Explore the Colosseum in Rome Italy

Welcome to the grand amphitheater that has stood the test of time and remains an awe-inspiring testament to the ancient Roman civilization - the Colosseum.

It is an elliptical amphitheater with a seating capacity estimated between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators.

The Colosseum was used for various public spectacles, including gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and mock naval battles, and its design incorporated innovative features such as the velarium, a retractable awning system used to provide shade to the audience.

What Did the Colosseum Look Like When It Was New?

When the Colosseum was newly constructed, it was a magnificent and imposing structure, showcasing the engineering prowess and architectural grandeur of ancient Rome.

Known as the Flavian Amphitheater in its heyday, this iconic structure in the heart of Rome has been captivating the world with its remarkable history, architectural brilliance, and cultural significance for centuries.

As you stand before the Colosseum, imagine it in its prime, the white travertine gleaming under the Roman sun. Visualize the grand arches, the detailed columns, and the imposing statues that once adorned the exterior. Picture the bustling crowds entering through the vast entrances, the excited murmur of thousands of spectators filling the air.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Colosseum is its ingenious design. The amphitheater boasts an elliptical shape, allowing for unobstructed views from any seat. Its multi-tiered architecture includes arches, columns, and statues, reflecting the opulence of ancient Rome.

The elaborate underground network of tunnels and chambers, known as the hypogeum, facilitated the staging of elaborate spectacles, enabling the smooth movement of gladiators, animals, and scenery.

Colosseum Stadium for Entertainment

The Colosseum games were primarily associated with gladiatorial combat, where trained warriors battled to entertain the masses.

It also witnessed other events, such as naval reenactments after filling the amphitheater with water, wild animal hunts, and public executions.

These spectacles were a means for emperors to showcase their power and gain public support.


A Glimpse into Ancient Rome

The Colosseum, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in AD 70-72 and later completed by his successor, Emperor Titus, was a symbol of Rome's power and grandeur.

Standing at 159 feet tall and with a circumference of 1,788 feet, the amphitheater could hold up to 80,000 spectators who gathered to witness gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and other public spectacles.

This colossal structure was a testament to Roman engineering prowess, with its innovative use of concrete, travertine stone, and iron clamps holding the massive stones together.

Colosseum Measurements

The Colosseum is an architectural marvel with impressive measurements. Here are its key dimensions:

1. Overall Size
: The Colosseum has an elliptical shape, with its long axis measuring about 620 feet (189 meters) and its short axis about 512 feet (156 meters).

2. Height
: The outer wall stands approximately 157 feet (48 meters) tall.

3. Seating Capacity
: It could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, with an average of around 65,000.

4. Arena
: The central performance area, or arena, measures 287 feet (87 meters) long by 180 feet (55 meters) wide. The arena floor was made of wooden planks covered with sand.

5. Structure
: The Colosseum comprises four stories, with the first three featuring arcades with entrances and the fourth featuring a solid wall with small rectangular windows.

6. Perimeter
: The perimeter of the elliptical outer wall is about 1,788 feet (545 meters).

7. Substructures
: Below the arena, there is a complex network of underground tunnels and chambers known as the hypogeum, which was used to house gladiators, animals, and equipment.

These dimensions underscore the Colosseum's grandeur and its status as a monumental achievement of ancient Roman engineering and architecture.

How Many Years Did it Take to Build the Colosseum?

The Colosseum took approximately 8 years to build.

Construction began in AD 72 under Emperor Vespasian and was completed in AD 80 under his son, Emperor Titus.

The Colosseum was built by the emperors of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people and served as a venue for public spectacles such as gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights.

Later, Vespasian's younger son, Emperor Domitian, made modifications and additions to the structure.

Can You See the Colosseum for Free?

Yes, you can see the Colosseum for free on certain occasions.

Specifically, the Colosseum offers free entry on the first Sunday of every month as part of a broader initiative by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage to make cultural sites more accessible to the public.

If you're planning your trip on a budget, this day could be a good option!

On these free admission days, you can explore the Colosseum without paying the usual entry fee.

However, it's important to note that these days can be very crowded due to the increased number of visitors taking advantage of the free access.

Colosseum Bag Policy

The Colosseum has a strict bag policy in place to ensure visitor safety and the preservation of this ancient monument.

Generally, bags larger than 30x30x15 cm (11.8x11.8x5.9 inches) are not allowed inside the Colosseum. Visitors are encouraged to carry only essential items in small bags or backpacks that meet these size requirements.

Larger bags, backpacks, and luggage must be stored at the designated cloakroom or left outside the monument. It's important to note that security measures may vary, so it's advisable to check the latest bag policy information before your visit to the Colosseum.

How Many People Visit Rome Each Year?

Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors annually. In a typical year, Rome receives around 10-12 million tourists, making it one of the most visited cities globally.

Specifically, the Colosseum is one of Rome's most iconic attractions and draws a significant portion of these visitors. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colosseum alone welcomed around 7-8 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited landmarks in Rome and Italy as a whole.

Related Posts
Slide to see more...

Let's connect

Ask a question or leave me a comment

Got it! I'll be in touch soon!

~Mary
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.