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The Colossal Colosseum

Need I say more about this ancient wonder. Do it justice by seeing it just like the Fontana de Trevi, day and night.

I am not going to bore you with boring historical facts that will make you snooze but I will provide some fun facts and tips to avoid the long queues.

Fun Facts:

Colosseum was built under the command of the Flavius dynasty from AD72 to 80.

The colosseum's name was derived from the statue of Colossus of Nero which once stood just outside the Colosseum and it was almost as tall as the statue of liberty!

It is an amphitheatre, designed much like a sporting arena.

It has 4 tiers of which spectators were housed according to their ranks in society. The emperor and senators were housed in tier 1 (podium), the non senatorial nobleman in tier 2, the plebeians in tier 3 and the common women in tier 4.

You will see various corridors, steps and entrances built to allow the public access the arena as well as to separate the different classes of spectators.

There are 76 entrances marked with roman numerals to ease seat allocation and 4 unnumbered entrances reserved for the elite.

The arena itself had been partially reconstructed with wooden floor covered by sand as per the original structure.

Beneath it, the hypogeum, a subterranean network of chambers and tunnels were built to hold the animals and gladiators before the gladiatorial games. There are also tunnels built from the Colosseum leading outwards to transport animals and gladiators back and forth to the arena as well as a separate tunnel built for the use of the emperor and his high priests.

How to get tickets

Tickets to the Colosseum also allows you to access the Roman Forum and the Palatine. The longest queue to buy the tickets will be at the Colosseum, so to skip that you can purchase the tickets at several points;

1) The entrance of Roman Forum - there are 2 entry points, on is located just opposite the Colosseum and the other about 500 metres away

2) Palatine hill

Entrance fee: 12 euros and the ticket is valid for 2 days.

Access to the underground and the arena require phone booking in advance, with an additonal fee of 9 euros.

The best time to visit the Colosseum is early in the morning or after 4pm.

Once you all fresh and energised, you can start day 2 by visiting the above monuments. Start your day early by visiting the Colosseum which will take about 1-2 hours to tour.

Hot, Hot Summer's day.....

Once you have visited the Colosseum, the next most sensical thing to do is to visit the Roman Forum right next to the Colosseum but I opted to visit the Vatican and to save the Roman Forum for day 3. Why? The answer is simple....I didnt want to suffer a possible heatstroke or sunburn. The weather in Rome during afternoon can be extremely hot and dry, enough to fry a egg on the street so please apply copious amount of sun screen!