The Colosseum

A visit to the Colosseum is a unique and unforgettable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the history and beauty of one of the world’s most iconic monuments.

The Flavian amphitheater

The Ancient Flavian Amphitheater, built in the 1st century A.D. in Rome, was Renamed “Colosseum” in the 8th century because of its proximity to the Neronian Colossus. The etymology of the new name has aroused several hypotheses: some see the appellation “Colosseum” as a reference to the “colossal” proportions of the building, while others refer to the proximity of Nero’s Colossus, suggesting that people would say “ad Colossum eo” that is, “I go to the Colossus.” A further theory proposes that the name derives from the ancient term “Collis Isei,” meaning the temple of Isis that stood on nearby Opium Hill.

Visit the Flavian amphitheater

The Colosseum in Rome is a Roman amphitheater built in the 1st century AD and is one of the most famous and visited monuments in the world. Known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it has been included among the seven wonders of the world for its majesty and historical importance. The Colosseum is most famous for being the epicenter of ancient Rome related to gladiator shows and battles.

Useful information for visiting the Colosseum

Admission tickets can be purchased online or at authorized outlets. But we recommend that you purchase an organized tour online with a “skip the line” ticket to avoid the long waiting lines.

The archaeological park of the Colosseum is easily accessible from the historical center

  • Walking from the historic center of Rome
  • Bus
  • Metro

The main attractions in Rome that can be reached from the Colosseum are:

  • The Domus Aurea
  • The Palatine Roman Forum

The architecture of the Flavian amphitheater

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the masterpieces of Roman architecture and one of the most important testaments to the greatness of the Roman Empire. The complex Colosseum system has three main levels, each with a series of semicircular arches, which are supported by travertine stone pillars and columns. These arches form interior galleries where up to 50,000 people could sit. The size of the Colosseum is astounding: its oval arena covers an area of about 6,000 square meters and its height reaches 57 meters. The arches of the Colosseum are about 30 meters high for a total of 80 arches. The ground floor of the Colosseum was reserved for organizational activities, while the upper floors housed seating for assemblies and public celebrations of the Roman people. The outer wall of the Colosseum was highly decorated, with numerous stone ornaments, arches, niches, and tapered columns. On either side of the structure, there are four main entrances, each with a columned portico, which led to the arena galleries. The majesty of the Colosseum was also made possible by the use of numerous irrigation and drainage systems, which allowed events to be held inside without fear of flooding or water accumulation. In summary, the architecture of the Colosseum is exceptional for its combination of functionality and beauty, making it an unprecedented and still stunning structure for visitors from all over the world.

The history of the Colosseum

Construction of the Colosseum began under Emperor Vespasian in 72 CE and was completed under the reign of his son, Titus, in 80 CE. Its construction was made possible by the urban reform of Rome, which led to the reclamation of the Campus Martius and the creation of the vast area of the Opium Hill. The Colosseum was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, in honor of the Flavian dynasty. The Colosseum’s main purpose was to host a wide range of public spectacles, particularly gladiator fights, wild animal hunts, and simulated naval battles, thanks to the innovative technology of a vast underground cistern that could be filled with water. The Colosseum quickly became a favorite entertainment venue in the Empire and was also used at public festivals and celebrations, such as the celebration of the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Despite its historical importance, in the Middle Ages the Colosseum fell into disuse and was used as a source of building materials. Over the centuries, the structure suffered numerous damages related to both earthquakes and degradation due to time and wear and tear from use.

Today, the Colosseum remains one of the most visited monuments in the world and one of the most important symbols of Rome’s glorious past. Thanks to our historical knowledge and technologies, the Colosseum has been restored and preserved for generations to come.

The terrace of the imposing monument

Access to the Colosseum was free, and people entered through 76 numbered arches marked in red, 29 of which are still visible on the northern side. Guidance for spectators was indicated on the paths within the arches and also on the cards distributed to each head of household. The seating assignment followed a strict hierarchical criterion: the best view was from the imperial box, located at the southern entrance, on the minor axis of the monument. Senators had the best seats near the arena, followed by the sector behind reserved for horsemen, while the two sectors of the maenianum secundum housed progressively lower social categories. The worst seats, for visibility and ease of access, were in the maenianum summum, the columned portico that crowned the cavea, equipped with wooden seats reserved for the plebs. From here one can access the terrace of the so-called “Belvedere” of the third level, from which today it is possible to admire the cavea from different heights of the upper orders, reaching the terraces of the third, fourth and fifth levels.

The terrace of the imposing monument


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Colosseum Rome

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