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Never before have the old and the new fit together so well in one city. Promise us you won’t leave Rome without a visit to the Colosseum! As you get closer to it, you will be stunned by its sheer size and the power it radiates. Step inside and take a trip through history.
The Colosseum was commissioned by the emperors Vespasian and Titus, and was finished in 80 AD. Its completion was commemorated by 100 days of ceremony and games.
The Colosseum was designed for sports, such as as fights between gladiators and wild beasts. Its semi-circular structure housed 50,000 spectators.
The largest amphitheater in the world, the last gladiator fights were held there in 435 AD. Admission was free for all, and mock naval battles took place upon entry.
Unlike earlier Roman amphitheaters, the materials used were built to last: concrete for the foundations, travertine for the piers, tufa infill, and brick-faced concrete.
Although earthquakes have caused some damage, most of the Colosseum still stands. The tour inside this archeological marvel, where you can retrace the steps of the gladiators, is a must-do.
If you want to do more than just walk in and grab a few shots with your camera, we recommend a small group tour. We’ve done it and it’s well worth it. An expert will teach you about ancient Roman history, architecture, sport, and little known facts that make the Colosseum come alive as you walk through it. You can also combine it with the guided tour of the Forum or Palatine Hill, plus you’ll get to skip the line.
The 'Colosseo' station is located on Rome's blue metro line, two stops from Termini. You cannot miss the Colosseum as you exit the station.
- When to visitOpen seven days a week, year-round from 8:30 - 18:15. Closed on December 25th and January 1st.
- What is the price?A simple entry ticket is €12.
- Will I need a guide?It's highly recommended!
- How to get thereThe 'Colosseo' metro station - the Colosseum itself is located directly outside the exit.
- Additional tips
- Get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds!
- Make sure you wear sunscreen, as the Colosseum is open-air.
What People Are Saying About Colosseum
Informative. Interesting. Very knowledgeable tour guide. Great balance between context and fact. Built background to areas and people progressively and clearly. Well done Elizabeth.
This was way better than expected. Our group of 20 or so were escorted to the rear of the Colossuem and entered on the original ground level through a private entrance. After ample time in our special area we were allowed to merge with the throngs and admire from above. This was better than expected. We also met back with a guide later for the same treatment at the Forum and Palatine Hill. Can't beleive more don't know about this.
This tour is well worth the cost. First of all, we completely bypassed the lines, which were sizable during Christmas week. Secondly, our guide was wonderful. Her depth of knowledgable about the millennium span of the Roman Empire was very impressive, and allowed her to present everything we saw in a very helpful context. 3 hours was about as long as our kids could last, but unfortunately, it is not quite long enough to take in the Coliseum, the Palatine AND the Forum. Our guide focused mainly on the Coliseum, the Palatine and the arch of Titus at the southern (eastern?) end of the Forum. This was a good mix, and I learned much more about the Palatine than when my husband and I saw it 12 years ago on our own, but we did feel like we needed to return on our own later to show our kids the rest of the forum.
Our guide Tanja was terrific. She explained the process clearly and she quickly got us into the Colosseum, avoiding the gigantic lines. She also got us into a restricted area (the gladiators entrance) to view the Colosseum from within and take amazing photos.
This was the perfect start to our stay in Rome. Cannot recommend this highly enough, lots and lots of fun as well as very insightful.