The mighty Colosseum is perhaps Rome’s most iconic symbol. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, built on an enormous scale unheard of during its era. And yet it still stands proudly together with time. The structure of the Colosseum may have fallen into ruin after surviving few earthquakes, but it’s still a beautiful sight to behold. And I can’t help but gawk at it the moment we exited from the nearby Colosseo Metro station. What a surreal experience! It’s just so amazing to see a massive structure dated long ago still looking as majestic and domineering as the builders envisioned it to be.
Built to show off the escalating power of Rome and as a free entertainment gift from the Emperor to his people. By ‘entertainment’ during those days meant seeing Gladiators (usually slaves or prisoners-of-war) fighting for their lives against ferocious animals like lions…the dark side of Rome’s glorious days… Damn barbaric and sickening if you ask me.
Walking inside the Colosseum brings mixed feelings because of that. Just imagine the cruelty and bloodshed that took place around these walls in the past. The below pictures show underground tunnels and cages where Gladiators and animals were held before their turn to enter the arena.
But the wisdom that went into the construction has been passed down as a reference to modern stadiums. Such as the crowd control and seating arrangement…a trade-off? Whatever the case, this is one major landmark not to miss in Rome.
The beautiful Arch of Constantine right beside Colosseum, a triumphal arch erected to celebrate the victory of Constantine over Emperor Maxentius.
I would suggest paying an additional 2 Euro booking fee and buy the tickets online to avoid the long ticket queue. Else, buy your tickets at Palatine Hill’s entrance since the queue here is always shorter. The same ticket will allow you to enter the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill over a two days period.
We walked towards Palatine Hill which is close to the Colosseum. According to a local myth, the ancient hill was where Romulus had founded Rome. It’s where the wealthy Romans called home before the emperors decided to build their palaces on these high grounds. But few buildings remained to tell on its glorious days.
This whole place is massive and can take a lot of walking to cover, which is no joke under the hot sun. But what’s more frustrating is that there’s no clear information signage to make sense of the whole site, as most are minimal remains of what once stood here.
Next to Palatine Hill is the Roman Forum which contains important ruins of Ancient Rome. Here’s the area where temples, statues and government buildings were located. Probably just like the modern day city hall. I supposed Roman Forum would be one important place which speeches, meetings, and ceremonial events took place.
Similar to Palatine Hill, the ruins at Roman Forum are hard to make sense of without any information. But judging by the remains of the tall columns, large buildings, and temples, it’s easy to tell the grandness in its heyday. And it’s amazing to be walking on the original roads dated thousands of years back. Even with the uneven roads now scream ‘I am gonna hurt your ankle’…LOL