This is my seventh time in Italy and finally I took the tour inside the Collesium, also called the Flavian Ampitheater.
How long it took to build varies depending on how you define it. Two years to prepare the site, 8 years to build all but the top round, a few more years to build the top and then a few years to build the cloth sails that covered the top.
The Collesium was restored, mostly cleaned, a few years ago. However 200 years ago part of it was repaired with brick to hold it together.
It takes 12 minutes to empty more than 50,000 people from the structure. I was struck by how similar it is to our stadiums today.
Notice the workers up at the top. They are preparing to hang a huge Italian flag as part of a celebration of Festa Della Repubblica June 2. ( I actually just caught a typo as I had written “They are preparing to hang a big Italian.”)
Notice the holes around this window. Over the years much has been robbed from the building including metal rods that added alot of stability. Mussolini had this small section of seats restored to show what the seating was like.
We had a great guide who described in vivid detail all the killing that took place. It was really sad. She could not pronounce the word panther which made us smile and she described what went on in the lower levels as a hell hole but with a charming accent. The 30,000 Jewish captives who built the Colliseum were among the first to die in the Colliseum. It was also surprising to learn that the Colliseum was only open about 14 times but each time for around 100 days. Some Romans lived their lives with the Colliseum never being open.
This photo has a portion of the floor restored so you can see how it was when the floor was in place. I would highly recommend taking the tour.