The Colosseum is one of the most popular sights to see in Rome and one that shouldn’t me missed. We bought our tickets for a guided tour which I highly recommend from Tickitaly.
From B&B San Pietro alle Fornaci we rode the public bus to a stop near the Colosseum. We had to walk a few minutes but the sights along the way were quite entertaining. Authentic looking costumes except for the cellphone.
This amphitheater was built 1920 years ago as a venue for entertainment for the Romans. All kinds of games were held there as well as chariot battles, hunting of wild animals and eventually gladiator battles. Read more about it here.
Our tour guide spoke into a small walkie talkie and everyone else had the same unit tuned in to the same channel. Low tech yet quite effective. The picture on the right was how Rochelle and Sharon wore their walkie talkies. Our tour lasted about 45 minutes and it was very educational and well worth it. We learned so much about the history of the Colosseum.
The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events. The shows, called munera, were always given by private individuals rather than the state. They had a strong religious element but were also demonstrations of power and family prestige, and were immensely popular with the population.
Another popular type of show was the animal hunt, or venatio. This utilized a great variety of wild beasts, mainly imported from Africa and the Middle East, and included creatures such as rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, elephants, giraffes, aurochs, wisents, Barbary lions, panthers, leopards, bears, Caspian tigers, crocodiles and ostriches. Battles and hunts were often staged amid elaborate sets with movable trees and buildings. Such events were occasionally on a huge scale; Trajan is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia in 107 with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators over the course of 123 days. source
When I look at this all I can think of is Russel Crowe and the lions from the movie Gladiator. This is the hypogeum where the gladiators and animals were kept before a game.