How to Explore Rome’s Ancient Colosseum

There are few monuments in Italy, or even the world, more famous than the Colosseum. Its ivory-white and ochre walls lie under an age of dust and smog from the thriving city of Rome around it. This magnificent structure is a testament to Rome’s once-mighty empire, showcasing the exceptional integrity of the building to this day.

Located at the very heart of Rome’s bustling streets, the Colosseum has become one of the world’s most visited attractions, and for good reason. Not only is this an incredible building to be in the presence of for sheer size alone, but this oval shaped structure is also nearing its 2000th birthday, making it one of the world’s oldest amphitheaters.

History of the Colosseum

Built in the year 72 under the rule of Titus Flavius Vespasianus and completed 8 years later under Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, this building is the symbol of a dynasty that has stood the test of time. This was not, in fact, the end of construction on the great amphitheater. Further modifications were made by Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus from the year 81 to 96, collectively having been built over 23 years. These 3 emperors were known as the Flavian Dynasty, which lead to the local name of Anfiteatro Flavio or Flavian Amphitheater. It is more commonly known as the Colosseum, which was a name taken from a nearby statue named the Colossus of Nero. Though the statue is no longer standing, having been torn down in the 9th century for its bronze, the base can still be found near the Colosseum, marking the spot where the Colossus of Nero once stood.

The Colosseum Today

While it has remained in-tact for the most part, sections of the Colosseum have fallen to ruin. Both earthquakes and stone robbers are responsible for this. Fortunately, a large portion of it still stands, a great symbol of Imperial Rome’s strength. Standing inside and looking up at the enclosing walls, you can just imagine the structure in its prime, holding as many as 80 000 visitors in its stands.

Exploring the grounds of the Colosseum, both inside and out, is an experience like no other. History and culture seep from every crack. Every step takes you deeper into the past, the exciting atmosphere of the building enveloping each visitor. This colossal structure was known most famously for drawing crowds with its gladiatorial contests, as well as having been used for mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, reenactments of famous battles and even dramatic mythological plays.

A trip to Rome, Italy would simply not be complete without exploring the wonder that is the Colosseum.

Check out our Rome and Colosseum Tour today!

Language »