The year was 1998 and Internet in India was at its bare minimum. My sister was traveling around Europe on a special educational tour and all the information that I could get were on text emails once a week. I had waited eagerly for her return and then the wait for the numerous negatives to get developed and then printed. She had meticulously cataloged various locations depending on their location and the one that fascinated me most was Italy. “This is the Colosseum of Rome” she exclaimed as she flicked through the album. I was completely mesmerized and wished that one day I could see the grand Colosseum myself standing right in front of it.
It was by a freak chance that I managed to visit Italy last year and to be honest I still do not know how I managed to pull off this that too with my wife and daughter. It was a complete budget trip and I planned it to the last minute just to ensure that every minute in the country would be utilized. Keeping in mind that I had a seven-year-old daughter with me I had to be extra cautious so that I don’t tire her beyond her limit and to keep feeding her time to time to keep her energy levels up.
My daughter had heard stories about the Colosseum of Rome from my sister and all that she wanted to see the most was that on the whole trip. So much so that she kept drawing the Colosseum of Rome in her drawing book even before our trip.
Being a planned traveler, I found out that to visit the Colosseum you would require a ticket and the queue for the ticket can become quite long. People often complain that they keep wasting time waiting to first get the ticket and then again to enter the Colosseum passing through security.
There are various types of ticket which one can buy firstly the basic ticket to enter the Colosseum then there is a special ticket which allows a special tour of the basement areas and another ticket which takes you to all the level around the Colosseum. Honestly, I could only afford the basic entry ticket to Colosseum since I had studied enough about that place and could easily navigate around.
What I did which helped me the most was to book the entry tickets in advance online. You need to choose a date and an approximate time slot. The tickets are delivered electronically by email and you have to carry printouts which you have to show at a special counter where they will issue you the ticket in lieu of the electronic printout. Do remember to carry your passport and they would want to verify the nationality and age. Most of the tourist places in Italy has the policy to free entry for children of a particular age group or students of a particular age so before booking your ticket do recheck.
The cost of booking online: –
Entrance Fee = 12.00 Euro
Reduced Fee = 7.50 Euro (For European Union citizens between 18 and 25 years old)
No Tickets = For all below the age of 18 years
Online Reservation Charges = 2.00 Euro
Free for all = First Sunday of every month
Prices as of May 2018
Book online at the official site https://www.coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm
Note that this does not include the cost of guides and this is the basic entry fee. There are separate charges for the tour of the basement and other restricted sections. Also, note that a ticket to Colosseum is valid for two days and include access to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill also.
How to Reach?
You can access Colosseum easily by a bus or with Metro. There are several bus stops around Colosseum and many busses have their final destination as Colosseum. The nearest Metro station is Colosseo (Line B). Because of its size, it’s very easy to make out Colosseum thus look for an old gigantic stone structure. You will find many guides outside the metro station and bus stops who would be willing to give you some friendly advice but its best to avoid these and head straight inside.
What to See?
One of the most recognized structures around the world this is one of the largest amphitheaters from the Roman era. It’s actually not round but oval in shape its construction started around 72 AD and was completed around 80 AD. Its construction was started by the Roman emperor Vespasian and was completed under Titus.
Take time if you want to see the structure properly and I would recommend more than half a day to see all the sections properly. As such it’s in ruins and only broken sections and some reconstructed sections can be seen. Most of the present structure has been reconstructed and only some original sections can still be seen.
This place can really get very crowded thus do mind of pickpockets and don’t forget to go to the upper section to get a top view of the Colosseum.
Hope you have enjoyed traveling with the Indian Vagabond around the Colosseum next we proceed towards Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. I would recommend that you keep a separate day for these two sites since it would take some time if you really want to enjoy the ruins. As mentioned earlier the tickets are valid for two days thus no need to hurry. All that in my next blog keep visiting my blog.