alongside it. At an unknown point, the statue disappeared, and no trace was left. Now, only the base is left. You can find it right near the entrance of the Colosseum, so make sure to pass by feeling like a Colossus.
- Arch of Constantine: In the center of the amphitheater and the Palatine Hill, you will see the stunning, entire of-details Arch of Constantine. Built by the Roman Senate in 315 A.D, this arch was constructed to celebrate the victory of Emperor Constantine I in the Milvian bridge battle. This architecture is highly visible and linked with Forum Romanum.
- Revisit the History: If you are a history and adventure lover, visiting the Colosseum will take your Italy tour to the next level. By seeing the fascinating architecture, you will revisit the Roman empire’s great history and get amazed by all the ancient celebrations.
Things to Avoid
- Not Visiting the Roman Forum: When you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, you will automatically receive a Roman Forum ticket as well. Enter the Roman Forum entrance; it’s less crowded than other entrances. Once you have seen the Roman Forum, head towards the entrance to the Colosseum. By doing this, you will save time and money.
- Not Seeing the Breathtaking View From Palatine Hill: Located in front of the Colosseum, you will find Palatine Hill. It’s a must-see attraction; make sure to go up the hill for a beautiful view of the Colosseum.
- Not Buying Tickets Online: If you want to save yourself from hours of waiting time and standing under the scorching Italian sun, purchase your tickets from the Colosseum official website. It’ll cost you 2€ extra due to the online reservation fee, but it’ll be worth it.
- Not Going Early: If you want to skip the crowd and see everything on time, make sure to reach the entrance early in the morning.
- Not Respecting the Restrictions: There are a few restrictions that you should respect when visiting the Colosseum. You are not allowed to enter with large backpacks, luggage, and tripods. Make sure to check their official website to know everything beforehand.
- When On a Budget, Not Getting Free Entry: On the first Sunday of the month, the entrance to the Colosseum and many other museums and monuments is free. But be prepared for long lines because hundreds of visitors will be there to take advantage of the free entrance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best Time To Visit
Remember to check the weather forecast a few days before the trip and before heading to the airport.
The best time to visit this magical country is between March-May (spring) and September-November (autumn). During these two seasons, you will have a highly comfortable temperature. As a result, you can easily enjoy all the beaches, cities, and towns of Italy. However, these are also the busiest and most expensive seasons to visit Italy. So, if you are not on a budget and want to explore the Italian culture and regions without any limitations, spring and autumn are the best seasons for it – just don’t expect to have the place to yourself.
From November-February, you will experience cooler weather, and there are chances that some tourist places will be closed at that time. As a result, you will face more lunchtime breaks and fewer activities in the off-season. However, if you are a backpacker looking to pick up an epic bargain, you can take advantage of the winter months. Although beach locations and seaside towns will be shut down, you’ll be able to visit all the museums and art galleries without the jostling crowds.
Flights & Accommodations
What To Pack?
Unlike churches and museums in Italy, there is no dress code for visiting the Colosseum. Wear comfortable clothes so you can roam around the Colosseum and the nearby area comfortably. Pack your belongings in a money belt and carry a water bottle to avoid spending money on expensive water bottles.
Events & Festivals
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