Colosseum of Rome: Useful Informations - Rome Hacks
Simone
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Colosseum of Rome: Useful Informations

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In this article we will talk about one of the 7 wonders of the world, known for being the largest amphitheater ever built and which today hosts more than 7 million visitors a year: the Colosseum, the most important monument in Rome and  the number one symbol of the city’s ancient past.  

I am lucky enough to see the Colosseum almost every day and to know its most beautiful sides. What about you? Surely you know what it looks like and where it come from. But are you sure you have all the information you need to plan your visit?

Read on to find out how to get there, all  possible visit options, ticket prices, timetables and more to help you make the most of this incredible place. quite possibily the highlight of your Roman itinerary.

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Roma Pass

Entrance to the Colosseum is included in both options of  Roma Pass, but you still have to select the day and time of your visit.

Remember that you need to have your Roma Pass with you because you’ll need to show it at the entrance.

/!\Attention/!\ This Pass does not include entrance to the Arena, Underground or Third Level of the Colosseum.

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Roma Pass

Colosseum: timetables and story

The Colosseum’s working hours vary throughout the year based on the sunset time.

So during the winter it closes eralier

DaysHours
Last Sunday of October – February 15th08.30 am– 04.30 pm
February 16th – March 15th 08.30 am– 05.00 pm
March 16th – Last Saturday of March08.30 am – 17.30 pm
Last Sunday of March – 31st of August08.30 am– 19.15  pm
September 1st – September 30st 08.30 am– 19.00 pm
October 1st -Last Saturday of October08.30 am– 18.30 pm

Closed on: December 25st and January 1st

A little history of the Colosseum

How old is the Colosseum?

Why was it built??

Who built it???

First things first, let’s start with its name.

Originally known as Anfiteatro Flavio (Flavian Amphitheater), it was re-named  Colosseum during the Middle Ages, because of a colossal bronze statue standing right next and representing Nero,the famous emperor who once set the city of fire.

Nero chose this area to build his mansion, the Domus Aurea,  and created an artificial lake in front of it. It was right on this spot that another emporor, Vespasian, decided to build and amphitheater.

Works began in 72 A.D. and ended in 80 AD with Vespasisn’s the successor, the emperor Titus. Designed to host games, shows and the gladiator fights, the amphitheater was intended as a symobol of the Rome’s grandeur and as a place for the entertainment of its people. 

The Colosseum is 48.5 meters high, and has and elliptical shape with an external travertine marble facade divided into four orders with 80 arches.

Inside there is a large arena and a flight of steps for the audience that could host u to 70,000 spectators.

Over the centuries, the Colosseum has repeatedly risked being destroyed, both by strong earthquakes and because of  the “Christianization” of the city’s outlook. Moreover, the amphitheater was in many occasions stripped of its decorations and structural elements that were used for  other buildings in the city. Luckily for us, even if it’s missing some pieces, the Anfiteatrio Flavio aka the Colosseum, aka the indisputable symobol of the Italian capitale, it’s still here foreverybody to visit.

Useful information

Entrance to the Colosseum

There are two entrances to enter the Colosseum.

Entrance without an online ticket: it is located on the Colosseum square, on the side that faces the Roman Forum and can be recognized by the very long queue!

Ordinary entrance: still on the Colosseum square, this entrance is reserved for ticket holders with Ordinary Entrance or Ordinary Entrance + Visit to the Colosseum. Here you will find several queues that will take you to the ticket office, to purchase or collect your reservation, or directly to the security checks if you already have the ticket in hand or are part of a group with a guide. The division is well signposted, rely on the signs or the staff to find your queue! Stern Entrance: it is located on the side overlooking Via Labicana and is officially called Stern Entrance. This entrance is reserved for holders of tickets which include access to the arena, the underground, the third level and the Belvedere which include a mandatory guided tour. In fact, at the time of purchase, an internal guide will automatically be booked who will accompany you with a group to these places. Although officially, as mentioned above, there is no skip-the-line ticket, this is certainly the closest option. In fact, the waiting times from here are significantly reduced compared to the rest. If you prefer to be accompanied by your own authorized guide in these areas, you will have to rely on her for the purchase of tickets and the organization. Entrance will also be reserved for these groups.

Let’s take a look now at what we are actually going to see there and at a couple more things that I am sure we’ll turn out handy. 

WHAT DO YOU SEE WITH ORIDNARY ADMISSION

On the ground level of the Colosseum you’ll see part of the inner and outer rings.

On the second level (first floor) you’ll see the whole inner ring and part of the outer one. 

On the secon level there is a permanent exhibition “The Colosseum tell its story” and  temporary exhibition that you can check  on the official website of the archelogical park.

