Me being inside the Colosseum is pretty much the basis of this entire trip.
There’s the fact that I loved history at school, and went on to study it at university. There’s also the fact that I grew up reading The Adventures of Asterix as a child, so Ancient Rome has always held a particular fascination for me.
Standing within those walls, which have seen countless people pass through over the millennia is quite awe inspiring. Here I am as a tourist looking at this history. So many have been here before me, as spectators, emperors, senators, slaves, and victims.
The varied history of the Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre or Coliseum) is pretty interesting. I won’t delve too deeply here as you can look all that up yourself, but as a taster:
- Built around 2000 years ago between 72 AD and 80 AD by the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus;
- It’s estimated that the Colosseum could hold up to 80,000 people;
- Built of concrete and sand, The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built;
- It could be filled with water to re-enact sea battles for the public of Rome;
- Apart from the uses most people know, the Colosseum has been employed as accommodation, a cemetery and a castle among a multitude of other things;
- Much of the building was cannibalised over the years to build palaces and other public works;
- Contrary to popular belief, there is no proof that Christians were martyred at The Colosseum;
- It has a base area is 24,000 square metres (6 acres).
I recommend the audio tour which is €5.50 each. Throughout some of the hallways there are exhibits and notes, but in the main arena, there are limited placards, so the audio tour is invaluable to get the history of where you’re standing.
Each significant area has a number that you can then press into the handset, which will then tell you everything you need to know, whether it be about the architecture history or something else interesting.
I took about a billion photos while there, and have whittled them down to a mere million for you to peruse below if you so wish.
I apologise to anyone who feels there are too many photos – this has been a dream come true for me to enter these walls, and so every photo at every angle holds some sort of significance to me. The same will be said for The Forum when I write about that in the coming days.
I wrote a quick article the other day about the best way to get tickets. If you are planning on going, don’t wait until the last minute to book the underground tour. Unfortunately, I left it too long and missed out.
For anyone thinking of visiting Rome, or if you’re into Roman history, I highly recommend the When In Rome, as well as Emporers of Rome podcasts. If you’re not an iPhone user, then just search for “When In Rome” in your podcatcher of choice.