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Barb's son wrote: My grandmother wanted to see the Coliseum. Our driver told us that people used parts of it to make other things, and that one of the popes tried to destroy it.
Opening hours from 8:30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8:30 am - 2 pm, June 2 1:30 pm - 7:15 pm):
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from January 2 to February 15
8:30 am - 5 pm from February 16 to March 15
8:30 am - 5:30 pm from March 16 to last Saturday of March
8:30 am - 7:15 pm from last Sunday of March to August 31
8:30 am - 7 pm from September 1 to September 30
8:30 am - 6:30 pm from October 1 to last Saturday of October
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from last Sunday of October to December 31
Closed January 1, December 25. Ticket office closes one hour before closing time
Tickets COLOSSEO/FORO ROMANO and PALATINO valid 2 days:
ADULTS € 9,00 + € 2,00 (for exhibitions)
REDUCED FEE € 4,50 + € 2,00 (for exhibitions) for European Union members between 18 and 24 years old
FREE ENTRANCE for persons under 18 and over 65 years old from the European Union
ENTRANCE RESERVATION individuals € 1,50
Phone: +39 (0)6 399 677 00
- Historical Travel
Our first day arriving in Rome and we took the Metro bus down the block from our hotel to the Colosseum. I bought our tickets online ahead of time using the official ticket office of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum at http://www.coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm We waked right past the crowd waiting for tickets.
While walking the very short distance from the bus stop to the Colosseum entrance you get bombarded by immigrants trying to sell you selfie sticks. They get right up in your face. I already had my own so make sure that you have it attached to your cell or camera. They will see it and walk away. We didn't do that and we were approached more than 15x. Very rude and annoying. Every time I would say no, I would get hissed at. I ended up doing it right back at them with a dismissal hand wave. Once inside, you are okay. Expect scaffolding around. C'mon, this place is old but so beautiful! We didn't take any tours. There were enough going on that you could just tailgate if you wanted to. LOL! We didn't but around every open area you can't help but hear the stories they tell. Lots of beautiful photos. Very grateful that we had a gorgeous day in late October to enjoy this.
As we exited, we were once again bombarded by more annoying selfie stick immigrants. They really put a damper on trying to enjoy walking from the colosseum over to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum which was also included in our ticket. Make sure you try the water that comes out of the water fountain which is after the arch I believe. It is the perfect cool temperature and purely wonderful. Even though it was quite crowded since it was a school holiday in Europe, it didn't feel packed at all. Be careful to wear very comfortable shoes. You'll be walking on uneven ground.
We departed back to get surrounded by those selfie stick fiends as we walked back to the Metro bus stop that was across the street from where we originally got off. So easy taking the bus. Even easier when you buy the Metro pass.
(Photos are riding the Metro bus, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill)
The Colosseum is a Must-See Must-See. The Romans revered engineering and nowhere is this more evident than in the remarkably well preserved Colosseum. Brave the lines then head back away from the crowds to the Eastern end (if the lines still enter from the West) The crowds move and you can avoid them by going where they currently aren't.
There is a prophecy made by the medieval monk Venerable Meda that says: "Rome will exist as long as the Colosseum does; when the Colosseum falls so will Rome;when Rome falls so will the world” It seems that it was the first time that the world Colsseum was used referring to the Flavius Amphitheater. May be that name came from the Colossus, a statue 35 meters rapresenting emperor Nero which stood next to the amphitheater and now has been totally destroyed.
Directions: Metro stop Colosseo
- Historical Travel
The Colosseum; originally known as Flavian Amphiteatre is a huge elliptical amphitheatre located east of the Roman forum. The building of this stadium was begun under emperor Vespasian in 72 A. D. It was inaugurated by Titus in 80 A. D. and completed by his brother Domitian in 82 A. D. The Colosseum was built on the site of an artificial lake belonged to Nero Domus Area' s gardens.
This stadium is 188 per 150 meters large. It has 80 arches used as entrances. So that people could enter or exit in a few minutes. It could hold up to 80.000 spectators.
