It's Colossal!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Absy_Baby on October 16, 2009

The Colosseum in the centre of Rome - probably one of the most recognisable structures in the world. In 2007 the Colosseum was named one of the NEW seven wonders of the world.

On a recent trip to Rome I visited the Colosseum, back when we booked the trip, this was the first thing both my boyfriend and I had said we wanted to see.

We stayed approximately a 10 minute walk from the Colosseum and had decided on a bus trip to get our bearings. We sat on the bus looking around for any sighting of the famous structure and realised as we turned the corner on to Via Claudia we saw it, sitting at the end of the road in all its glory.

The History

The Flavian Amphitheatre also known as the Colosseum was built in 72 AD, it was the first permanent amphitheatre built in Rome.

The Colosseum was started by Vespasian, then inaugurated by Titus in 80 A.D. then finally completed by Domitian.

The reason the name has changed from the Flavian Amphitheatre to the Colosseum was due to the 'colossal' statue situated outside but nearby.
The Colosseum was used for entertainment purposes, it was built to hold 50,000 spectators, with an estimate of 80 entrances. Now that's what I call crowd control! It was used for shows in which the whole of Rome attended. These shows were mainly barbaric, with gladiators fighting wild animals until the death.

The Colosseum covers 6 acres of land.

The Price

If you have brought a Roma Pass the Colosseum is free if this is one of your first attractions, I would recommend buying the Roma Pass and using it for the Colosseum, especially in busy periods, as June was. Although we had brought the Roma Pass we were not aware on entrance you can actually avoid the main queues for the ticket booths and in fact by pass them completely and use the Roma Pass in the entrance machine, which lets you straight in. From entering to getting in took 2 and a half minutes. We were told outside to expect a 45 minute wait.

(For Roma Pass details, keep your eyes peeled, review to follow when dooyoo have approved it.)

If you opt for the queue and the usual route of buying a ticket it will cost you: 13.50 Euros. They also offer the very popular computerised personal guide, these cost: 4 Euros (approx). I would recommend one, at least one between two. There are many signs around the Colosseum, but the personal computerised tours have a lot more information and answer a lot more.

You can also buy tickets online prior to your trip, I don't know how reliable any of these sites are but there is a desk for internet tickets and again you avoid the large normal queue for everyone else.

Opening Times

The Colosseum opens at 9am everyday and I would recommend getting there then, to avoid both the queues and the heat. In the summer it closes at 7.30pm, so perhaps going after lunchtime would also be an option.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed visiting the Colosseum and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Rome. The price was reasonable, when you compare it with attractions in the UK, and with the Roma Pass it made it affordable and quicker.

There is information around the outer wall of the Colosseum on the first level and although it is interesting it can get boring (there is no proper order, it seemed quite randomly spread out), and this is coming from someone who likes museums and reading information.

I would recommend getting one of the computerised guides as they are more informative.

When outside there are many people claiming to be 'guides' and offering tours for a price, these were approximately 25 Euros each, with the promise of skipping the queue. What a waste of time, you can skip the queue with pre-booked internet tickets or the Roma Pass, besides who knows who these people are, and what knowledge they actually have. I'm not an untrusting person, but unless someone shows me a history degree in Ancient Rome, I don't want to know. It can be annoying when they come up to you, you will see a minimum of 3 'guides' before you get to the door.

My biggest disappointment was the Colosseum at night, I thought it would be absolutely amazing, and while it was ok, it wasn't as lit up as I had seen on promotional materials and adverts. It was reasonably nice to look at, and was lit up a bit, but our camera couldn't pick it up in the dark even with the lights. I suppose they are going for the natural effect. I would have preferred if they'd had lights shining up at it, and the lights in the arches stronger, it would have been more breath-taking.

I think the Colosseum is a must, but you don't need to spend all day in there, I think we were in there about 2-2.30 hours, and that was enough, and we were walking around reading all the information and seeing the displays. Remember to wear sun cream as it is hot and there isn't loads of shade, everybody tries to hide.

Ruins, remember the Colosseum is ruins, and it is hard to imagine it in its full glory so make sure you see the display with how it did look. It is also a shame new bricks and bits have been added as it again affects how you perceive it, but obviously this was required to keep it standing.

An amazing piece of architecture!!
The Colosseum/Coliseum
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy, 00184
+39 (06) 7004261

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