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Colosseum 2015 | A visitors Guide and Opening Hours

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Date: 2014-08-31 17:18:52


Author: Samuel Heenan

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Visiting the Colosseum

The Colosseum of Rome is the most popular monument in Italy with upto 6 million visitors per year and is the largest amphitheater built by the Roman empire Roman Empire. In Ancient Roman times the Colosseum held games and battles for upto 80,000 spectators. The Roman public were treated to gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

The Colosseum is set to the east of the Roman Forum and was constructed in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian, completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The latin name of the Colosseum "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).

As the Roman Empire declined so did the wealth of the economy and at teh height of its popularity the cost of the games at the Colosseum came to one third of the total income of the Empire. Therefore as the empire declined less money was spent on repairs of the monument and with the last known gladitorial fights coming between 393 and 423AD the decline set in. Earthquakes and storms battered the Colosseum so severely that parts of the upper stoires and eventually the entire south wall fell. As the centuries passed the bronze statues and the marble were plundered and used for other constructions. Did you know that the steps of St Peter's Basilica are made from re-used Colosseum stones? Find out more Colosseum Facts here!

How to get to the Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum is located in the centre of the  city of Rome and has the Metro Line B (Colosseo) which stops right outside. Just few hundred yards from Piazza Venezia, and close to the Roman Forum. A taxi stop is also available right next to the monument. On the 30th July 2013 the City implemented a private traffic ban passing the Colosseum so now the only traffic to pass by are taxi's, public buses, pedestrians and cyclists bringing an end congestion and a definatley more peaceful visit down the Fori imperiali.

Public transport links for the Colosseum:

  • "B" line Metro station Colosseo
  • "A" line Metro station Manzoni, then two stops of tram no. 3 going southwards
  • Bus lines 60, 75, 85, 87, 271, 571, 175, 186, 810, 850, C3, and the electric minibus 117.
  • Tramway line no 3.


Colosseum Closed Dates 2015

Visits inside the Colosseum will be closed on: 1 January  2015 , 1 May 2015 and 25 December 2015


Colosseum Opening Hours 2015

(Please note that the ticket office closes one hour before closing time):

8:30 am - 4:30 pm from January 2 to February 15
8:30 am - 5 pm from February 16 to March 15
8:30 am - 5:30 pm from March 16 to last Saturday of March
8:30 am - 7:15 pm from last Sunday of March to August 31
8:30 am - 7 pm from September 1 to September 30
8:30 am - 6:30 pm from October 1 to last sunday of October
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from the last sunday of October to December 31

Extra-ordinary dates:

Good Friday 8:30 am - 2 pm   April 18 2014   &    June 2 -  1:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Colosseum Admissions and prices for 2015

The ticket includes Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and has a validity of 2 days in which you can enter each archaeological site once.

ADULTS € 12,00
REDUCED FEE € 7,50 for European Union members between 18 and 24 years old
FREE ENTRANCE for ALL persons under 18 and over 65 years old. -
(Minors under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult).

Guided Tours of the Colosseum

There are many guided tours to the Colosseum too. Visiting with a guide you will gain direct access to the monument with your tour guide not having to wait in line to enter which is a bonus and have the guide lead you around the monument along with the Roman Forum on a journey of its history, the battles and its rise and decline. Here you can find a list of Colosseum Tours on offer.

Book now for a Guided Colosseum Tour


Why the Colosseum?


Why the Colosseum instead of the "Amphitheatrum Flavium” ? Apparantly the name appeared in a prophecy of the medieval monk Venerable Beda: “Rome will exist as long as the Colosseum does; when the Colosseum falls so will Rome; when Rome falls so will the world”. With the name coming from the giant statue of  Emperor Nero which once stood right next to the amphitheare, “the Colossus” was 35 meters high.

The exterior of the Roman Colosseum is made entirely of travertine, stretching 527 m around and four stories high. The arches of the second and third stories were originally filled with statues. There were 80 entrances, with the two principal ones reserved for the emperor and his entourage.

The interior is made of brick, tufa and marble; little of the marble survives today. The central area, the arena, was covered with a great wooden floor and canvas to make it waterproof. Over this was a layer of sand to absorb blood - in fact "arena" derives from the Latin word for sand. The floor is now exposed down to its underground passages, where beasts and gladiators awaited their fate, and crossed by a modern walkway.

The arena was surrounded by a 5m-high wall to protect spectators from attacks by wild beasts. At the top of the wall was the podium, on which the imperial party and other VIPs had their seats.


The Forum Romanum

The Roman Forum began as a market place but soon became the political and economic hub of Rome or as a modern day city centre. Nowadays you will see only the ruins of this once great Forum. The architecture of the Forum Romanum has become so iconic that it has been imitated all over the world, including the famous one in Paris. Some buildings are still recognizable. One of the oldest is Basilica Aemilia. This huge marble hall provided shelter for various meetings but was destroyed in a fight with the Visigoths. Another important edifice was the Temple of Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth and home.

There was a school near the temple in Forum Romanum and opposite to it is the Temple of Romulus with its circular plan and large original metallic door. Constructed in the 7th century AD, the Column of Phocas is the youngest part of the forum. Other temples include the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Jewelry, sculptures and mosaics are displayed in the Antiquitarium.

The name of the Forum Romanum comes from the Latin verb conferrent, because people bring issues to court; conferrent is based on the Latin ferrent, referring to where people bring merchandise to sell.


Was Rome Founded at the Palatine Hill

It is thought that Rome has its origins on the Palatine, it was here that Romulus supposedly founded the city in 753 BC. There is no proof of this but archaeological evidence has dated human habitation on the Palatino to the 8th century BC.

The Palatine Hill is some 40 meters high with views of the Roman Forum on one side, and the Circus Maximus on the other. The site is now a large open-air museum which tourists can visit during the daytime. The Palatine became the place where the powerful and wealthy retreated to build their homes and relax. Among the ruins on the hill can be found, the Domus Flavia, the Domus Augustana, the Baths of Septimus Severus, and the House of Livia.

The Palatine is a wonderful spot above Rome with breathtaking views of the Forum and the Colosseum and you can clain to have visited the site where the city was founded.




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