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Colosseum, Rome

5.0 stars


Highlights of Rome

I’m a tour guide. I talk to people nearly daily that say “oh, we’re going to try to do Rome in 3 days”, and just as often I talk to people that tried and failed to do Rome in 3 days. Yes, you can see a lot of Rome in a few days, but in my opinion (yes, I know I am a much more hardcore tourist than 98% of you), you need at least 7 days to even attempt to see most of Rome’s sights. However, by popular demand, I’ll do for Rome what I do quite often for tourists to Munich, here’s my top sights you have to see to claim you’ve been to Rome:

1. The Colosseum
2. The Vatican Museum
3. St. Peter’s Basilica
4. The Roman Forum
5. The Pantheon
6. The Trevi Fountain
7. The Spanish Steps
8. The Cathedral of Rome (yes, there is only one and no, it is not Saint Peter’s)
9. Castel Sant Angelo
10. The Catacombs [more ]

Rich in history

When I visited Rome, the Colosseum (Colosseo) was one of the landmarks that I most liked. I walked from Piazza Venezia, where is the II Vittoriano (monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele) until reach the Italia’s top attraction (at least for me!). The Colosseum, a stadium inaugurated in AD80, is astonishing. Indeed, it is the most thrilling of Rome’s ancient sights and considered symbol of Roman Empire. It is almost impossible to go there and not wondering what happened inside. The Colosseum breathes history and it is quite nice to know that the ruins have survived earthquakes and can tell us about the Roman past.

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The Roman Colosseum: It's magnificence remains even after 2000 years

Everybody who is planning a visit to Rome knows of the Colosseum. If not, you have been sleeping!

I have been to Rome on a couple of occasions and a particularly good way of seeing a few sites in a small space of time would be to start at the Capitoline Hill, make your way down through the Roman Forums (Foro Romano) and finally you will end up right by the Colosseum. One great thing is that these three sites are all part of a combo-ticket which cost me just €12 (approx $17 or 10 GBP). The ticket lasts for two days, so you don't have to feel pressured to do it all in one day if you don't want to, although it is possible to achieve.

I first saw the Colosseum in it's full glory as I turned off from the side-street and walked along the main road leading to it - called Piazza del Colosseo, incidently ;-). I was initially dazzled by it's immense size and dominance that it had over the area and I was transported back in time instantly. I could feel the blood and sweat of the workers that built it and the gladiators that fought there and could hear the roars of the crowds as well as the lions. Then as I got closer, modern day hit me again with all the tacky trucks selling overpriced drinks, souvenir carts, tour groups and people dressed as gladiators in a shameless ploy to take money from honest tourists for taking a picture with their own camera!

Sometimes there is a line to get in, sometimes not. I have read reviews here where some say there is no line at all and others say they have had to wait in line. I have had experience of both, and it depends on what season you go in. High seasons such as May and September will quite likely produce queues of about 45 minutes to one hour, but if you go in August time when many of the areas of the city are closed for Italian holiday-time, then you can probably get inside within 15-20 minutes. You can spend as much time as you like inside the Colosseum - there are toilets, but no places to get a drink or snack - and don't forget to take a look out of the Colosseum for a nice view of the surrounding area!
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Colosseum terrible audioguide

I visited Rome in early April and the Colosseumwas packed with herds of student groups and tourists. I was quite surprised having heard some reviews about it being a bit abandoned. There were loads of people outside offering you a guide tour for €10 but I thought it was a bit overpriced. Luckily queues went faster for people with the ROMA PASS, so we got in the Colosseum quite quick. We hired the audio-guide instead but as we followed the number the descriptions had nothing to do with the Colosseum, so we had to go downstairs and wait in the queue again. Finally they gave us the right one but the volume was really bad. We struggle to listen to the descriptions so we eventually gave up. It was really hot that day and sun heated strongly there. Make sure you wear sun protection. [more ]

The Colosseum

I must admit that part of my fascination with the Colosseum comes from the film Gladiator starring Russel Crowe. When we got there, it seemed surreal to be standing where so much history had happened. The ruin seemed familiar from pictures and film, but there I was in front of it!

This ancient amphitheatre was once the site of spectacle and death. 50,000 spectators could watch the drama unfold in the ring. You can take tours of the site for about 10 euros. Again, it will be crowded in nice weather.

Outside are dozens and dozens of people trying to get your money - selling everything T-shirts and postcards to replica armor and pictures with men dressed as gladiators. Much of this stuff is an extreme rip-off, so don't get sucked in. Also, be aware of where your wallet/purse are at all times; it's a notorious area for pickpockets.

Definitely go by the Colosseum at night - it is lit up and it looks incredible. It's an image you won't easily forget!

On the metro, take the B line to Colosseo. On foot, it's near Piazza Venezia and the Forum. [more ]

The grandeur of the Colosseum

For the connoisseurs, the Colosseum is the most veritable piece of history in Rome. For the ones who don’t know very much of it, the Colosseum is one of the popular places that tourists go to Rome to see. In the days of Ancient Rome, the oval shaped Colosseum was the largest arena in the world for public entertainment, seating 50.000 spectators with numbered tickets. It took 10 years to built, fact that I see very impressing. It must have been a very difficult work. It was a place for Gladiatorial contests, fierce combats to the death involving both men and animals. I think it is really worth seeing, an experience that could clear anyone’s image upon history and its significance. [more ]

Monument: The Colosseum

The Colosseum is a building everyone must visit at least once. It is the most impressive building Rome has. It was also called the Flavian Amphitheater and it could host 55.00 spectators. There were 80 entrances and the shows were live fights. Though today only ruins remain it still stands high enough to tell the history of Rome. I visited the Colosseum in the day time and walked along those ruins imagining how many people lost their lives fighting for the fun of others. I imagined what hard work was put into the building of such a monument. I would have liked to see it at night; I think the mighty building would have been even more impressive. [more ]

The Colosseum, Rome

Of course you're going to go to the colesseum no matter what someone on a tourist site like this says, and you should. However, unlike someone else's review that I just read, I'd like to point out that you don't have to wait in line, even in early August!

My girlfriend and I went Rome in early August and got an archeology card, which gets you into quite a number of places including the Palatine Hill, the Colesseum, and the national museum of Rome.

To go to the Colesseum and avoid the entire line (literally, you just walk in, no wait at all...remember, I was there at THE peak of the season), all you have to do is go over to the Palatine Hill first, buy the card there, I'd recommend a walk around the hill and the museum there, and then over to the Colesseum without any hassle at all.

The Colesseum itself, is, well, a must and I don't think I need to tell you why you have to go there, you just do. [more ]

Rome Coliseum

The Roman Coliseum is one of the impressive buildings in all of Rome. This building has been used in many famous movies such as Gladiator and Spartacus. At point in time this building was used as a giant amphitheater. More or less this was one of the most popular entertainment venues in Rome. When I saw it recently, the building was crumbling, yet it was still possible to get a sense of how great this building really was at one point in time. At some views of the Coliseum it is possible to see the three levels of the Coliseum used for spectators.

The massive size of the building is also quite overwhelming. The large “battlefield” in the stadium was just as large as it seemed in the movies that have recreated the Coliseum. Tourists are allowed to walk inside the Coliseum and a get a view at the large spectator arena. On a nice day the line to get into the Coliseum will be long and mostly require waiting an hour to get inside. After being inside, I will admit that going inside is not really worth it. I felt like I had seen enough just from the outside. I would recommend going on a less than perfect day, or early in the morning to avoid the [more ]

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