|The Coliseum, originally called Flavian Amphitheatre, was|
finished in 80 A.D. Frank loved hearing all these random
facts. And by "love," I mean, "was annoyed by."
|You know we're on a tour because of these little intercoms |
around our necks.
Frank would never have given me to okay to purchase tickets for a tour, so I did it very quickly so he wouldn’t be the wiser.
|He didn't even know what hit him!|
I had read in some tour guides that you have to book a tour underground online or at least a day in advance – that is not true. You should have cash though. I did not and we had to wait a longer line to pay with credit card. Regular admission to the Coliseum is €12, and that includes entrance to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum as well. For an extra €8 per person, we went to three spots the average visitor does not, including the hypogeum.
FIRST... People in our tour group were the only ones allowed on this huge platform.
In the distance, you can see all the rest of the tourists crowded onto a little tiny platform on the other side.
|See everyone else in the distance? Haha, suckers!|
Our tour company, Pierreci, had an excellent guide. She was informative, but she also gave us plenty of time to explore on our own.
SECOND – Then it was downstairs to the hypogeum.
That’s the underground part of the Coliseum where the animals were kept in cages and then raised to the floor to fight with the gladiators.
|This may look like nothing, but it was part of the elevator system|
used to bring the animals up. I was incredibly impressed because
it's more than 1,900 years old!
On the down side, you have to stay in one little roped off area of the hypogeum. On the up side, it smelled old as well.
THIRD – Our little tour group got to make its way up to the third level.
|You can see everyone else on only the first and|
From here, you could not only the entire Coliseum, but most of ancient Rome.
|That's the Arch of Constantine in the foreground with Palatine|
Hill and the Roman Forum in the background.
Even though the allure of this tour was supposed to be the underground, I was most impressed with being up here, high above the other visitors who didn’t even know we were looking down at one of the most incredible structures in the world.
|Another part of the Coliseum where people had|
started to dismantle it for materials.