by Gillian McGuire, AFAR Local Expert
The Colosseum is probably Rome’s most well known landmark. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 A.D., the elaborate spectacles it held were as popular as todays Broadway blockbusters. Underneath is the Hypogeum, an intricate series of tunnels and elevators that transported animals, slaves and gladiators to the performance above. For an experience to remember, from spring to early fall there are moonlit tours offered where you can have the whole place (almost) to yourself.
by Gillian McGuire, AFAR Local Expert
The Colosseum is probably Rome’s best-known landmark. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the elaborate spectacles held here would have been as popular as today's Broadway blockbusters. Underneath the massive stone amphitheater is the Hypogeum, an intricate series of tunnels and elevators that transported animals, slaves and gladiators to the performance above.
by Adriana Yampey
We lived in Italy for 3 years a while back ago and went back for a visit last year and I was in awe all over again. The Colosseum has that effect on me and maybe others. If you see it 100 times, 100 times you will be in awe of the grander of it. Now only if I knew a secret to escape the tourist crowds...
A V.I.P. Tour of Rome's Grand Colosseum
by Ashley Castle, AFAR Contributor
Going to see the Colosseum in Rome is outright amazing; getting to see it V.I.P. style is even better.
Skip the (very long) lines and get right in to the Colosseum. You'll have your own, uncrowded, private deck to observe on the ground floor, and then get to go underground, a V.I.P. only area where the gladiators and animals were kept. Learn about those inner chambers and the way of life of the gladiators.
The tour ends by getting to go to another restricted area, to the top floor of the Colosseum where the best views are, of both the Colosseum and a fantastic view of the Roman Forum. This is definitely a spot in Rome where going V.I.P. is the only way to go!
by Ed Gabrys
What else can you say, it's THE Colosseum. Impressive on every count. Long live Caesar.
by Paul and Michelle Shappirio
Paul says that, with my love of food, you’d never know we saw any sites in Rome. He’s right. I’m more of a food blogger than a tourism blogger. While I think the sites are amazing and educational, I hate how crowded they can get! I totally prefer sitting at a little cafe, watching the people go by, engaging in conversation with locals, and just, relaxing. I learn the most just this way.
A few nights before this trip, my mother-in-law and I got into a heated debate about what’s most important to a traveler. I say, “it’s all about the food” and she says, “it’s all about the sites”. I say, “you need food to survive” and she says, “not if you’re in a museum”. I say, “food brings conversation” and she says, “so does the Trevi Fountain”. This debate went on and on for days and before we left we decided to settle on a healthy balance of food and sites.
Then, we got to Rome. What’s the first thing we did? We ate, and then we ate some more and, as a result, we learned. We learned about Italian culture, cuisine, and caught a small glimpse of what it’s like to be Roman. Our niece learned how to ask for the check (el conto por favore) and I learned how to confidently walk into a Roman restaurant and ask for a table for 5 (cinque). All without even stepping foot into a museum.
Some of our favorite memories are a result of where and what we ate. And what did my mother-in-law have to say after all this? “You’re right Michelle. Maybe it is all about the food”.
End of December
by Danielle Zitoun
It is said that Rome once conquered the world and now the world conquers Rome armed with cameras, souvenirs and symptoms of gluten over dose. Except on Christmas. Perhaps the only day of the year when Rome is desolate, desolate enough to hear the echo of your own footsteps, desolate enough to hear the history, layer upon layer, echo like the Grand Canyon of western civilization.
A Night stroll at the past glorious Colosseo
Imagine this place comes to life, gladiators fighting, animals roaring drowned in the deafening screams of the primitive audience. I think it better left as it is
by Glenn Miller
Make sure you check out the Colosseo during the day and at night. Even at its current size it's magnificent. When you think about Roman and Greek history it's truly astounding. Could we ever create anything today that could last as long as these buildings???
The Colosseum in the Evening
by Marcia Prentice
Of course the Colosseum is not to be missed when visiting <a href="/travel-guides/italy/rome/guide">Rome</a>. To get this view, walk up the stairs next to the Forum and enjoy the grand view of the Colosseum.
The Colosseum at Night
by Larry Robinson
The energy around the Colosseum at night is amazing. It begins when you are blocks away, walking up the Via dei Fori Imperiali, and you first see the lights dancing in the distance. As you get closer the crowds thicken, like the humidity. Street vendors hawking their wares abound, some of them cleverly sell tripods. The view is mesmerizing and not to be missed. Next stop, the Colosseum.
The Colosseum as Seen from the Forum
by Larry Robinson
It's the perfect backdrop from any angle.
by Kristen Knape
Yes, a tourist attraction, but for a reason. The grand scale of the structure is as impressive as the details.
Colosseum in the Morning
by Joseph Smith
There's a magical electricity that occurs when I stop to place my hand on something ancient and weathered. While thousands visit the Colosseum in Rome each day and walk past the fake gladiators, Made In China trinkets, and busloads of camera-toting tourists clogging the walkways, I think very few stop to think about what this place really was, or if they do, not for very long. Sure, it's the place of ancient Roman entertainment and is featured in many Hollywood movies, but it goes beyond that. Take the scene in the photo for example, and imagine yourself being an audience member in Ancient roman times, and what that must have been like in Rome's golden age when the arena floor was intact. What would it be like? Now, as the traffic and tourists continually tread on the site and slowly blacken and pollute the stonework more and more each day, these moments will be relegated to distant memory, and there may not be a day when you can put your hands on the actual stone of the ancient Colosseum and touch what the ancient Romans felt and saw. Much of the Colosseum shows evidence of past looting and decay, and it will only get worse. Advice: go here now, and brush past the photos with the gladiators. Pass up the plastic Colosseum replicas and chariot rides. Grab a panini if you must, but don't hesitate to go to the top level and touch the stones gently, lingering on what it was like in the past and savoring a moment you may not get to experience again.
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
by shilpa balakrishnan
My one day trip to Rome, missed out on Fontain di Trevi but the the colosseum and the Vatican City absolutely compensated for it all.
First Day of School!
by Claire Curtis
The first day of a 4.5 month journey studying and traveling through Europe!
by Dedra Theoret
Rome, Italy and its ruins what more can you say! A definite trip to take your children to see as well! I hope to return one day and let my children experience this spot!
Underground Adventures in Rome
Visitors to <a href="/travel-guides/italy/rome/guide">Rome</a> are seeing all the major sites in the same ways these day and it is hard to imagine how your experience of Rome's history will ever be different from the thousands who have seen it before you. That's what makes experiences like this one even more rewarding and memorable, when you can access areas of a site like the Colosseum that the general public don't get to see. Underground, on the reconstructed arena floor and up on the 3rd level. Instead of just seeing the Colosseum, it feels like you're retracing the final steps of a gladiator and being a super VIP traveler/explorer at the same time.