There is no doubt that the Colosseum is the symbol of Rome. This impressive amphitheater is almost 2000 years old. Surely, its grandeur will take you back to the Roman Empire era. Colosseum’s construction began in 72nd, during the Vespasian Empire, and completed in 80th, during the reign of Emperor Titus. Its first name was the Flavian Amphitheater. The Colosseum got its name around the 8th century, after the Nero Colossus, which stood next to it. Today, only the Nero pedestal remains, as an artifact of that period.
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater, having an impressive size of 188 meters in length, 156 meters wide and 57 meters high. It was an arena for spectacular gladiator battles and other ancient fests, with the capacity of over 50,000 viewers. During the centuries, the Colosseum has survived various disasters – lootings, earthquakes, and even bombing, during World War II. In the previous ages, it was even a warehouse, church, cemetery and castle. The Colosseum, altogether with the holy Vatican City, is currently Rome’s most famous tourist destination. It attracts more than 6 million tourists every year.
What to see?
This is where the animal fights and gladiator battles have taken place. It was 83 by 48 meters in size, made of wood and with sand cover. However, the original Arena does not exist anymore, and today you can see the walls of the rooms below it.
It is an extensive two-story underground maze of tunnels, situated under the Arena. There were different rooms used as gladiator training spaces, exotic wildlife cells, and storages.
Like the Underground Tunnels, the Coliseum Level 3 Section is not accessible by the general public visitors. Therefore, you must book a special tour to explore it. Thus, you will be able to see you the most amazing view of the Amphitheater.
Palatine is one of the Seven Hills in Rome. The Luper Cal Cave is at its foot. That is where; according to the myth, there lived the Wolf, raising the founders of the city – the twins Romulus and Remus. At this place, the Roman emperors built their palaces to stay away from the nearby swamps, enormous heat, and noise. Gradually the whole hill became a huge palace.
The Roman Forum
It is at the base of the Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum was the city center of Ancient Rome, where the most important public buildings were constructed. There you have the chance to see two magnificent arches: the White Marble Arch of Septimius North and the Arch of Constantine.
Local Restaurants and Shops
Just opposite the entrance of the Colosseum, at the metro stop, is the Colosseo Metro Cafe. It is a cool place to meet people, offers nice coffee, pizza, and light snacks. Another cafe nearby is the notorious La Biga Ristorante Caffe. If you are looking for something more sophisticated and cozy, such as a rooftop restaurant, go to the Royal Art Café. Do you want to taste an authentic Italian cuisine? Then visit the Osteria Angelino restaurant, which is in business since the 1899th. You can try the best jelly at Gelateria Da Costanza. Keep in mind, that prices at establishments nearby the Colosseum are higher than in other parts in Rome.
If you want to get some souvenirs, step in the local I Love Roma and Souvenir Colosseo shops. At the Via S. Giovanni, you will find jewelry stores, clothing boutiques, art galleries, and even a pharmacy and supermarket. If you are a shopping enthusiast, head north to the Monti District, where you can find everything you may need – from fine clothes to chocolate bars.
What do you need to know before you visit the Colosseum?
- Book your visit online, by selecting the most convenient day and time to see the Colosseum. Additional fees may apply.
- The best time for a visit is early in the morning, to avoid waiting in long queues.
- The easiest way to get there is by using the subway Line B, all the way to the Colosseo stop.
- Keep in mind, that there are people in front of the Coliseum, who represent themselves as tour guides, and offer unrealistically high prices for visitors.
- It is highly unacceptable to enter the premises with backpacks, huge bags, prams, knives, and sharp objects.
- The security guard may check your baggage at the entrance.
- You must arrive at least 30 minutes before your booked time.
- If you want to see the Colosseum in its full grandeur, consider hiring a tour guide. Thus, you will explore every corner of it, which many tourists underestimate, due to their busy schedule or lack of time.
- Take at least one full day to explore the Amphitheater and its surroundings.
- It is better to come twice – in the daytime and at night. Thus, you will see different features of the Colosseum.
- Most tourists try to visit the Coliseum and the Vatican in just one day. Do not do it. It is very tiring and you will not be able to get a good look at any of the places.
- Wear comfortable shoes, because there are many stony and steep roads on your way.
- If you are going to visit the Coliseum during the warm months, take a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, because almost the entire tour is outdoors.
- A one-day ticket to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill
- One-day or two-day tickets to visit the Colosseum, the Arena, the Roman Forum and the Palatine
- Ticket to visit the Arena and the Roman Forum
- Ticket for the dungeons (the Hypogeum) with a tour guide
- The audio guide and the tour guide come with an extra charge. The tour guide is a subject to prior reservations.
- Roma Pass – valid for 48 or 72 hours. With the Pass, you can explore the most famous landmarks in Rome.
- Tour of the Colosseum, the Hypogeum and Level 3
- Tour of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill
- Tour of the Arena
- Tour of the Hypogeum only
- Night tour of the Colosseum and/or the Hypogeum
- EU citizens between 18 and 25 years old.
- Groups of 14 to 50 people with reservations and required audio guide.
Right for a free entrance
- Persons under 18 years old
- Tour guides and translators
- EU school groups with one companion for every 10 people – with reservation only.
- Disabled persons and accompanying
- On the first Sunday of each month
The Colosseum is accessible to people with disabilities. There is also an elevator up to the First Floor on the North Side.