The monument that launched a thousand tourist traps.

From afar, it looms like a giant celebrity, illiciting al fresco seating options even in the height of winter.

Il Colosseo di Roma

Originally named Anfiteatro Flavio after the Roman emperors Vespasian (who commissioned the Coliseum to be built in 72 AD) and Titus’ (who completed the amphitheatre in 80 AD) family name, the Colosseum is the most recognizable landmark in Rome, as it is the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire.

For €12, tourists can purchase a pass that gives you 2 day access to the trifecta of Roman Empire landmarks: The Colosseum, Pallatine Hill, and the Roman Forum

As it is one of the most recognizable constructions of historical Rome, the queue to go inside is quite a feat, but your patience is rewarded once you get past the throngs of tourists.

A hallmark of Roman engineering and architecture, the Colosseum in its capacity could seat about 50,000 spectators. Minus all its glory, the monument is still nothing short of spectacular.

Through the years, and through numerous earthquakes, what’s left of the Colosseum continues to be restored so that tourists can still feel like they are part of the spectators of a play, or a match between gladiators.

When you enter the Colosseum, the levels are more evident with several seating areas as well as special bleacher seating for royalty.

More than the public seating, I’m more enthralled by the hypogeum, the underground tunnels where the slaves and animals used to be housed. If you have seen the movie Gladiator and remember the pivotal scene before Russel Crowe’s character was about to go into battle, you can understand that the story happens right underneath our feet.

The Colosseum has the best view of the Arch of Constantine, to commemorate the emperor during a victory back in the days. The detail in the arches show the Via Trumphalis, telling stories of emperors arriving Rome triumphant from their battles.

Roomies as onlookers inside il Colosseo

Many tourists get discouraged by the fake gladiators and souvenir stalls, as well as the long lines, to go inside and prefer to appreciate the Colosseum from the outside, but having a little patience pays off as you get to imagine the Roman Empire era in all its glory in the middle of the action.

And they say ‘all roads lead to Rome…’