The Roman Coliseum, or Colosseum, is undoubtedly one of Rome's most famous landmarks. Even if you aren't a city person, a visit to the center of the ancient Roman Empire would not be complete without ogling at this majestic structure.
The building of the Coliseum was commissioned in the year A.D. 72 by Emperor Vespasian. He chose to build on the site of Nero's palace in order to distance himself from the tyrannical ruler. The structure was completed in A.D. 80 by Vespasian's son Titus.
Gladiators who fought in the Coliseum were usually slaves, prisoners of war and convicted criminals. Some women fought as gladiators, although most of the fighters were men. All classes of society would watch, and the amphitheater's 55,000 seats were arranged by rank. Extra sand was kept on hand to cover the ground in case there was too much blood soaking the arena.
The Coliseum is located in the center of the Piazza del Colosseo. You can reach this area by public transport on the B (blue) metro line.
Full entry as of 2009 costs $22.50 (American). EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are eligible for discounted ticket prices (approximately $15.25), while EU seniors and kids pay only $6.55.
The Coliseum opens daily at 9 a.m. From the end of March to the beginning of August, it stays open until 7 p.m. From the end of October to mid February, it closes at 4 p.m. In spring and fall the closing time varies between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. See current hours at www.rome.info/colosseum.
Article Written By Heather Carreiro
Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.