"Colosseum (sorry but I hate that other spelling)" Colosseum Tip by jungles

Colosseum, Rome: 496 reviews and 946 photos

by jungles

The proper name for this building is the Flavian Amphitheatre, named after the emperors of the Flavian dynasty who built it. It was completed in just eight years, from 72 to 80 A.D., built largely by Jews who had been captured and brought back to Rome as slaves after the sack of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The name 'Colosseum' originally referred to the colossal 40-metre statue of Nero that stood just outside the amphitheatre. In fact the area on which the amphitheatre was built had previously been a lake that was part of the opulent grounds of the Domus Aurea (Golden House), the lavish palace that Nero had built for himself. After the death of the unpopular Nero, the Flavian emperor Vespasian wanted to give this land back to the people by building a place for them to be entertained. His sons Titus and Domitian later completed the building.

Holding somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, it was of course used for gladiatorial combat, though there were other forms of entertainment leading up to the main show, such as dwarves fighting each other and public executions. A portion of the floor has been recreated, which you can walk out on to look down at the hypogeum (literally meaning "underground") below. This is a maze of tunnels where animals were held in cages before they were released through trap doors in the floor to jump out and attack the gladiators.

Entrance is ten euro and includes both the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. To avoid the queue at the Colosseum, buy your tickets at the Palatine Hill, then bypass the queue and walk straight up to the turnstyles.

Phone: (+39) 06 39967700
Website: http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/colosseum

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 1, 2006
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