You don’t need a vivid imagination to visit Rome’s Colosseum. You can almost hear the shouts and cheering of a bygone era on entering this monumental, circular amphitheatre.
A place where gladiators fought to the death and emperors flaunted their prestige and power. With space for no less than 55,000 and 80 entrances, this gargantuan wonder was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre and was completed in AD 80.
- Colosseum is an elliptical building measuring 189 meters long and 156 meters wide with a base area of 24,000 m² with a height of more than 48 meters.
- It has about 80 entrances and can accommodate 50,000 spectators.
- The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions and dramas.
- Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles were some of the few famous singers that performed at the Colosseum.
- It is estimated that the games played in the Colosseum for hundreds of years have taken the lives of about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals.
"Rome will never be accused of lacking places to see. Quite the opposite, I don’t think I have ever seen so many amazing, iconic and historical sites packed into one place, you have to pinch yourself at times. The Romans loved entertainment, the more bloodthirsty the better, and the Colosseum was the crowning glory of all the empire’s arenas. The barbaric scenes that took place in the arena seem at odds with the grandeur and style of the structure which still impresses 2000 years later. Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’ helps the imagination as you picture 50,000 roman citizens packed in. No expense was spared, this was the grandest show on earth and lots of blood was spilled over the years – an estimated 1 million exotic animals and half a million unfortunate prisoners, Christians and gladiators. At time they even flooded the arena to re-enact sea battles. During just one festival in 240 AD a staggering: 2,000 gladiators, 70 lions, 40 wild horses, 30 elephants, 30 leopards, 20 wild asses, 19 giraffes, 10 antelopes, 10 hyenas, 10 tigers, 1 hippopotamus and 1 rhinoceros were slaughtered!"
James Adkin - Product Manager
Our 11-day Best of Italy trip takes you across the beloved boot, from Venice and Florence to Naples and Rome with a trip to the Colosseum, from £1,848, including flights, accommodation and tour leader.