The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Europe. Aptly known as the Eternal City, Rome’s history spans over 28 centuries. The Colosseum is just one of the city’s magnificent pieces of ancient architcture and is almost 2000 years old.
I studied history at university and completed my final year dissertation on Italian history so when I visited Rome, I was in absolute historical awe. You see the Colosseum in photos and it’s likeness in movies – but none of them do it justice.
We visited the Colosseum in mid-July and it was scorching hot. We took in the incredible views from the outside and took lots of photos. One thing that really shocked me about Rome was how so many ancient buildings were scattered amongst modern ones. This was the case at the Colosseum. A busy road runs alongside the edifice, which felt like the ancient and modern worlds were colliding.
We purchased our tickets from the Palatine Hill entrance which turned out to be beneficial. When we arrived at the Colosseum, there were two lines; one for people with tickets and one for people without. The line for people with pre-purchased tickets was so much shorter and we only had to wait for 5 minutes.
What struck me when we entered the Colosseum was how huge it was. However, I learned that only about one third of the original structure still exists. It was once the largest amphitheater in the world and seated approximately 50,000 people. The Colosseum itself, was built by tens of thousands of slaves between 72 AD and 80 AD under the Emperor Vespasian. It’s so surprising that such an amazing structure was built before the time of modern technology.
When you are standing in the Colosseum, it’s crazy to imagine all of the events that have taken place over it’s active centuries. The Colosseum was so important in ancient Roman culture. It was used both to keep the Romans entertained and to prove the strength of the Roman empire. Events included gladiatorial contests, parading exotic animals and, other public spectacles. When you are in the midst of such incredible architecture, its difficult to imagine the amount of bloodshed that took place there.
I am eternally in love with Rome. It’s home to so many historical landmarks and, the Colosseum is just one of them. There’s nothing more magical than learning about the city’s vibrant past underneath the heat of the Roman sun.