Colosseum & Roman Forum
The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is a top monument in Italy and has been a symbol of Rome since 80 AD. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built. It could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. Although partially ruined by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions.
The Colosseum is one of the most important and famous attractions and sites of history in Rome. Visiting the Colosseum is likely to be an overwhelming and fantastic experience, so this is certainly a must do. Queues are likely to be quite large, considering the popularity of the area, and it can become very hot during the summer months, as there is little shade to be had. For that reason, go prepared with a hat, sun-cream, and plenty of water. The Colosseum dates back to 70AD and was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian, as a gift to the people of Rome. The Colosseum opened for functions in AD 80 and was the site of many famous gladiatorial fights and animal fights. The time and the weather have taken its toll on some of the Colosseum, but it is still in fantastic condition, and you can almost hear the whispers of time when you enter this iconic site of history.
Before you visit the Colosseum, it is a great idea to read up a little on the history. This means you will be able to get the most out of your time. Be aware that it is a very popular place, so there are going to be crowds of people, no matter what time of day or time of year you visit. Try and avoid the peak summer months if possible, and if you can’t try and go as early in the day, or late in the afternoon as you can, as this will cut down on the number of people inside this iconic building. Of course, the Colosseum was built for entertainment purposes, to house epic fights to entertain Emperors and people of money, but for the people of Rome in general, this was an important spot to come together and watch entertainment of the time. The Colosseum, in its heyday, measured 620x513 feet and at the time it was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. It is a freestanding building and it is made of stone and concrete, which is different to many other amphitheaters of the time, which were often built into hills, to offer extra support. The outer of the Colosseum is iconic, with very distinct decoration and arched entrances. There are around 80 different entrances and they are all supported by massive columns. At the time, more than 50,000 people could be seated within the building, and it’s likely that these would have been ordered according to the social status: the higher up seats for, the more miserable people, with the nearest for the wealthier people. Anyone who has seen the film ‘Gladiator’ will have seen a glimpse of what the Colosseum was like during its most popular time, and these gladiators were often slaves, criminals, or prisoners of war, who were forced to fight for entertainment purposes, often to the death. The Colosseum was active for entertainment purposes for around 400 years, but times began to change with the fall of the Roman Empire, and the Colosseum fell into disrepair, as well as being affected by earthquakes and other weather-related issues. Almost two-thirds of the original building was ruined by the start of the 20th century, but in the 1990s, a dedicated project to restore the Colosseum to as much of its former glory as possible began. These days, the Colosseum is one of the most iconic and most popular attractions on the planet.