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The work on this huge arena began in AD 72, on part of the site occupied by Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea). Its three arcaded tiers of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns are topped by a wall, punctuated by band-moulded pilasters. It is the biggest amphitheatre in the Roman world. Originally known as the Flavian amphitheatre, it was later called the Colisseum, perhaps because of the huge statue of Nero which once stood near it, or simply because of its gigantic size: 527 m in circonference and 57 m high. The building was a symbol of Roman greatness and from the day of its inauguration by Titus, in AD 80, the games lasted for a hundred days! Inside, you'll see a 188-m by 156-m, very rounded oval shape, surrounded by an impressive wall, once topped by steps. It is believed that there was room for about 50 000 spectators - 45 000 seated and 5 000 standing. You can now see the wings, under the former arena.

Useful Information

Opening hours :

  • 8.30am-1hr before dusk - closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec

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