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Colosseum in Rome Tourist Guide

The 2000 year old Colosseum in Rome or Colosseo Roma is the most famous of Rome attractions.

It was the center of ancient Rome, along with the Rome Forum and these two are must-see sights on Rome Italy vacations.

The immense size of the ancient Rome Coliseum is awe inspiring, measuring 615 feet by 510 feet and 158 feet high. It was the Roman Empire's biggest amphitheatre.

Colosseum in Rome

The Romans pioneered building with concrete and rounded columns which enabled them to build on an enormous scale. Each pillar weighed about 5 tons! The pillars were Doric, Ionian and Corinthian in style.

The ancient Roman colosseum was built by Jewish prisoners captured by Romans in the battle for Jerusalem.

Ancient Rome Coliseum

There were 3 tiers of marble benches holding up to 80,000 spectators.

The Roman Colosseum Athletics

This arena was built for gladiator contests and public spectacle making killing a spectator sport. The gladiators included prisoners of war, slaves, condemned criminals and volunteers.

The fights in the colosseum in Rome were men against men, men against animals and animals against animals. They were part entertainment and part business, as large bets were made on the battles.

Sometimes after the bloody battles, the arena floor was filled with water for naval battles.

Rome Colosseum floor

The gladiator "games" ended when emperor Honorius banned gladiator combat in 399AD.

History of the Colosseum Rome

Emperor Vespasian began the building of the Rome Colosseum in 72AD and it was completed in 80AD by his son Titus. It is said that 9000 wild animals were killed in the first 100 day celebration of the Colosseum in Rome.

The Colosseum, although damaged by 2 earthquakes in the days of Theodoric, remained pretty much intact until the 8th century and the invasion of Robert Guiscard.

From the 14th century, after it was damaged again by an earthquake, it was used as a stone quarry. Many palaces were built of stone taken from its walls.

Colosseum drawing

In the 18th century Pope Clement XI consecrated the remains of the Colosseum to the memory of the martyrs who had suffered there and erected, in one of the archways, a chapel to St. Maria della Pieta.


Colosseum Rome Tourist Guide

  • Getting to the Colosseum: Take the Colosseo Metro line B stop right across the street from the Colosseum. There are several buses that will get you to the area including #87 and #60.
  • Hours: 8:30am until 1 hour before sunset.
  • Tickets: To avoid lines, buy tickets ahead of time. Buy the Roma or Archeologia Card at a less crowded site and then stay to the left after the security check to avoid the long ticket lines. Or, buy your ticket at nearby Palatine Hill where it is less crowded.
  • Colosseum Tours: Audioguides, videoguides (both found after the turnstiles) and English tours at window "Visite Guidate" which allows you to skip the ticket line.

Cheap Apartments Near the Colosseum in Rome

If you are looking for a cheap place to stay in ancient Rome, here are 3 fantastic cheap Colosseum apartments to check out!


Colosseum Rome Holiday Rentals

Read the excellent reviews by travelers who have stayed in this Colosseum vacation rental.

This modern Rome vacation rental has a view of the Colosseum and is large enough to sleep 6.


If possible, see the Colisseum in Rome when it isn't raining. You will be doing a fair amount of walking in the area and taking lots of pictures:)

Colosseum at night

If you have time in the evening, go back to the Roman Colisseum at night when it is all lit up....it is beautiful!.

Check out the Roman Forum walking tour and the many other sightseeing in Rome options.

Here are some other pages that might be of interest to you:
The Roman Forum
Roman Pantheon
Arch of Constantine
Baths of Diocletian
Caracalla Baths
Rome Catacombs

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