Monument & Heritage Check location

The largest amphitheater ever built, the Colosseo is the most visited monument in Italy. Built on travertine, tuff and brick-faced concrete, the construction started under the instructions of Emperor Vespasian, who decided to destroy Nero’s nymphaeum at the Domus area but died before seeing the final result. It was completed by his successor and heir Titus in 80 AD. Vespasian intended to gain support from the people by offering free games and entertainment – “bread and circuses”.

When the Colosseo opened, Titus offered to the city of Rome 100 consecutive days of gladiatorial games. These included the hunting of exotic animals such as elephants, tigers and ostriches and the slaughter of slaves, mock sea battles, executions, and even plays based on classical mythology.

The building, which could accommodate 87.000 people, was divided through classes: senators had reserved areas, while ordinary Rome citizens would take the upper part. The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters and contained sophisticated mechanisms that would change the whole scenography very quickly.

Contacts & Details

Piazza del Colosseo 00184 Roma