There is no obligatory route  so you can chose for yourself what to see first and how to move around.

Toilets are located on the ground floor, you’ll find them on your right when you enter the Colosseum. The queue to the toiltes can be just as long as the one to the ticket desk.

Re-usable water bottles are an indispensable accessory for any responsible tourist and inside the Colosseum there are fountains where you can fill them up: one is  located on the ground floor shortly after the entrance and and one the second level, right by  the elevators.

The elevators reserved for people with disabilities, pregnant women, families with strollers and anyone with special needs.

Outside the Colosseum you’ll be the potentianl target of salepeople trying to sell overpriced water bottles, guided tours and non-existing skip the line tickets.  Needless to say, I wouln’t recommend buying from them.

Also watch out for men dressed like gladiators who are most likley going to approach you and offer to pose with you for a souvenir photo. It may sound like a fun idea for you next instagram story but bear in mind that today’s would-be Centurions are mostly known as scammers and could charge you a ridiculous price for their service. 

How to reach the Colosseum

METRO

The easiest and fastes way to reach the Colosseum is definitely by  metro line be B. The Colosseum metro station is right in front of the monument so once you get out of the metro you just need to cross the street and you you’ll basically be already in the admission line. 

TRAM

If you’re staying in San Giovanni or Trastevere neighborhoods, the best thing for you would be to catch the tram number 3. On this tram route you will also get a panormanic view of Ludus Magnus, the ancient gladiators gym. You will need to get off at Via Labicana stop, a 5 min. walk from the Colosseum.

BUS

There’s quite a few buses going to Colosseum:

Bus 51  from Piazza San Silvestro and from San Giovanni;

Bus 75 from Trastevere;

Bus 85 from San Giovanni or from Corso;

Bus 87  from San Giovanni .

WALKING

Getting around the city on foot is in many cases a good idea and walking to the Colosseum will definitley be very  pleasant. If you are walking from one of the main squares or monuments in the center, you should consider at least 20 minutes to get there. However, from San Pietro or the Vatican Museums, I  recommend you use the metro.

Where to eat: restaurants in the Colosseum area

Logically you would think that the area around the Colosseum must be full of tourist traps but that’s actually not enitrely the case. This area is actually very popular with Romans and students and as such it offers quite a few high quality and reasonably priced places.

The faculty of engineering of La Sapienza University is located right above the Colosseum, next to the wonderful church of San Pietro in Vincoli, home to the incredible Moses sculpture by Michelangelo.

Hungry students equal generous portions at affordable prices. And this is, for example the case for  Caffè dello Studente: a simple, rustic bistro just a stone’s throw from the Colosseum yet somewhat away from the crowd. They have pizzas and traditional pasta dishes but I recommend you try their panini. Ideal for a quick, relatively cheap lunch.

Grammo Bistro is another option for excellent gourmet sandwiches or cold cuts and cheese platters. It’s located on via San Giovanni, just behind the Colosseum.

If you climb up the  stairs right next to the metro exit you will find a large downhill road: via degli Annibaldi. Walking along it and passing the intersection with Via Cavour you’ll end up in the Monti district. Here you’ll be really spoilt for choice.

My favorite place in the aera is  La Casetta,a cute little house covered in ivy that serves delicious desserts.

A good option for lunch is definitely Avocado bar. As the names suggests, this unusal place is specialized in avocado based dishes, including desserts. Food is delicious, healthy and totally instagrammable. 

For local, wholesome food and good wine go to  Ai Tre scalini, a  small traditional trattoria with a warm and cozy atmosphere, super popular among locals. Also great for aperitivo, if you manage to get a table.

If not, you can always try le Tavernelle, aperitivo here is just as good and you can also stay for dinner.

For top quality aperitivo you can also Black Market or Fafiuché.

For you daily dose of dough+tomato+ mozzarella, go to Alle Carrette,a family run pizzeria with an extensive menù of wood oven backed pizzas. 

If you fancy some traditional, Roman cuisine I recommend Taverna Romana.

Another place is Suburra 1930, a fashonably vintage place offering traditional and modern food, a great selection of wine and delicious cocktails. 

Via San Giovanni Laterano, right in front of the Colossuem, is also known as Rome’s Gay street. The best and most famous place on this street is Coming out perfect for basically any time of the day, starting from brunch upto evening cocktails and live music.

If you go across the Colosseum’s archeological park you’ll get to Voodoo Bar, a very trendy place especially popular  during the summer. Come here for aperitivo or an evening cocktail in their gorgeaus garden to get a away from the city for a couple of hours in a tropical atmosphere. 

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