Rome is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. It is a magical city, and at the top of the list for every tourist to Rome is the Colosseum. I was there a while ago and the whole experience was breathtaking. For me it was that place I have been dreaming of for a while. When I arrived in Rome, I wanted to see one of the most popular places that the Romans used to go to for their entertainment, The Colosseum. I had just recently read that the undergound area is now open to the public, and I wanted a tour guide and a perfect one for that matter since I wanted to explore, and know everything about colosseum, the underground areas, and the history. And with the opportunity of getting a tour guide who could offer me the possibility of seeing some of the sites that are off limits to the general public. I could not refuse.
As we were heading there, we stopped for a minute to buy a bottle of water from one of the many vendors. I was a bit shocked to realize that a bottle of water there went for about 3 euros ( $4.10). As we were getting closer, I was amazed at the size of colosseum, which was just as large any typical modern day stadium. Once I was close enough to see the structure of this stadium, I was shocked to realized that it was only made with concrete and brinks. With all the documentaries, I had watched and information I had read, I didn’t understand why I never knew about this. Having toured Greece to 1 year ago, I assumed colosseum would have been made of carved stones like Acropolis. I was advised to start by going to the top of colosseum so that I can get the best view of the place. The tour guide was very fun and professional as he explained everything that I had asked as well as answers to questions I would not have dreamed of asking, but now so glad I know.
From the top of this stadium, you can easily see all the seating areas and the entire underground structure of hallways as well as staging areas which were used by men who were preparing to fight. Incidentally the Colosseum arena floor is closed until early July for renovations. So unfortunately no tour groups were allowed on the arena floor during those days. But what was really awesome was that for the first time since the early 70’s the underground areas have been opened up to the public. My mind was traveling, imagining how this places was like around a couple of thousand years ago, The wild animals who had been transported thousands of miles and had lived in these very cages. The gladiator’s, the slaves, the commotion, the life that must have been at that time, was a brief glimpse of Awe.
As I was walking down from one level to the next looking and taking picture, I couldn’t believe that this place was built over two thousand years ago. I carefully looked at how the different parts were put together and wondered how they figured out to build such a thing.
As I was still going down I saw huge spectacles that am sure happen saw many years ago like they happened last week. As I sat down on those ancient seats, it felt like I was hearing the crowd exploding with excitement when their Emperor used to come out with his entourage through one of gates which was made especially for him. My tour guide explained to me that there are 76 entrances that the normal citizens of Rome were allowed to use.
In general I am the type that tends to travel without a guide. But in this case , it was worth it to check out the colosseum tours. The biggest advantage was the ability to tour areas that are restricted to the general public, and now for the first time the underground areas are opened up for the first time in over 40 years I was able to find out more information about this ancient place, that is not in all of the guidebooks.
No matter what anyone may say or even think. The colosseum is the place to visit, and now with the underground territory open, it is definitely a “Must See” You know what they say. “you have not gone to Rome if you have not visited the colosseum.”