As Rome’s most famous landmark and the largest amphitheatre in the world, the Colosseum is a must-visit during your stay in Italy’s capital. To avoid the queues, it’s worth buying your ticket in advance online, or going to the ticket office at Palatine Hill on Via di San Gregorio where it’s usually much quieter.
When you arrive at the Colosseum, take plenty of pictures outside the building before going in to find out more about the history of ancient Rome. After getting past security, go up the stairs or take the lift to get into the main arena of the Colosseum. As you look out across the seating areas, where spectators once watched great games, animal hunts, executions and gladiator fights, imagine the noise made by 50,000 people all cheering and clapping as they watched the spectacle.
While at the Colosseum, look out for the west exit, otherwise known as the Gate of Death, which was used to take out the bodies of fallen gladiators. Although the years have taken their toll on the building, it’s still easy to imagine how these brutal events unfolded in the arena below.
There are audio and guided tours available, which are a great way to make the most of your visit. There’s also a special advance booked tour taking you to the underground chambers, arena floor and third tier.
Most visits to the Colosseum will last around an hour. Once you’ve taken in the sights, use your ticket to see the city’s ancient marketplace at the Roman Forum before going to Palatine Hill which has a great view across the age-old remains.