Right at the top of my to go places in Italy. It was every bit as impressive as what I’ve imagine and I could totally replay the scenes in books there and then.

The exterior of the colosseum. On a side note, Rome is absolutely gorgeous and unlike other cities that I’ve been though. Gorgeous buildings and ruins just about everywhere, it is truly a city teeming with history.

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There arena has 2 entrances, the Northwest gate, Porta Triumphalis where the gladiators entered alive and the Southeast gate, Porta Libitinaria where the dead are being carried/dragged out. The video tour never did mention about where the triumphant gladiators would exit. I assume Porta Triumphalis. Although, it was just a matter of time before it was their turn to leave by Porta Libitinaria.

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The arena was also covered with sand to absorb the blood of the injured as the bloodshed often made the arena too slippery for gladiators to put up an entertaining fight. I’m guessing they weren’t into comedies then.

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Though not obvious from the pictures (at least to me), the colosseum is 5 stories high where seats were distributed according to social rank. No surprises here. The senators were of course on the first floor closest to the action where they sat on marble seats with their names engraved. When they died or were no longer senators, their names would be crossed out and engraved with the name of the next person who got their seat.

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Gladiators and animals were hidden from sight under the arena until it was their turn to entertain the crowd. I somehow imagine gladiators living there in tiny rooms while reading but I guess I was wrong. They lived at gladiator schools.

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Interestingly, the marble that was used to build the colosseum was later removed at the order of later popes to build St. Peter’s Basilica. I did wonder which parts when I was at the church. Given how magnificent the colosseum looked in ruins, I can only imagine how spectacular it must have been build during its glorious days. I do wonder why no one thought of building a structure of that magnitude today. Probably cause it is more profitable building skyscrapers.

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Ending with an edited shot of the colosseum. What I cannot imagine is why people then would see bloodshed as a form of entertainment.

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