“As long as the Colosseum is standing, Rome will stand
And the day it falls, Rome will fall and so will the world”
And so the saying goes. This wonder of the world just amazes you with its sheer size and history. While most of us have heard of the size, actually setting your eyes on the Colosseum, is something else. Most tour operators show you the monument from the outside, but honestly, it is a crime to be there on the outside and not actually, explore the insides. Here is a short virtual tour of the same –
Structure of the Colosseum
Built as an amphitheatre for the Roman games, the structure is elliptical in shape. As you cross the arch to the inside, one sees what remains of it. It is not really hard to imagine what it must have been in its glory days. The picture below is a view as you enter. One clearly sees 3 levels – the first level is where you can climb to, the second is closed and the third partially exists. As you stand at the ground floor, you can see the underground maze and tunnels, where the games actually began.
You can choose to walk along the periphery or just head to the first level. As you head up the staircase, which is quite steep and high, what unfolds is below.
The underground mazes of the Colosseum
Right ahead, one can see the wooden floor, which formed the arena. It is said that the main area used to be filled with water to enable some naval games. However, during the later years, the same was replaced by games with wild animals and men. The underground area was equipped with cages and lifts for the beasts and men to be raised to the arena. The underground maze has a restricted access, there are several events during the year where you can get an access to exploring these. Information on the same is available on their official website. There are also, several organized tours that offer this program. Check out my tips section for a few links.
The seating area is restricted but one can get a glimpse of the same. The seating closest to the arena were for the Senators. As you walk along the perimeter of the Colosseum, you can see several arches and corridors.
As you get closer to the arena, do not forget to peer down. You will be able to see the cages and fences to the underground maze.
Everywhere in the Colosseum, you can find some ancient mystery and history. What has been described in the blog are just high points, but the actual experience is far more fascinating. So to all you travelers, just step into the Colosseum, close your eyes and get the vivid images of the Gladiators in those glory days.
Useful tips and facts about the Colosseum:
- There is a free entry to the Colosseum on the first Sunday of every month.
- At a time, only 3000 visitors are allowed in and hence, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially if you are headed to the monument on a public holiday.
- Europeans have a free entry to the Colosseum. For the rest, one needs to procure tickets by either reaching the place early or through phone/ online booking. You can book online through this site. The same site also, gives you the ticket prices as well as a telephone number for phone booking.
- Radio guides are available at the venue.
- Please note the opening and closing times on the same website. At different times of the year, they have different closing times.
- Advisable to go with flat shoes as the flooring is quite uneven and the staircase quite high.
- Look up the official website for special events that allow access to the third level as well as the underground maze. You can also, avail an organized tour for a complete experience of the Colosseum
- Combine this trip with a few other sights around Rome. Here is a post that suggests what you can do in Rome in 2 days.
- The Colosseum is quite central to Rome. The close by areas include Piazza Venezia. There are restrictions on the vehicular traffic on Sundays.
- The route to the place is quite pedestrian friendly and one can walk with their strollers or just bike down to the Colosseum.
- In terms of the public transport, here are the key Metro, Bus lines as well as Tram lines.
- Tramway line no 3.
- “B” line Metro station Colosseo
- “A” line Metro station Manzoni, with a link to Tramway line no. 3
- Bus lines 60, 75, 85, 87, 271, 571, 175, 186, 810, 850, C3
- Electric minibus 117
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.