The Roman Forum and Colosseum: A Guided Tour
Trip Start Sep 20, 2005
15Trip End Ongoing
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First stop, the Roman Colosseum.
Also known as the Flavian Ampitheatre because it was built by three Flavian Emperors, the Colosseum opened to the public in A.D. 80. It is uncertain how this structure came to be known as the Colosseum but two theories prevail. The first is for one very apparent reason which has to do with its gigantic size. The second and lesser known but more commonly believed derives from the "colossal" statue of Nero that stood outside the theatre of which only the base planted with five trees remains to this day.
When you first walk up to this amazing building, it's hard to believe that it has been there for almost 2000 years and difficult not to be struck with awe as you gaze around the super structure and try to take it all in. Imagine, 80,000 spectators came to this very place and watched as gladiators battled to the death, public executions were held and all kinds of animal hunted. I stop here with those details. First, let's examine the facade and then move to the interior.
After making our way through the main entrance, we ascended to the upper tier to begin our audio tour. If you're not on a guided tour, I strongly recommend the self guided audio tour because it's simple to use and very informative. It explains in detail exactly what you're looking at. You start at the top and then work your way down all the time following directions to the next marker that designates the start of your next commentary. Very important - before you begin the audio, be sure to take a good, long look around the interior view. It is absolutely amazing!
Look down and you can see where the wooden floor that covered the pens that housed the gladiators and animals was located. When we were there, part of the floor was reconstructed so you could see how it appeared in the day although at that time it was covered with dirt. Take in all the details. If you've never visited this ancient site, it's not cliché to do so. Actually, it's very important that you do! It is a "must-see" that should be included in all Roman Holiday itineraries.
Tip: Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets online to avoid the long lines and allow for plenty of time to tour this and the Forum together.
Next stop is the Roman Forum.
Where I stayed