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Colosseum

An awe-inspiring sight and a gem. See the largest amphiteater used for gladiatorial contests with your own eyes – it’s a must when in Rome.

Piazza del Colosseo, 00186 Rome, Italy

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Colosseum

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More information about Colosseum

When you say “Rome“, most people imagine a large oval construction. Yes, that is the Colosseum! The largest building ever built by the old Romans is a clear example of their technological sophistication. Emperor Vespasian issued the command to build the amphitheater in 72 AD. Completed about eight years later, it could host more than 50,000 people at a time! They watched gladiator games, ship battles and dramas played by actors in the arena under them. It was built under the Flavian dynasty, that’s why its original name in Latin is Amphitheatrum Flavium. It gained the name “Colosseum” in the 11th century, but as to why exactly, we don’t know. The name probably comes from the colossal statue of Nero nearby. Another of its names is Coliseum.

The maximum length of the Colosseum is 616 ft (188 m) and its maximum width is 511 ft (156 m). The outer wall is 157 ft (48 m) tall. More than 100,000 m³ of the stone travertine were used in construction. Under the main arena, there were corridors for gladiators and for storing cages with animals. There is evidence of elevators and pulleys that would have raised and lowered scenery and caged animals and even of major hydraulic mechanisms that, according to ancient accounts, could quickly flood the arena, probably from the nearby aqueduct, something apparently done for mock sea battles. Something you probably didn't know is that the building supported an extensive awning, called a velarium.

Nowadays, the amphitheater is not in its best condition, with much damage having been inflicted by numerous earthquakes in the area. But this doesn’t put off the millions of visitors who come to see the Colosseum every year. Its picture is depicted on the Italian 5-cent coin and it belongs to the list of the new 7 wonders of the world. It is not possible to organize events inside the amphitheater, but many concerts take place outside. World stars, such as Elton John and Paul McCartney, have performed there. Today, you can go inside and take a tour with or without a guide. All three floors are open to visitors.

You can buy tickets at the Colosseum, or you can avoid crowds by going to the nearby Palatine Hill, where there is another ticket office. They are also sold online or you can book them by telephone. If you are a student, don’t forget to take your student card to get a discount! The Roma Pass, a ticket to various museums and also a travel ticket, includes entrance to the Colosseum. To get there, get off at Colosseo station when traveling by Metro. From the main railway station in Rome, Termini, it takes about half an hour to walk to the Colosseum. You are allowed to take as many pictures as you like.

Opening Hours

Jan 2 - mid Feb: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Feb 16 - mid Mar: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mar 16 - last Sat of Mar: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
last Sun of Mar - end Aug: 8:30 a.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Sept 1 - end Sept: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Oct 1 - last Sat of Oct: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Last Sun of Oct - end Dec: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Admission

Adults: €12 + €2 reservation fee over the Internet
EU citizens (18-25 years or over 65 years): €7.50 + €2 reservation fee over the Internet
less than 18 year-olds: €1.50 + €2 reservation fee over the Internet

Two-day combined ticket valid for visit of Palatin and Forum Romanum.

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