Colosseum in Rome – 10 interesting facts

Colosseo
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It is said that ‘all roads lead to Rome’. Do you know where all the roads in Rome lead to? Definitely to the Colosseum, a historic amphitheater, which is not only a symbol of Italy, but also one of the seven new wonders of the world. Someone said that: ‘As long as the Colosseum exists, Rome will exist; when the Colosseum falls, Rome will fall also; but when Rome falls, the world will fall too’. We don’t know if that’s true. We know, however, that below you will find answers to the most bothering questions about this epic Italian building, and of course our impressions from visiting.

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Colosseum – what is it?

The Colosseum is the most famous Roman monument (only the Trevi Fountain can compete with it, which is famous for throwing coins into it and romantic engagements next to it). But what is its story? The Colosseum is a huge amphitheater – a circular or elliptical arena with stands around it, where various types of games or shows are organized. It’s like a combination of contemporary theater with football stadium. The Colosseum is 188m long, 156m wide, 524m in circumference and 48m high. The audience of the Roman Colosseum was 40-50 thousand people. The construction of a huge, multi-storey building began in 1953 years ago (70-72 AD) at the behest of the Flavian emperors. (So ​​it’s not hard to guess why it’s sometimes called the ‘Flavian amphitheatre’.) In 80 AD The Colosseum was already completed and put into use. Some sources say that for the opening of the amphitheater, games were organized that lasted 100 days. During that time, almost a thousand gladiators fought, several thousand animals were killed, and a sea battle was played. (Yes, the Romans were able to fill the arena with water very quickly and set up a hydro-performance in it.) In addition, the Colosseum was also the site of public executions of convicts.

Colosseum name origin

Colosseum – what is the name origin?

The name of the Colosseum didn’t come from the big size of the amphitheater. In fact, the name comes from the huge statue (“colossus”) of Nero that stood in front of the building. The monument measured as much as 35 meters (imagine, it’s more than a modern 10-story building!) and depicted the naked emperor in the role of the sun god. The sculpture was created at the request of the imperator himself. Well, as you can see, Nero was called the most vain and eccentric of the rulers of Rome for a reason.

Colosseum interesting facts

Colosseum – what was it used for?

The Colosseum was a place where various events were organized. The games were hugely popular. The Romans loved strength and aggressive entertainment: wrestling, gladiator fights, hunting wild animals or sea battles. The shows, refined to the smallest detail, were extremely spectacular. All this to captivate the large audience. For the spectacles (mostly bloody), slaves, animals and plants from the most exotic corners of the world were brought to Rome. For the purpose of playing naval battles, as we have already mentioned, the Colosseum arena was even flooded with water. We suspect that if freak fights were held in those days, they would probably be organized in this huge amphitheater (Wiolczi is their 100% anti-fan, so she would definitely not participate in these events).

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How many people died in the Colosseum?

In the Flavian Amphitheatre, the more brutal was fights, the more satisfied and excited was the audience. The people were hungry for bread, circuses and bloodshed. Based on various sources, historians estimate that about half a million people died in the Colosseum and also more than a million animals.

Colosseum Rome

Why does the Colosseum have holes?

You don’t have to be observant to notice numerous holes, openings or recesses in the walls of the Colosseum. Where did they come from? There are two versions of events – unlikely and very likely. The former says that the Colosseum has always been a symbol of the power of Rome, and thus the first target for destruction by potential barbarians. It is said that the invaders have repeatedly tried to destroy the building by aiming missiles at it or planting explosives in its walls. The indestructible icon of the Rome, however, was to survive all hostile attacks unscathed, thus proving the power of Italy. The second explanation for the holes in the Colosseum is much more likely. They are hollows left by metal elements that fastened the once marble façade of the building. It mustn’t be forgotten that what is left of the former amphitheater today is in fact only its skeleton. In its heyday, it was a majestic building, beautifully finished inside and out.

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Why was the Colosseum destroyed?

The world’s most famous amphitheater hasn’t had an easy life. In the 3rd century, a fire destroyed its top floors, the arena and the original decorations. In the 4th century, he had to repel the attacks of aggressive barbarians. What’s more, in the 5th and 14th centuries, it was the victim of two powerful earthquakes. Apart from that, ordinary inhabitants of Rome treated the Colosseum as … a source of building materials for their own use.

Colosseum tickets

Did the Colosseum have a roof?

Yes, the Colosseum had a roof, or more precisely, a roof in the form of a huge canvas fabric unrolled by specialized personnel over the heads of the audience. The roof of the Colosseum was called ‘velarium’ and protected the spectators both from precipitation and from the oppressive rays of the sun.

Colosseum photos

Is the Colosseum worth visiting?

It’s a rhetorical question. Definitely yes! It is worth paying for tickets, standing in line, squeezing through the crowds of tourists, walking around the oval arena, soaking up the atmosphere of ancient Rome and imagining what all these historical spectacles looked like. During your stay inside you will see how huge this building is and how small the people are in its background. It is unbelievable that almost two thousand years ago people were able to design and erect such a huge, majestic building. The architecture of the Colosseum is amazing! During the tour, take a look at how intricately built and decorated the walls of the amphitheater were. Look out through the huge windows, as the audience used to do during the ancient games. Take a look at the arena and dungeons from above. See the current exhibition and sculptures. And of course, take some memorable photos.

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How long does it take to visit the Colosseum?

You can walk the entire Colosseum in a dozen or so minutes. But if you want to take advantage of all the attractions and really feel the atmosphere of ancient Rome, reserve at least one full hour to stay here.

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What is not allowed in the Colosseum?

