A few of Rome’s most iconic sights including the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus are now revealing additional portions to visitors to the city.
The Colosseum must be one of the most well-known historic buildings in the world, attracting many thousands of tourists every year. Very few visitors to the Italian capital will return home without having visited these mind-blowing Roman remains. Built during the reigns of the Emperors Vespasian and Titus between AD72 and AD80, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built. It could hold up to 80,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and all kinds of public spectacles. There is some damage to the stonework caused by earthquakes and stone robbers, but it still remains a truly remarkable building. For the first time in centuries visitors can now tour the fifth level of the building and enjoy extraordinary views over the amphitheatre and the city beyond it. Unsurprisingly, in summer the queues to visit such a popular tourist attraction can be extremely long. Anyone visiting during the quieter winter months is likely to enjoy a much more positive experience.
The Circus Maximus is another very impressive sight. When I visited Rome a few years ago I remember being surprised by the sheer scale of this former stadium. It was the largest stadium in ancient Rome and could, at one point in time, seat 250,000 people. Chariot races were held here, and I felt that if you shut your eyes you could imagine the crowds cheering on their favourite racers. A new portion of the Circus Maximus was excavated earlier this year and can now be seen by visitors. I’d love to return to Rome to see this additional piece of Roman history.
As if that wasn’t enough news from historic Rome, a walkway leading from the southern slopes of the Palatine Hill to the Roman Forum has been re-opened after an 18-year closure. The route is approximately 1 kilometre long and spans almost 1,500 years of history, including imperial residences such as the House of Augustus and Domus Severiana. The Palatine Hill is the centre-most of Rome’s seven hills. It is one of the most ancient parts of the city and from the hill you can enjoy some very good views of the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other.
As a tourist you could return to Rome many times and still find new sights to visit – it really is such an incredible city. The recent opening-up of these very special parts of the city will make it even more appealing as a city-break destination.