Various games were held inside the Colosseum. For instance; fights between men (the gladiators!) and fights between men and exotic animals. Most of the gladiators were slaves or prisoners of war. Even dramas and executions were held inside here. Sometimes the Colosseum was flooded for mock sea battles.
Entry to the Colosseum was free for all Roman citizens, but they were seated according to rank.
From second half of the VI century the Colosseum was used for other purposes than a stadium. For example it was occupied by the Frangipans family who built their fortress here in the XIII century. In 1750 pope Benedict XIV transformed it into a place where to commemorate the Christian martyrs. Moreover it was plundered to build other constructions in Rome.
Address: Piazza del Colosseo.
Directions: Take metro B to "Colosseo" tube station.
- Arts and Culture
Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, this largest of Roman arenas was constructed between 70 and 80 AD on the former site of Nero's artificial lake. That very naughty emperor claimed as his own a large area of Rome which had been devastated in the great fire of 64 AD, and built the lake, extensive gardens and a lavish palace (Domus Aurea) in the space. He also supposedly had an enormous likeness of his cheeky self cast in bronze and placed near his new house for all to admire. It was this statue, the Colossus of Nero, that is believed to be from which the Colosseum acquired its revised name. Anyway, Nero's evil ways caught up with him and after he rather reluctantly cut his own throat to escape slow death by flogging, his successor, Vespasian, reclaimed the land for the public. The new emperor had most of the palace torn down, gave the colossus a new, non-Nero-like head, filled in the lake and ordered the building of this massive entertainment center for the people of Rome.
A couple of interesting facts:
• The design was so efficient for filling and emptying the arena of thousands of people in a hurry that it's still the model for athletic stadiums built two thousand years later
• Although all events were free, everyone had to have a ticket and were seated according to their social class
• The exterior walls were once covered with marble which was later looted to make quicklime or reused as building material for other structures
• While many unfortunates perished here in games of weaponry and spectacles involving wild animals, there is no record that any of them were Christians martyred for religion. Most casualties were gladiators or condemned prisoners.
• Almost as an apology for its violent history, the Colosseum is now an international symbol of support for abolishment of the death penalty. Whenever a death sentence is commuted anywhere in the world or any country abolishes capital punishment (a requirement for joining the EU) the ruins are illuminated with gold versus the white lighting normally used.
There's too much to cover here so do some reading before you go. I'm including the URL for the site with entree fees, hours, etc. Tickets include entry to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, and are good for 2 days: buy them at Palatine Hill to avoid the worst of the lines! Audioguides are available as are guided tours:
You may also pre-order tickets here:
And see my tip on Chiosco Bar for a great place to take a breather in Parco Colle Oppio just down the street:
NOTE: advance reservations for the Third Ring/Underground tours offer on the Coopculture website sell out very quickly during high season. Also, if you are planning to visit the Forum and Palatine on the same day as the Colosseum, be aware of bag size restrictions for those two sites:
Address: Piazza del Colosseo
Directions: CAPITOLINE/PALATINE: near Palatine Hill and the Forum
- Historical Travel
I have visited Rome three times and will this fall spend six months there to study Italian now after graduation. I love Rome and it is a magnificent city in so many ways I can't even count them, but there are some things one should know before visiting.
A big warning where one is most likely to encounter beggars, thieves, pickpockets, street sellers, scammers and "weird" or even "dangerous" people, or just people in general that might cause you an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience - they mostly gather on tourist attractions. So try to bring as little as possible whenever you're out exploring, leave your passport/ID/credit card at the hotel locked in a safe. Always bring cash, that's my number one tip. I have never been robbed in Rome, and I always try to bring as small purses as possible and always close them. No money in the back of your jeans pocket, then you will most likely get robbed. Also try to keep you cellphones and camera in your bags as much as possible - showing off your iPhone/camera will make you an easy target. The underground is also an easy place for pickpockets to approach you and rob you, so I never get on a way too crowded train - in that case I keep my purse in sight and therefore have full control that nobody is trying to rob me.
