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Colosseum

Of all the monuments in Rome, the Colosseum is without doubt the most breath-taking. It was there that the gladiators fought to the last breath and death row prisoners fought against lions. Construction of the amphitheater began during the rule of the Emperor Vespasian in 72BC and was completed by Domiziano in 82BC. The area in which it was built was part of Nerone's Domus Aurea a valley in which there was once an artificial lake around which stood buildings designed for the sole purpose of entertainment. The name Colosseum was given because of its vicinity to the colossal statue of Nerone. Originally called Amphitheatre Flavio and built to hold 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum wasn't the biggest in the city; the Circus Maximus held up to 250,000. The Emperor offered free shows to show his magnanimity in the Colosseum. The games included gladiator combat and shows with ferocious beasts, not forgetting the cruelest of the shows, those between men and animals. The majesty of the amphitheater is certainly due to the materials used. Blocks of marble and volcanic tuff sit one on top of the other, reaching 50 meters in height. In the center of the Colosseum there was a wooden platform covered in sand, or an "arena" as it was known in Latin. Places were assigned according to a strict social system; the best views were reserved for the Emperor, followed by members of the senate. In the underground corridors were arms holding rooms and large animals cages. A wooden elevator system allowed for the gladiators and animals to appear in the center of the arena, to the surprise and delight of the public. From these underground rooms there was a corridor which lead out of the Colosseum to the Ludus Magnus, still partially visible today.

 

Useful information

Tickets:

€12 combined entrance to the Colosseum, Foro Romano and Palatino.

€7,50 tickets for European Union citizens between the ages of 18 and 25.

Free entry to under 18s and the disabled.

 

Opening hours:

-Open every day bar 1st January, 1st May and 25th December.

-From the last Sunday of October to the 15th February: 8:30-15:30

-From 16th February to 15th March: 8:30-16:30

-From the last Sunday in March to 31st August: 8:30-18:15

-From 1st September to 30th September: 8:30-18:00 -From 1st October to the last Saturday of October: 8:30-17:30

 

Tour of the Colosseum

If you would like to learn about the fascinating history of the Colosseum in all its detail, take advantage of our guided tours. For further information visit our Colosseum, Palatino Hill and Roman Forum Tour.

 

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