ITALY

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO VISITING THE COLOSSEUM IN ROME

If you are visiting this incredible city, then visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World has to be top of your bucket list.

The magnificent Colosseum

The very first attraction I laid eyes on in Rome was the magnificent Colosseum. To be able to finally stand in front of such a famous building, which I’d only ever seen before in books or on TV, was one of those unforgettable moments for me.

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Myself in front of the back area of the Colosseum. At the back of the structure is where you will find less crowds.

Getting there meant catching a bus and a train as my accommodation was outside the city center. When I arrived at the station, I started looking at Rome’s train map, and there was one stop called ‘Colosseo,’ so I figured this had to be the right stop! The station is perfectly positioned underneath the Colosseum, and as I walked up the station steps and emerged back into daylight, I got my first glimpse of this iconic structure. The first of the Seven Wonders of the World I’ve got to experience – tick!

This shot was taken from the Train station as I got to the top of the station steps
A close up of a tablet carved in the old Roman language

It is much bigger than I thought it would be. Completed in 80 AD under the rule of Emperor Vespasian by thousands of slaves, this structure is now nearly two thousand years old. It is the largest amphitheater in the world, once holding up to 50,000 spectators at a time. The theatre is built from stone in a cylindrical design with archways all around where crowds can enter en masse to watch the sporting spectacles. I imagine this happening back then in much the same way as it does at today’s football (soccer) matches. I guess in 2000 years, not much has changed.  

The view from the back
You can see from this angle how busy it was, even at night!

It is still possible to see some of the original stone details from the Colosseum’s walls, such as the pillars around the arched windows and the stone tablet that faces the Roman Forum written in the old Roman language.

The interior of the Colosseum as you entre

I wasn’t interested in going inside on my first visit and was happy to just walk around the building’s perimeter, but on my second visit, I got to check out the interior as part of a tour. I was quite excited to walk through the entrance and tread in the same footsteps as the ancient Romans. When you walk through to the open-air arena, you can see the floor has been exposed, showing you the underground tunnels where warriors and animals would have been held before going into battle for

The internal Colosseum
Myself admiring the internal corridors where the animals and gladiators were kept

the spectators. You can walk around the area where the general public would have watched these events. It also has some white stone steps, placed in a prime position, right in the middle, probably where the elite or reigning Emperor may have sat during the tournaments. You can also still see the incredible leaf-patterned detail on the ceiling in some of the public areas. It’s incredible to think it still survives after all these years.

The internal Colosseum
This was potentially where the elite and emperors of the day might have sat

Despite visiting in the morning, soon after opening, the temperature was already over 32 degrees (90 Fahrenheit). It was the middle of summer, and became jam-packed with visitors very quickly, especially around the entrance and stairs area. Yet despite this, I absolutely loved the Colosseum. It is just as imposing and epic as you think it will be, and more.

Internal stonework detail found in the entrance area
The corridors and rooms underneath the stadium floor where the animals and gladiators were kept

A few years back, there was a big project to clean Italy’s ancient buildings to get rid of the dirt and grime that has built up over the last few centuries. I have seen photos of the Colosseum’s new look, and the results are incredible! I would love to go back and visit again sometime, and I think seeing it so clean might even be like seeing it again for the first time.  

Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy | www.il-colosseo.it

Are you planning on visiting the wonderful city of Rome in the future? Have you visited this wonderful city before? What is your favourite thing to do? Leave me a comment below!

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Part of the interior of the colosseum

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