Rome: the Colosseum and the Roman Forum
Useful information to organise your visit of the Colosseum area
The Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheater, is set in the city center: the ultimate icon of Rome.
Built in the Flavian era, it was first opened in 80 AD, and its final show was in 500 AD. The Colosseum was built to host for gladiator shows, reproductions of naval battles, sports competitions, chariot races, and theatrical productions.
It is one of Unesco World Heritage's 7 wonders of the world. Built in travertine on a tuff base, its 52 meters (170 feet) in height and 527 meters (1730 feet) makes it the largest amphitheater in the world.
A number of routes can be chosen inside the Colosseum. Two especially interesting ones are the tour of the Belvedereand the tour including the underground areas.
The Belvedere tour takes you to the Colosseum's highest point, the fifth tier, the one that has been partly dismantled. When you reach the top of the monument, you'll be welcomed by an unforgettable view of the entire city, overlooking the streets, homes, and monuments of Rome. The sight is extraordinary and the experience absolutely unforgettable.
The guided tour of the Underground Area is equally exciting, taking you into the Colosseum's living heart. This tour will give you a chance to see the original marble cladding and structures of the sophisticated lift system used to bring animals and gladiators up, right into the arena and ready to battle.
A fascinating new tour — "Moon over the Colosseum" — has recently been introduced to let visitors tour the arena and underground in the evening. Bathed in moonlight, the colossal monument takes on a special allure, heightening the effect of the timeless icon's immensity and beauty!
If you decide to visit the amphitheater without a guided tour, we suggest you book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the ticket office. Skip-the-line tickets to the Colosseum also includes admission to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Built as a political and judicial center, over the centuries, the Forum also became a religious center of considerable importance. A fascinating fact accounts for the excellent state of conservation of this archaeological area: After the Forum was abandoned, it was buried under a thick layer of earth and became a grazing pasture. When excavations started in the Renaissance, these invaluable monuments were found and brought to light almost intact.
To complete the list of must-see archaeological sites in the center, we have to include the Palatine Hill. This became the location of aristocratic homes and imperial palaces. Many findings of immense archaeological value were discovered here, heightening Rome's value as antiquity's main city.
Touring these monuments reveals Rome's power, its being the Caput Mundi, proving that it lives up to its name and is, indeed, a beautiful, fascinating capital of the world.