Visiting the Captivating Colosseum Neighborhood in Rome

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Rome is a history lover’s dream. You can discover the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, which are all part of an ancient city that once boasted over 20 million inhabitants.

This neighborhood is also home to several other famous sites including Bocca della Verita, Circo Massimo, and Piazza del Campidoglio.

No one’s itinerary of Italy would be complete without a visit to Rome, and for first-time visitors to Europe, this neighborhood should be at the top of everyone’s list.

Facts About the Roman Colosseum

the colosseum
  1. The Colosseum seated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators and is considered one of the greatest engineering feats of ancient times.
  2. The stadium was used for a variety of spectacles and events, including gladiator competitions, animal hunts, and mock sea battles.
  3. It had a sophisticated system of underground tunnels and rooms that were used to house animals, gladiators, and slaves before performances.
  4. The Colosseum was damaged by earthquakes, fires, and stone robbers.
  5. The stadium is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and is considered a symbol of Rome.

How to Get to the Colosseum

One of the easiest and least expensive methods of getting to the neighorhood is by public transportation. Take the Metro line B1 or MEB to the Colosseo stop.

I stayed at the Princeps Boutique hotel near Termini Station, which was not within walking distance to the Colosseum.

However, I found a bike rental store that was a quick 10 minute walk from the hotel. After renting a bike, I was able to ride to the magnificent Colosseum in just around 12 minutes.

Renting a bike turned out to be a convenient and fun way to travel from my hotel to the iconic landmark.

horse carriages in rome

What to See in the Colosseum Neighborhood

Colosseum

The presence of the Colosseum is astounding. This magnificent architectural structure is where gladiators once fought while crowds loudly cheered the death of men.

It’s like stepping back in time and it’s one of the best places in Rome for photography.

Also called the Flavian Amphitheatre, the stadium is massive, and you’ll need a bit of stamina to see everything.

Depending on preference, you’ll find the best tours are either one or three hours long. You should attend the first tour of the day to avoid most crowds.

You may be interested in reading about our visit to the Rome Gladiator School.

Tips:

  • The steps in the amphitheater are steep and not senior-friendly.
  • The best way to see it is a skip-the-line ticket.
  • Beware of scammers outside of the stadium.
  • Take a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes.

The photography at sunset is spectacular and gives the Colosseum an orange glow. If your budget allows, you should a private guided tour.

The night tour is also fascinating and gives access to the arena and the underground. There is a beautiful glow at night from the inside as well.


1-Hour Tours
3-Hour Tours

Roman Forum

historic buildings of rome

Located next to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum is just as expansive and I easily spent 2 hours viewing the ruins, temples, arches, and sculptures.

It is interesting to note that ancient Romans and Greeks tried to rival the magnificence of ancient Egypt, thus the large-scale construction of the Roman forum and Colosseum.

The area is well-marked with signs that narrate the historic sites. The Roman Forum is an attraction that will exceed your expectations. It vividly paints Roman life in ancient times.

The lines and crowds at The Roman Forum or shortest about three-and-a-half to four hours before closing. If you plan it well, you can enjoy an evening stroll at sunset.

Wear good, comfortable shoes. The paths are old and cobbly. Don’t miss the walk to the top of the forum where you’ll get an excellent viewpoint for taking photos.

Palatine Hill

palatine hill in rome

Like most visitors of Rome, you may be tempted to see the Colosseum and skip closer views of Palatine Hill. But don’t, it is an absolute gem!

It is one of the seven famous hills of Rome and can be seen with a combination tour that includes the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. From the top, I had some of the best views of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Circo Massimo.

Visiting the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in one day is doable. The ruins are remarkably well-preserved and the photography opportunities are plentiful.

Bocca della Verita

marble sculpture of mask
Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth)

Made famous from the movie “Roman Holiday”, this rather menacing face on a wall claims to bite the hand of liars. Not in a literal sense, but one could be brought to the fear of losing their hand in an incident.

There is a small fee to see the Bocca Della Verita up close. Otherwise, it can be viewed from outside the iron gates.

Circo Massimo

One must admit that the site is rather bland, but it is a glimpse at what once was a place that held spectacular chariot races.

Today, the area is used by residents to walk their dogs or ride their bikes. You’ll also see people resting on a grassy slope while reading a book or listening to music. Nonetheless, the view from Palatine Hill is quite interesting.

Piazza Venezia

columns and building sculptures

The piazza also has one of the best views and is one of the best-kept secrets for stunning rooftop vistas. You can access it by elevator for about 7 euros to see Rome in the direction of Saint Peter’s Basilica. 

For views in the opposite direction, you should visit the neighborhood of Trastevere and stop at Faro Del Gianicolo. 

Altara della Patria is an impressive Monument not to be missed at Piazza Venezia. It honors the first king of unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. And needless to say, it’s a beautiful spot for sunset photography too.

Accommodations Near the Colosseum

street sign with historic buildings

Spending a vacation in accommodations near the Colosseum in Rome is an unforgettable experience. Every morning I would get up and take a leisurely stroll to the Colosseum and marvel at the awe-inspiring ruins that has stood for centuries.

In the evening I would dine at the nearby trattorias, eating delicious Italian dishes such as pasta carbonara and cacio e pepe. I was able to immerse myself in the Italian culture while still enjoying the sights of Rome. After dinner, I would often walk around the Colosseum at night and feel a peaceful tranquility.

Get Ready for Rome

The city of Rome is a fascinating travel destination with a vibrant history and culture.

The ancient city and Colosseum area offer many of Rome’s most famous sites. Learning some Italian phrases can enrich interactions with locals while touring by golf cart.

We enjoyed attending a gladiator school, an exciting activity in Rome. The Vatican neighborhood has many noteworthy attractions.

Our guide introduced us to delicious Italian dishes that locals love, like cacio e pepe. We took a culinary lesson in Rome to learn to prepare some of these iconic meals.

Final Thoughts on the Colosseum

woman smiling in front of italian building

Rome is not only home to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, but also to some of the most beautiful churches in the world, like the Vatican.

With this guide to visiting the Colosseum neighborhood, you can plan your visit to Rome and have a fantastic vacation.

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6 Comments

  1. Samantha Pearsall says:

    This makes me want to revisit Rome so badly! I really appreciate the different suggestions for 1-hour tours vs. 3-hour tours because it always comes down to how much time I have. Great post!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      That is so true! It really helps to organize the day if you can roughly estimate the tine.

  2. Lisa | Waves and Cobblestones says:

    We were in Rome a couple of months ago before a cruise, and it amazes me just how many historical sites there are jam-packed into such a small area! The Colosseum is breathtaking!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      It’s hard to believe such a concept was even attainable in those days. The entire neighborhood is impressive.

  3. Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    Great review of this popular area in Rome! Such a wonderful city!!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you so much!