The Colosseum

No trip to Rome would be complete without visiting the Colosseum – the most famous monument in the city also known as The Flavius Amphitheatre.  Opened in 80 A.D., it is one of the most impressive structures in the world, and standing aside the building truly gives the impression of a once imposing and enthralling historical event.

As it now stands, it is a disintegrated skeleton of its former self; as much as three-fifths of the outer, proximate walls are gone, but this doesn’t stop one from being able to visualize it in its glory days…completely white and swathed in travertine stone slabs.  The structure originally had four floors, with eighty arches in the first three levels and allowed for seventy thousand spectators.  The tiers of seats were arranged and positioned in order that, regardless of where one was seated, they would always have a clear view of the action.  All Roman citizens entered for free, but there were sectioned-off areas which would be allocated according to social class; the closer to the arena, the higher the social status.

The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome

A full price ticket is only around €8 and includes entrance to the Palatine, but if you don’t have time to explore the whole building, free tours operate around the outside; the guides entertain you with gory (occasionally questionable) details and will generally ask for a tip.  Those without licenses occasionally get picked up by the police, which could make your visit even more interesting!  Worth a visit while in Italy’s capital.