A security check awaits you at the entrance to the Colosseum. You can only go inside with a small backpack or handbag – large luggage is not allowed, and there is no baggage checkroom nearby. At the beginning, your equipment will be thoroughly x-rayed (as at the airport), and you will go through metal detector gates. So, empty your pockets of metal objects beforehand and don’t carry any suspicious tools with you. It is strictly forbidden to bring any kind of weapons, knives, explosives, fireworks and even… spray deodorants. You can’t bring a bottle filled with liquid inside, you have to empty it beforehand. In the photo below, a proud tourist who was allowed into the Colosseum because she brought nothing forbidden with her. 🙂

Roman Colosseum

Colosseum – tickets

  • The first and most important rule: to avoid stress and queues, be sure to buy your tickets online in advance. Interest in this monument is really huge and constant – tourists enter and leave the amphitheater en masse from opening to closing. Important: remember that you should be there 15 minutes before the visiting time on your ticket. Latecomers will most likely not be allowed in.
  • Wondering which ticket to choose? To be honest? Tickets to the Colosseum are quite a wide topic. You can buy them on many websites, in different variants. Each individual Colosseum ticket also entitles you to enter the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The most attractive price we could find for such a ‘basic package’ is 18 euros. In this amount you enter the amphitheater without the queue and have the opportunity to move around the first and second floor, but without a guide. There are also more expensive options, for example: Colosseum Guided Tour, Arena Floor Fast Tour, Colosseum With Underground Tour, Colosseum Night Tour, and even … Colosseum Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour.
  • We bought our tickets with the Go City. It’s a ‘virtual card’ that allows you to save a few euros on entrances to many tourist attractions in different cities around the world. At the beginning you choose how many places you would like to see – we decided on the ‘5 attractions for 129 euros’. Then, using the app, we booked the entrance to the Colosseum (with Palatine Hill and Roman Forum) for a specific day and time. As it is easy to calculate, visiting one attraction cost us about 26 euros on average. Very advantageously. The online booking itself was quick and efficient. Unfortunately, despite the purchase of a ‘skip the line’ ticket, we had to wait in line in Rome to… the local Touristation office, where we had to collect paper tickets to the Colosseum. We waited there for about an hour to get our tickets. Well, they didn’t organize it well. Fortunately, the entrance to the historic amphitheater was really without a queue. 🙂
  • Did you know that on some days the Colosseum can be visited for free? Couple years ago it used to be the first Sunday of every month. This rule was supposed to be restored in April 2022, but there is no such information on the official website. Supposedly, free sightseeing is possible on selected days, but they are not strictly defined and you need to check the information on this topic on the official channels of the Colosseum.

monument Colosseum

Colosseum – how to get?

The Colosseum is located in the historic center of Rome.

  • Plane. To visit the capital of Italy, fly to Ciampino or Fiumicino airports. We chose the former. It is located very close to the Rome, and access from here it’s quick and easy. A bus will take you from the terminal to the train station. From there, you can reach Rome’s most famous Termini station in 20 minutes by train. The total cost of the trip from the airport is only +/- 5 euros. This is of course a more economical option. You can simply take a taxi straight from the arrivals hall to your hotel. Uber and Bolt apps work here without any problem.
  • Subway. Once you are in Rome, getting to the Colosseum is very easy. Just take the metro line B and get off at the Colosseo station.
  • Bus. There are several bus stops around the historic amphitheater, get off at Colosseo, Labicana – Colosseo, Parco Celio or S. Gregorio.
  • Sightseeing buses. The Colosseum is also on the route of the so-called ‘tourist lines’ such as City Sightseeing or Hop On, Hop Off. We recommend this attraction because you buy a ticket for 24 hours (or more) and you can ride for a certain number of hours on a designated route around the most important attractions of Rome.
  • Taxi. Both Bolt and Uber work here. You can also catch a taxi from the city’s cab company.

Colosseum tour

Roman Colosseum – interesting facts and tips

  • In 2007, the Colosseum was declared one of the seven new wonders of the world. This is the only place on the list located in Europe. In addition to the Roman amphitheater, it also includes: the Great Wall of China, Petra (Jordan), the Statue of Christ the Savior in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Machu Picchu (Peru), Chichén Itzá (Mexico) and the Taj Mahal (India).
  • More than 20,000 people visit the Colosseum every day, and over 7 million tourists each year. Up to 3,000 people can stay inside the building at the same time.
  • The Colosseum is best visited in a package with the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. All three attractions are located very close to each other.
  • There are only two days a year when the Colosseum is closed to the public – January 1 and December 25.
  • The huge amphitheater became an inspiration for builders – past and present. The method of planning corridors and stairs is used to this day in the construction of football stadiums.

Italy Colosseum

Colosseum – reviews

  • Patrix – 9/10. Well, you have to see it! You have to go in there. The Colosseum is one of the most epic buildings I’ve ever seen. It is a symbol of Rome. When I was a little boy, I saw them in movies. When I was a middle boy, I used to run around it playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. And now I finally had the opportunity to see the Roman Colosseum live. And it’s even more impressive than in movies and games. It’s absolutely huge! It’s a really big epic building that’s just a history. Truly recommend. However, the tour itself is short – it takes less than one hour. You can walk around it and that’s it, there’s nothing else you can do here. Anyway, it’s a ‘must see’ for me.
  • Wiolczix – 9/10. The Colosseum is really impressive! Even if we realize that what we are seeing now are actually ‘ruins’ of the original building. Many years ago, I saw the Colosseum only from the outside and it was already impressed to me. I promised myself that next time I will definitely visit it inside. And finally I did it! It was worth it! Standing inside, I felt even smaller than I really am. The austere architecture and size of this building make it something special. You have to see that.

Colosseum is it worth visiting

Roman Colosseum – map

The Colosseum is located in the very center of Rome, close to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

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