The imperial splendor of Colosseum shines in the core of Rome

Il colosseo by Night

Legends, stories of emperors, rituals, prestigious awards and romantic tales revolve around the great symbol of the capital of Italy, and of Italy itself throughout the world. We are in the core of Rome, in front of the most famous amphitheater originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater because it was built by Emperor Vespasian in 75 AD and a few years later, in 80, inaugurated by Titus, both belonging to the Flavian family. Only later, in the Middle Ages, the monumental work took its current name, deriving from the nearby statue of the Colossus of the god Sun, an adaptation of the statue representing Nero.

What strikes about the Colosseum is the grandeur of its architecture and the harmonious geometry of its structure, a tight chain of arches and vaults joint by the curved and enveloping lines of its elliptical plant. The UNESCO has listed it as World Heritage site, together with Rome’s entire historical center, and in 2007 it was ranked among the new seven wonders of the world. A real Italian excellence, which is also found on the 5 cent euro coin. And recently it proved unexpectedly as a secret place for sentimental messages for two lovers in the early fifties: between two blocks of travertine, in fact, a love letter written by Domenico to his Franca was discovered.

5 centesimi di euro

However, the function it performed in ancient times had little to do with sweetness. The Colosseum was the frame for gladiatorial shows and other public events such as celebrations tied to hunting, fights between animals, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas that brought classical mythology on stage. If the Colosseum is a tourist attraction today, in the Imperial era it was a container for people’s entertainment, capable to accommodate up to 50 thousand spectators.

Legend has it that the Colosseum represents the entrance to the underworld, where the souls of the dead wander at dusk in search of eternal peace. Or that many plants from distant lands which rooted inside of it were brought by the sandals worn by travelers or by the paws of animals that were sacrificed by cruel emperors. It is said furthermore that the Colosseum was a temple where evil sorcerers used to ask the followers the question “Colis Eum” which means “do you love him”, referring to the devil. The only evil thing left today is its universal fame and an exceptional flow of visitors from all over the world. Its beauty is expected to return to its former glory by 2016 thanks to the restoration works.

Meanwhile inside temporary exhibitions related to the timeless themes of the ancient and its relationship with the contemporary, are still taking place.

Colosseo:


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Il colosseo

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