Travel back in time at The Colosseum

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We devoted a whole day to go round The Colosseum, which is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, and the nearby Palatine Hill which has been around for nearly 2000 years. The Colosseum took 8 years to build, started in 72AD under emperor Vespasian and finished off under Titus. Amendments were made under Domitian but we can safely say it was opened for the public in 80AD.

Outside the Colosseum
Close up of the Colosseum walls
To skip the enormous queues, we decided to join a guide who offered fascinating insights in what happened in The Colosseum at the time which we would not have gained if we went round on our own. The guide group also used the fast track queue system so the day was not entirely wasted.

Once inside The Colosseum, you'll be amazed by its size which at the time, could hold 50,000 people. That's 50,000 people watching barbaric gladiatorial activities which would not be accepted now in our society. How times change huh?

Part of the flooring had to be reconstructed to accommodate tourism but you can see that it has a lower ground where they kept the slaves, gladiators and animals for forthcoming entertainment.

Part of the lower ground revealed
After the tour of The Colosseum, we then proceeded to Palatine Hill which is one of the seven hills Rome was built on. Our guide explained that the reason for the seven hills was that the lower ground was too swampy to build on however, in time, the Romans drained and expanded. The Palatine Hill is the only one preserved and is now a major tourist spot. As you can see, not a lot is fully preserved due to earthquakes and general erosion however, what remains is magnificent.

View from Palatine Hill
An old copper door which has turned green through time
Some of the columns have remained
The tour took around 3-4 hours and it did not feel rushed. The guide was good and told you all you needed to know although she did get annoyed at one American who was filming her. Quite right too. You don't need to pre-book as once you get there you are inundated with tour offers as well as sellers offering selfie sticks and useless toys.

This definitely should be on your 'to-do' list when in Rome.

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