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Colosseum was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, reflecting the
family name of Vespasian and Titus. The
name “Colosseum” seems to have been related to a gigantic statue of himself
which Nero had built nearby (undoubtedly likened by some to the
A few structural facts:
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Additional concerns for the structure come from the constant vibrations originating from the Colosseo Metro stop, just across the street. Oblivious to these concerns at the time, we arrived at this stop following a short trip from the Spagna stop.
Colosseo Metro Station
Connie and Philip and Colosseum
Across from the Colosseum
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We had to cross a street to get to the Colosseum, but once across we were safe from vehicular traffic, as most of the area immediately surrounding the Colosseum has been pedestrianized. This area is also safe for sellers of overpriced souvenirs and refreshments, and (apparently) for pickpockets, so one must remain alert. In addition, one has the opportunity to pose for photographs with genuine Roman centurions, who somehow know how to operate digital cameras. They also accept modern currency.
At the time of our visit, admission to the Colosseum was sold as part of a combination ticket which also included admission to the Forum to the west (more on this later) and the Palatine Hill above it. It is also possible to buy this same ticket at the entrance to the Forum, just up Via di San Gregorio, and the Forum line is much shorter. Or, if you own a Roma Pass and are using one of your free admissions for this purpose (highly advised for maximum cost-effectiveness), you can bypass the ticket line entirely, as there is a special Colosseum entrance just for Roma Pass holders.
As one would expect, the Colosseum is a very crowded place on a summer afternoon. There are places where the throng is more compacted than at others, but solitude is never an option. We did see a bride and groom who were somehow posing for pictures, though.
Inside the Colosseum
Inside Wall to East
Inside Colosseum with Bride and Groom
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Walking Around with Connie
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Connie, Hypogeum and Interior
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View from South Interior
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Tourists can pretty much go where they please, with portions of three levels open. The hypogeum was not open to tourists during our visit, but apparently this has changed – check the Colosseum website for details.
View from Upstairs
Hypogeum from Above
Connie and Bob
View from East Endzone
Nella Photographing Philip and Connie
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Philip and Connie
At the time of our visit, there was an exhibit about Vespasian (under whom construction of the Colosseum was begun) with statues and busts and assorted ruin fragments on display. There is a small bookshop on the south side of the arena.
At the west end of the arena, there is a point where one can look outward from the Colosseum, to the west. There is a nice view of the Arch of Constantine, which is enclosed in the pedestrianized area around the Colosseum. This arch is 69 feet tall, and was built in 315 A.D. to commemorate the victory of Constantine I over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312.
Arch of Constantine
Arch of Constantine
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On exiting the Colosseum, we headed over to the Arch for a closer look.
Arch of Constantine - South Side
Arch of Constantine - South Detail
Arch of Constantine, Forum and Vendor
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After having our fill of the Arch, we continued up Via di San Gregorio to the entrance for the Forum, our next destination.
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