Colosseum Facts

Posted on Jun 15, 2023 by Questo Team

Encompassing the blood and dust of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum stands as a monumental testament to an era long passed, yet its awe-inspiring structure continues to captivate hearts today.

As the largest amphitheater in the world, the Colosseum or 'Colosseo,' as it is known in Italian, is an architectural marvel. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore its construction details, the best time to visit, fun facts, and intriguing curiosities.

Construction Details

Built under the reign of Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed by his successor and heir, Titus, in 80 AD, the Colosseum is a feat of ancient engineering. The amphitheater's original name was the Flavian Amphitheater, named after Vespasian's family name, Flavius.

Covering an area of 6 acres, the colossal structure measures about 189 meters long, 156 meters wide, and 50 meters high. Its elliptical shape allowed for optimum viewing by all spectators, accommodating approximately 50,000 to 80,000 spectators.

Composed primarily of travertine limestone, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, the Colosseum was ingeniously designed with a complex system of vaults. It housed numerous corridors, passages, and staircases, allowing for efficient crowd management.

Best Time to Visit

The Colosseum is open throughout the year, and each season brings its own charm. However, spring (April to June) and autumn (September and October) are typically the best times to visit Rome due to the pleasant weather.

The best time of day to visit the Colosseum is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid mid-day crowds and heat, especially during the summer months. Consider opting for a night tour for a unique and less crowded experience.

Exploring with Questo

While the Colosseum itself is awe-inspiring, the surrounding areas are filled with historic treasures as well. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are a stone's throw away. To make your exploration more engaging, consider using the Questo app to play outdoor escape games. It will transform your exploration into an interactive experience, allowing you to discover hidden gems, learn captivating facts, and solve exciting puzzles while experiencing the grandeur of Rome's heritage.

Fun Facts

  1. Contrary to popular belief, gladiatorial fights were not the most popular form of entertainment in the Colosseum. Naval battles or 'Naumachia' often attracted more spectators. The amphitheater was filled with water, and ships were brought in for these spectacular shows.

  2. The Colosseum had a retractable roof. Large canvas awnings, known as 'velarium,' were manipulated by sailors from the Roman navy to protect spectators from the harsh sun and rain.


Despite its grandeur, the Colosseum also reflects the harsh realities of the Roman Empire. The structure's basement, known as the Hypogeum, housed gladiators and animals before fights. It was a complex network of tunnels and cages, and machines were used to lift fighters and animals to the arena floor.

Interestingly, the Colosseum was not solely used for blood sports throughout history. Over the centuries, it has been a fortress, a quarry, and even a Christian shrine. Despite the damage it has suffered from natural disasters and stone-robbers, it remains a symbol of the eternal city, and its image is still printed on Italy’s five-cent euro coin.


The Colosseum, a symbol of the grandeur and brutality of the Roman Empire, has endured through centuries, echoing the tales of gladiators and emperors alike. As you stand beneath its towering arches, you are transported to a time and place far removed from modern Rome.

To immerse yourself more deeply in the Colosseum's history and the surrounding area, consider using the Questo app. This tool transforms your visit into an interactive, exploratory game, allowing you to unravel the Colosseum's mysteries and those of nearby landmarks in a unique and engaging manner. Visit the Colosseum and experience an enduring piece of history that continues to inspire awe and curiosity in its visitors.