Every country has their own symbol that people would instantly recognize as part of their identity. For Italy, the one most associated with the country is the majestic Colosseum.This structure is the beloved iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. I’ve seen the structure everywhere and seeing it every single time only makes me want to see the real thing even more. Prior to visiting, I couldn’t wait to set foot in one of the most beautiful architectural buildings ever and bask in all the glory of its present and past echoes. Below are pictures and a video from what you can see inside the Roman Colosseum.
My family went down the Hop On, Hop Off bus at the Colosseum bus stop. Even from afar, I was already giddy on my seat cause I was so happy that I finally saw the structure with my own eyes. Near the Colosseum was a lot of open space. There was a small garden patch, and lots of pretty cobblestone streets to accommodate the hordes of people who were milling about.
There were people everywhere! Tourists, locals, and even some Romans dressed in ancient gladiator outfits. Beware though! They charge money for people to take pictures with them. To my surprise, there were even some horse drawn carriages roaming about. There are also some street performers who are hoping to make a buck out of gawking tourists. On top of the performers are the merchants going around selling you overpriced items. Please consider buying at a different tourist shop rather than at the Colosseum, cause they jack up the prices so high! I bought a keychain at a humble tourist shop for 1 Euro, but I saw the same keychain at the Colosseum being sold for 10 Euros. Be very careful with your bags and the items in your pockets because it can get quite crowded and you wouldn’t want to end your historic tour with empty pockets would you?
We ate lunch first before we began our exploration escapade inside. There are a lot of food stands in the area so you can just take your pick. I am in loooooove with European street sandwiches. They are so yummy, and the bread they make it with is fresh. We had sandwiches and a donut with water for lunch, which we ate at one of the mini hill sides. It was actually quite an experience in itself cause there were pigeons flying about, a cool, gentle breeze was blowing, the sounds of tourists appreciating and clicking away, the passing Italians who were complaining about the tourists, my siblings who kept on going about in our usual banters and shenanigans. It was so simple, yet it was one of the most memorable lunches I’ve ever had. Haha. And yes, my sandwich was yummy as well.
Right in the middle of it, sandwiched between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill was Rome’s very own Arc De Triomphe. The Arch of Constantine was “erected by the Roman senate on October 28, 312 to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maexntius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.” This Arch is completely free for tourists to gawk at and take a gajillion pictures of. I suggest you come closer and look at the sculpture because it has really nice details. I was also impressed with how they manage to make sure that Arch doesn’t deteriorate.
The Colosseum is visited by millions of people every year and is one of the most frequently visited monuments in Rome. The entrance ticket is 12 Euros and is a package for three sites (The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine hill). You may buy your tickets on any of the three sites, but I suggest you buy it in the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill, because the line at the Colosseum is looooonnnngggg all day. If there is a special exhibit inside the Colosseum, you may visit it for an additional fee of 3 Euros. Bonus saving tip for Europeans! If you happen to be an EU citizen under age 18 or over age 65, you get to enter for free!
The fee of 12 Euros only guarantees you an entrance to all three sites, but if you want a more educated experience, you may also opt to avail for tours. There are guided tours available in Italian, English and Spanish. These tours are much more expensive but give you much better scope than ordinary ticket holders. When you avail of a tour, you are also taken to limited-access areas and even the underground area.
However, if you want to save money, an ordinary ticket will suffice. Inside the Colosseum there are excellent explanatory signs in Italian and English, so you can already learn a lot from them. As for the underground area, you can actually see some parts from above without actually taking a tour. We went with the ordinary ticket as we wanted free time to go about as we pleased, and figured if we wanted more, we could just get it the next time.
For a quick background on The Colosseum, here are bullet points I picked up from the signage:
- It’s also called the “Flavian Amphitheatre”, and is one of the great works of Roman architecture and engineering.
- It was built in the 1st century AD, and was the site for gladiator fights, mock sea battles (yes, they used to flood it with water to do so), and other public spectacles such as animal hunts, executions, re-enactments and dramas.
- It is estimated to hold between 50,000-80,000 spectators.
- It is the largest amphitheatre in the world.
- Underneath the amphitheatre were two levels of tunnels and cages, where they used to hold the gladiators and wild animals before the spectacles began.
VIDEO: INSIDE THE COLOSSEUM
(apologies for the shaky parts!)
BREAKDOWN OF COSTS:
Only the ones related to this blog post
|COSTS FOR COLOSSEUM DAY TRIP|
|Food (1 sandwich and 1 donut)||8 Euros|
|Water (1 bottle)||3 Euros|
|Entrance Ticket (covers Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill)||12 Euros|
|Hop On, Hop Off Bus||20 Euros|
Overall, my trip to the Colosseum was magical and awe inspiring. When I was walking inside and around the area, I felt goosebumps because the mere thought of all the history that surrounds the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palpatine hill was very overwhelming. Imagine all the people who have walked through its halls and paths, the gladiators who ended up dead or victorious, the events that have taken place here. The Colosseum is definitely something worth seeing and if ever you find yourself in Rome, please don’t forget to make a stop at this historic landmark. When in restaurants, drown yourself on delicious Italian food and get intoxicated with their selection of wine. But in the Colosseum, Get drunk… on history and beautiful architecture.