I might have only had one evening in Rome on my most recent trip to Italy, but there was still time to visit one of the city’s most iconic buildings – the Colosseum. Built around 80AD, it once held over 50,000 spectators who came to watch the best in Roman entertainment. You could see gladiators fighting, wild animal hunts with exotic species like tigers and elephants, or plays being performed, and even a few sacrifices. Although it has been heavily damaged by earthquakes since then, it is still one of Rome’s most recognisable buildings. And as you walk around the galleries and look down into the arena you can still picture it as it was, filled with excitable – and slightly bloodthirsty – crowds.
The Colosseum is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm in winter and 6.15pm in summer, and entry costs €12 per adult (€7 for aged 18–25 and free for under 17s).