Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Colosseo (Rome, Italy)

The staff at the front desk of our hotel gave us a great tip (and I read it in one of my guidebooks).  If you don't have tickets to the Colosseum, don't wait in line at the Colosseum.  The lines are usually very very very long.  The tickets are combination tickets, allowing you entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in addition to the Colosseum.  Get your tickets at the entrance to Palatine Hill instead.  The line will be shorter there.  When we got there, there was just 2 other people in line.  Once you have your ticket, you can enter and visit Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum first or proceed to the Colosseum.  Once at the Colosseum, stand in the shorter line for people with tickets.  It goes fast.

Legend says that as long as the Colosseum stands, Rome will stand; and when Rome falls, so will the world.
The Colosseum is one of Rome's iconic landmarks.  It was built at the peak of the Roman empire in AD 80.  The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater.  It was an arena used for gladiator contests and public spectacles.  
In it's day, the Colosseum could accommodate more than 50,000 roaring fans.  Only about 1/3 of the original Colosseum remains today.  Most of it was destroyed by earthquakes.  The rest of it was stolen for other buildings.

The arena was originally covered by a wooden floor.  Part of it is reconstructed.  The other part remains uncovered.  You can see the underground tunnels where the animals and prisoners were kept.  
Climbing a steep set of stairs leads to a panoramic view of the Colosseum.

Colosseo (Colosseum)
Piazza del Colosseo 1

Tickets: 12 euro for combo ticket (includes Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill), valid for 2 consecutive days, one entry per sight
Tip: Buy your combo ticket at the less crowded Palatine Hill entrance on Via di San Gregorio