And, speaking of the worst tourist attractions I'd definitely say the Colosseum. There are except for street sellers, pickpockets, scammers etc. also homeless people living there. When I was there on a school field trip in October, I saw the same man two days in a row masturbating in public on a bench in the middle of the square! There were children passing by him, and he just lay there completely careless. Just minutes later, he approached my female classmates and said "Ciao bella" - they were not present when he lay on a bench. This was an extremely uncomfortable situation for me, I ran away and threw up as he wiped himself on the bench.
Lesson learned: try to spend as little time on the square of tourist attractions as possible - just pay the entrance fee, enter and get inside, and therefore exit when you're done. Also never sit on the benches of famous tourist attractions as many homeless people sleep on them and therefore it is a likely location for bacteria to spread. And well, also be well prepared and try to visit the less tourist crowded areas. I really liked the Trastevere area, check it out!
It's gorgeous, overwhelming and breathtaking and is one of those most photographed and recognized buildings in the world. Believe me when I tell you that a visit to the Colosseum will not disappoint. I had wanted to see the Colosseum since I was a little girl and when I finally took a trip to Rome, I was absolutely overcome with its sheer size and beauty!
Ticket and admission lines are very long here all year, so be prepared to wait (and wait). You can shave off some time by purchasing your ticket in advance online. I highly recommend doing this. There are all sorts of tips and tricks for avoiding the lines (check out Rick Steves for the most up to date tips). A tour is especially informative but you can still see much of the structure if you opt to do a self guided look about. Note that you cannot go into some areas of the building unless you are accompanied by a licensed tour guide.
It's haunting during the daylight hours but is breathtaking when lit up at night. Try to go around dusk and sit outside and marvel at this architectural wonder (but be warned that you will be pestered like crazy by people trying to sell you tourist junk).
This is my favorite spot to waste time in all of Rome.
2007: We'd just come limping from the Colosseum (and nine hours on our feet) and were heading through the park across the street when we saw a little kiosk and scattering of tables in a cool, green corner. Sinking gratefully into a couple of chairs, we ordered up a beer and spent a delightful hour or two within view of the ancient arena and the ruins of Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea.) Our brews came with an attentive waiter and lighthearted chatter from little groups of Italian friends and families seated nearby: grownups sipped coffee and wine in the shade; tiny babies were fussed over and passed around; older children dribbled ice cream and sped around on scooters; lots of laughter... this is still one of my favorite memories of Rome.
We made a beeline here on a return trip in 2012, crossing fingers and toes that it hadn't closed. Not only was it open but our Senegalese waiter from 5 years earlier was still scuttling about with trays of espresso and wine. It was a joyful reunion all around, and Mustafa was very glad to see us - once we jogged his memory.
The best part? It remains virtually undiscovered by the hordes mobbing the pile down the street. We've been here four times (would have been 5 but it's closed on Mondays) and have yet to see or hear another tourist - not that it couldn't happen.
Chiosco has been a park fixture for over 40 years, and you'll find it close to the corner of Viale Della Domus Aurea and Via Mecenate in Parco Colle Oppio. Don't worry about the name of the park as it may not be clearly marked; it's the green space across the street from Colosseum. Best way is to enter the park on Viale Serapide and follow it to the east. The bar is also east of the Domus Aurea ruins, and close to a playground so it's a great place to bring the kids. I'm including a website with a fun write-up from another big fan of this little gem (when it was Pavilion Bar):
Addendum: what with long-awaited weekend tours now available of some restored areas of Domus Aurea, Chiosco will likely be discovered by more tourists: the Parco Colle Oppio excavation is within splittn' distance.
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
One of the things I had looked forward to see in Rome
was the colosseum. When we came there the queues
were very very long so unfortunately we didn't enter.
Anyway it was still impressive to see it from the
outside if you want to enter it can be good to book
tickets in advance on Internet.
Colosseum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rome.
It is an ancient Roman amphitheater which was built between
70-80 AD. It could take up to 87000 people in the audience, an
audience that came here to see gladiator tournaments, fights
between wild animals and executions.
