Colosseum

View of the Colosseum, a Roman landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hey, history buffs and adventure seekers! Buckle up because we’re about to dive into the grandeur of ancient Rome – and what better place to start than the ultimate badass arena, the Roman Colosseum? Get ready for a journey through a place where gladiator battles were like the Super Bowl and lions were the halftime show.

See the Colosseum on A Tour:

Consider downloading the Parco Colosseo mobile app. This keeps up with your tickets from the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine, the Domus Aurea, and other museums. You can also purchase tickets on this platform as well.

These are the best, top-rated tours that get you into the Colosseum:

How it started:

The Colosseum was built on top of a former lake. Nero, the emperor that played music while the city burned in 64 BC decided to build a “pleasure palace” (ew) that incorporated an artificial lake on the grounds. After Nero’s suicide, the palace was demolished and covered up in dirt. The lake was filled in and the Colosseum was constructed in AD 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian as a gift to the Roman people.

It was built out of travertine, marble, stone, timber, and concrete by tens of thousands of slaves. The structure has 80 entrances and could seat 50,000 to 80,000 people at its prime. It is considered to be the most complex permanent amphitheater in the ancient world.

Historic Roman Colosseum, a symbol of ancient gladiator battles and entertainment.

The Gigantic Playground:

First off, let’s talk size. The Colosseum is like the rock star of amphitheaters, standing tall and proud, ready to host the ultimate ancient smackdown. Picture this: 50,000 roaring fans, epic battles, and a vibe that screams, “This is Sparta!” Okay, not Sparta, but you catch my drift. It was the largest amphitheater ever built during that time and was the only one that was free standing whereas most others were constructed into a hill side.

Gladiators were the celebs of ancient Rome, and the Colosseum was their red carpet. These warriors duked it out for glory, fame, and the occasional chance at freedom. The crowd went wild as these bad boys clashed swords, and you can almost hear the cheers echoing through time.

Wild Beasts and Trapdoors:

But it wasn’t just about gladiators; the Colosseum had some serious tricks up its sleeves. Trapdoors, elevators, and wild beasts – they knew how to put on a show. Imagine being in the crowd, popcorn in hand (or whatever the ancient version of popcorn was), as a bunch of tigers made a surprise entrance. Talk about a jaw-dropping moment!

To me, this is one of the most tragic pastimes of the Romans. Nine thousand animals were killed during the Colosseum’s opening ceremonies alone, and 11,000 were killed during a 123-day festival held by the Emperor Trajan. This makes me question humanity even more than I normally do, I can’t imagine feeling joyful or excitement watching this type of slaughter. Sorry for bringing the party to a screeching halt… anyway… let’s continue.

Exterior of the Colosseum in Rome, an iconic structure from the Roman Empire.

VIP Seating (Kind Of):

Want to know who had the best seats in the house? The Emperor, of course! The imperial box had the prime view for all the action. You could say they had the original VIP experience, minus the velvet ropes. This place definitely had a seating chart keeping the wealthy and the poor separate. Those with status sat close or had seats with good views while women and the less fortunate had to sit in the nosebleed section. Overall, the Colosseum could seat about 50,000 people.

Decline and Transformation:

As centuries passed, the Colosseum went through some tough times – earthquakes, pillaging, and whatnot. But here’s the cool part: even in ruins, it’s still standing strong, telling tales of a bygone era. The Colosseum went from being the ultimate gladiator battleground to a medieval fortress and even a quarry for building materials. Talk about a glow-up through the ages!

Modern-Day Icon:

Fast forward to today, and the Colosseum isn’t just an old amphitheater; it’s an icon. Tourists flock to witness its majestic beauty, snapping selfies and trying to imagine the roars of the crowd from centuries past. It’s like the ultimate time-travel selfie spot.

Iconic Colosseum in Rome, Italy - ancient amphitheater with historical significance.

Conclusion:

So, there you have it – the Roman Colosseum, where ancient meets epic. Whether you’re into gladiator vibes, wild beasts, or just soaking in the historical awesomeness, this iconic amphitheater is a must-see. It’s not just a bunch of old stones; it’s a living, breathing testament to the wild, crazy, and downright cool history of ancient Rome. So, grab your imaginary gladiator gear and get ready to journey back in time at the Colosseum – the OG arena where legends were made!

Helpful Information

Best Time to Visit: It is absolutely beautiful at sunset but if you want to visit the inside choose the first ticket in the morning. Tours of this iconic place are great because they provide you with more detail than you could get on your own.

Important Information

Colosseum tickets, important information

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Kristal Ham

Hi fellow nomads!

Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

I hope that the travel guides, fun facts, and photography you find here will inspire you to explore new places!

Kristal

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