Colosseum Roman amphitheatre, Rome, Holiday and Trips, Living life like a holiday
Italy 500BC-400AD-Ancient times Europe

Colosseum – The largest amphitheatre ever built in Rome

May 19, 2018

Colosseum – the place where gladiators fought to their death for the public entertainment;

Here you will remember the truth about human being: we are the slaves of our instincts

Touch 2000 years old walls and close your eyes, history is bloody and death lies under the wooden floor

Age2090 years
TypeAncient Amphitheatre
Construction started72 BC
When to visit?I recommend you go after 15.00 to visit the Colosseum.
During the summer mornings, the queue is very long because the groups usually come in the morning.
Generally, the Colosseum is open between 10:30 and 07:15 (last entry 6:15)
Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25
Access to the Colosseum is possible only by booking the ticket in advance, online.
Check the Colosseum’s official website for up-to-date program and ticket information
  • If you don’t have a ticket go out from Metro Station, go right Via Dei Fori Imperiali and after you walk 500 meters you will find a Touristic Info Point and you can buy there a Roma Pass and then sit at  Roma Pass line (usually much shorter)
  • You can buy normal tickets in front of the Colosseum.
  • Online tickets- Click HERE
Getting thereMetro: Line B “Colosseo”
Bus: Line 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, 118
Tram: Line 3
LocationPiazza del Colosseo, Roma RM, Italy

Construction of the Colosseum

  • The construction of the Colosseum began in 72 BC
  • The oval building is no longer around, parts of it collapsed during several earthquakes over time
  • Constructors have used tufa (a limestone, formed by the accumulation and consolidation of ash from a volcano), brick red clay (a type of brick smaller and thinner than the one used in our time), opposite Cementicium ( a kind of concrete), and was a “glue”.
  • Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people, although modern estimates put the figure at 50,000.
  • It is said that some of the marble on the facade of the Colosseum was removed and used to raise St. Peter’s Basilica
  • The construction of the Colosseum was used more than 100 000 cubic meters of marble
  • The Colosseum has about 5 million visitors annually
  • It has 240 perfectly symmetrical arches spread over three levels, a length of 186 meters, a width of 150 meters, and a height of 55 meters
  • Hypogeum was situated under the wooden floor and an underground network was built on two levels with numerous tunnels and cages where gladiators and lions were kept before the fight

Colosseum could be flooded with water

  • The arena could be flooded with water, becoming a “pool” huge, where gladiators fought from aboard smaller boats. And the show is completely in water crocodiles swarmed.
  • This is the place where thousands of Christians were martyred, crucified, torn by beasts, burned at the stake
  • The History of the Colosseum began in Rome when the first recorded gladiatorial fight was staged in 264 BC. Decimus Junius Brutus Scaeva put on gladiatorial combat to honor the memory of his deceased father who was a consul named D. Junius Brutus Pera. So the history of gladiatorial combat and therefore the Colosseum is related to a funeral.
  • The first gladiator fight was so successful that Roman aristocrats soon copied the idea. These funeral games, or munera, were held annually or every five years for the purpose of keeping the dead person’s memory alive.
  • The history and concept of the Colosseum grew from the custom of funeral games. The funeral games were organized as public events by wealthy Roman aristocrats and Patricians. The Gladiator games were popular with the ‘mob’. At first gladiator games or combats, were held in small wooden arenas. The word “arena” means sand, a reference to the thick layer of sand on the floor for the purpose of soaking up the blood. But as the popularity of the games grew large amphitheaters were built to house the games. The amphitheaters were round or oval in shape. Their design was taken from joining two half-circle wooden theatres together (the word “amphi” means ‘both sides’).
  • The most important amphitheater, prior to the Colosseum, was the first stone-built amphitheater in Rome which was called the Amphitheater of Statilius Taurus. It was built in 29 BC, on the Campus Martius, by consul Titus Statilius Taurus in the time of Emperor Augustus. This amphitheater was completely destroyed in 64AD due to the Great Fire of Rome.
  • Initially, the provision of Gladiatorial Games was seen as a method to please the Roman gods and avert Rome from disaster.

Colosseum – Flavian Amphitheatre

  • The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre. The original name of the Flavian Amphitheatre was given due to its being built by Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Emperor Vespasian) who founded the Flavian dynasty. It was soon given the name Colosseum which was taken from the Latin word ‘colosseus’ meaning colossal. This was in reference to the gigantic statue of Emperor Nero which had been previously erected near the site of the Colosseum. This statue of Nero, believed to have been cast in bronze, measured 100 to 120 Roman feet (37m) high and had become a landmark in the center of the city of Rome. The
  • The Colosseum would become a symbol of the might, the wealth, and the power of the Roman Empire. Construction started in 72 BC and was financed from the proceeds gained from the Roman sacking of Jerusalem. The Colosseum took less than 10 years to build, a remarkable achievement for the excellent engineers and their famous engineering skills. The architecture of the Roman Colosseum illustrates their use of one of the Romans’ most famous inventions – concrete.

Colosseum and the movie Gladiator

  • There was even an Emperor who took great delight in participating in the gladiator games held at the Colosseum – Emperor Commodus. Commodus was the Emperor featured in the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. The Roman Emperors and the Colosseum played a huge part in the history of the Persecution of the Christians.
  • The Gladiatorial games at the Colosseum ended during the reign of Emperor Honorius.  Stilicho had defeated the Goths at Verona in June 403, it was the last Roman victory, and it was celebrated by the last Roman triumph followed by Gladiatorial games in the Colosseum. In the midst of the bloodshed, a voice was heard bidding it to cease in the name of Christ, and between the swords, there was seen standing a monk holding up his hand and keeping back the blows. There was a shout of rage, and he was stoned to death by the outraged ‘mob’ and killed.  It was found that he was an Egyptian monk named Telemachus. The death of Telemachus put an end to gladiator combats. Chariot races and games went on but the terrible sports of death and blood were ended forever. The last known gladiatorial fight in the Roman Colosseum, therefore, took place during the reign of Honorius. Emperor Honorius finally decreed the end of gladiatorial contests in 399 AD. The last known gladiator competition in the city of Rome occurred on January 1, 404 AD. The Sack of Rome occurred on August 24, 410 when the city was attacked by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I. The Roman capital had already been moved to the Italian city of Ravenna by Honorius after the Visigoths entered Italy. The Visigoths destroyed many of the aqueducts leading to Rome. Without a fresh supply of water, the city could no longer function. The Romans fled from the city – the glory days of Rome were finished.
  • The History of the Colosseum moves on to the amphitheater falling into decline. The outer walls were stripped of marble and even the iron cramps were removed and used to make weapons (the holes left in the Colosseum can be seen today). The Colosseum had various uses from housing vagrants to providing shelter to animals. Uses included housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
  • Today the glory days of the Colosseum have returned – the number of visitors and tourists to the Colosseum is estimated at over 5 million per year, all interested in the terrifying history of the Colosseum.


Top tourist
near this location
Arch of Constantine
Roman Forum
Palatine Museum on Palatine Hill
Domus Aurea (remains of Emperor Nero’s grand 3-floor villa complex)
Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo
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