Colosseum is 48 meters high and it is 524 meters in circumference. We walked around the whole building.
Colossum by night looks just stunning. It is extremely well illuminated and one who did it is a master of his job. The light is graduated from almost poor to very bright and this combination was perfectly executed. This play of shadow and light in rotation makes Colosseum very attractive in a dark night, as it was during my stay in Rome.
The outer walls of travertine stone were set without mortar, they were held together by iron clamps. During the centuries, however, it has suffered extensive damage and its large segments collapsed following several earthquakes. The present day exterior of the Colosseum is in fact the original interior wall. The amphitheater was ringed by eighty entrances at ground level.
In medieval times the arena of the Colosseum was converted into a cemetery, and numerous vaulted spaces in the arcades were converted into housing and workshops. Around 1200 Frangipani Family took over the Colosseum and fortified it, using it as a castle. Later on, the interior of the amphitheater was extensively stripped of stone and such devastation culminated in the 15th and 15th centuries, when the stone of the Colosseum was massively used as construction material.
In 1780, the Pope declared the Colosseum a holy place where until the fourth century mass torture and martyrs of the Christians took place and thereby further devastation stopped.
Yes, it looks huge when looking at it from the outside but its real proportions one can be aware of only after getting inside. There were seats for about 60.000 spectators on three different levels. Each class had separate entry and separate seats. First level was dedicated exclusively to judges, senators and aristocracy. The second one was for the middle class while third on the top for those who were poor.
There were the underground levels too, called "hypogeum", where gladiators, servants and animals stayed during the games. Hypogeum itself had different levels with huge network of paths, staircases and elevators. The ground floor, where gladiators fought, was called "harena", it's Latin name for the sand. The colloquial name for the amphitheaters soon became arena.
Gladiator fights took place approximately 500 years. In the 6th century the Colosseum was practically abandoned, because it no longer served its purpose. Namely, the last gladiatorial fight mentioned around 435.
The Colosseum was originally called "Flacian Amphoteatre" but the name that is popularly called has received after the colossal statue of the Emperor Nero, which once stood in front of the amphitheater. It was primarily built for the gladiator fights but it also served for various other spectacles, such as, hunting of exotic animals or for a sea battles. The construction was completed around year 80, during Emperor Domitianus, who was the last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.
The Colosseum has a shape of large cylindrical body in an elliptical floor plan, with seats that are slanted down towards the arena.
Colosseum had a wall mantle, that has almost disappeared in the arcade openings through which the corridors, on three floors, treated with light and air. Same arcades were decorated with sculptures, which in passed centuries have disappeared, and on top of the amphitheatre was a wooden structure with a sliding roof of the canvas.
So-called "hypogenum" is a series of underground tunnels, used to house animals and slaves while waiting their turn for a fight. It consists of two level subterranean network of cages and tunnels beneath the arena. Around eighty vertical shafts provided instant access to the arena for caged animals and scenery pieces, while larger hinged platforms (hegmata) provided access for elephants and other big animals.
The hypogenum was connected by underground tunnels to a number of points outside the Colosseum, like stables for animals, gladiator's barracks at the "Ludus Magnus". (Ludus was a training school for gladiators.). In hypogenum existed elevators, lifting cages for animals and hydraulic mechanisms to flood arena rapidly. Except for gladiator fights, the Colosseum was used for staging spectacular naval battles and then the arena was kept filled with water.
The Colosseum was out of time architectural project, if necessary it could be emptied of crowd in about ten minutes, and it is very difficult to achieve in modern stadiums. The Colosseum was entered on 80 gates, in the ground level, while the emperor had at his disposal a separate entrance through the tunnel.
The viewers were strictly separated by status. The best seats were reserved for the emperor and Vestal Virgins, then for senators and patricians, while the top of the amphitheater was for the common people. Each entry had a numeric number and the tickets were of clay tablets on which there was wrote the gate number and the seat. Better places, close to arena, were called "immum" (the lower seats), while those for the common people have been called "summum" (the upper seats).
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