The Colosseum described in one word would be AMAZING. Words simply do not do it justice. It is 527m around, which is about 1/4 larger than a standard outdoor track, and 162 ft high. We took the metro (subway) to the Colosseum, and when we left the station it was right in front of us. It is simply breathtaking.
Each of the arches are 23ft high, and to the left you can see that it used to be even taller all the way around. All these dimensions don’t mean as much until you’re standing next to this enormous arena. The Colosseum could seat upwards of 50,000 people and had 76 public entrances in addition to 4 private entrances for the elite. Some of the numbers above each entrance are still visible today. It could also be emptied in a relatively short amount of time because it had so many entrances.
What’s left on the floor of the Colosseum is the gladiator staging area. A number of lifts and trap doors were present so gladiators and animals could appear anywhere on the arena floor. Most of the seating areas have collapsed but there was seating all around the arena floor, all the way up to the top. First the senetors, then the upper class, then the comman man, then in the “nose-bleeds” were the peasants.
After the Colosseum we made our way up the street to Basilica di S. Clemente. There was no photography allowed inside the Basilica, so I don’t have any pictures of this one. This basilica was built on top of many older Roman buildings (as is most of Rome). We traveled back through time, to lower and lower levels until we reach levels that were 1900 years old! After the Basilica, we were on our own for dinner and getting back to the Hotel. Most took the subway, but a brave few made the walk back to Hotel Alimandi the first day. It is between 2-3 miles between the Colosseum and the hotel, depending on the route you take, but we got to see so much! I made the walk this first night, and we walked past the Capitol again as well as to Campo di Fiori. It was a long day, and we were all in for some sound sleeping!