Thursday, 17 June 2010

Colosseum Sightseeing Rome

Are you planning a visit to Rome? If so, you don't want to miss the Colosseum when you are sightseeing.

All About the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
By Roxanne Bridger

One of the most iconic images of Rome is the colosseum. Construction began on it in 70 and 72 AD and was complete about 8 years later in 80AD. Its purpose was not only to be an amphitheatre to seat 50,000 spectators, it was also designed to impress the thousands of people who would travel far and wide to come and stare at this astonishing building. Being one of the most visited hotspots in the city means that even today, people travel miles to come and see what is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.

The Colosseum was not thought of as being a very sacred place to begin when it was first created. However, in the 16th and 17th century this all changed and, despite some opposition, the area became synonamous with religion. It still has very strong connections with the Roman Catholic church and every year on Good Friday, the "Way of the Cross" procession starts in this area and is lead by the Pope.

The different tiers in the structure were allocated to different types of people. In the days when the amphitheatre first opened it's doors, the best seats in the house were reserved for the Emperor and other royalty as they offered the greatest views. Then there was the senatorial class's level. These were reserved for a certain type of upper class people and had amazing views as well -visitors even got to bring their own chairs. The levels above that were for the poorer visitors as the view made it a lot harder to see what was going on.

The building is in such well-preserved condition, despite a number of devastating earthquakes and people stealing the stones. Thanks to a recent €3million restoration and structural reinforcement effort, the amphitheatre is opening its doors to the public and allowing the public access from the 1st July 2010.

The access to the colosseum is very limited at the moment. You can go up to the second level and get a reasonably good view, but the third and fourth tier have been off limits to the public since the 1960's. In the past it wasn't good if you got a seat at the very top, but these days the views that are on offer are incredible and this is the level us tourists want to be.

If you do plan on visiting the newly opened areas of the colosseum, have a look at our experts recommendations of the best cheap hotels in Rome before your trip.

By Roxanne Bridger - a travel enthusiast who loves to explore the world!

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