Circuses and amphitheaters in Rome

On this page of The Travel Bunny’s free Rome travel guide, you will discover famous Rome amphitheaters and circuses which you’ll definitely have to see during your stay in Italy’s capital.

For each of these Rome amphitheaters and circuses, you will find:

  • the name of all Rome amphitheaters or Rome circuses;
  • a short description of those circuses or amphitheaters in Rome;
  • visiting information including opening times, ticket prices, address and map location, telephone if available, and details on how to get to these circuses and amphitheaters in Rome using public transport.

circus maximus rome amphitheaters
Circuses and amphitheaters in Rome: Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)

Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)

Circus Maximus is located between Aventino and Palatine Hill. Once the largest circus of Ancient Rome, Circus Maximus was 621 meters long and 118 meters wide. This space served mostly for chariot races and it could accommodate up to 25,000 spectators.

The victorious chariotees and their horses were like present-day celebrities to the locals of those times. This is why emperors like Caligula and Nero took part in the chariot races. They wanted to prove their courage publicly in order to increase the support of the Romans.

Though today Circus Maximus is just a huge esplanade, in the past it had interesting attractions. For example, in the 10th century, Circus Maximus had an almost 24-meter-tall Egyptian obelisk, dating back to the times of Ramses II. Today, this obelisk is in Piazza del Popolo. Another 32.5-meter-tall Egyptian obelisk from Circus Maximus is in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The park area of Circus Maximus is open all the time. The archeological site, however, is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 09.30 and 19.00 in summer or between 09.30 and 16.30 in winter.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €5.00.

Reduced tickets cost €4.00.

Circus Maximus
Address: Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Subway line B can take you to Circo Massimo.
Tel. +39 06 0608


colosseum rome amphitheaters circuses
Circuses and amphitheaters in Rome: Colosseum (Colosseo)

Colosseum (Colosseo)

The Colosseum was built between the years 70 and 80, under the Flavius emperors. The exterior of the Colosseum measures 527 meters in circumference and 50 meters in height. This huge construction in travertine was ready to welcome up to 50,000 guests inside.

The most impressive of all amphitheaters in Rome opened in year 80 by Titus through a bloody celebration that lasted for 100 days. Sources vary at placing the exact number of lives claimed during the first bloody shows, but the darkest ones claim 20,000 people and 9,000 animals died then. These bloody sports took place in the Colosseum until the year 523.

An archetype for all stadiums we see now around the world, the Colosseum probably took its current name from the imposing bronze colossus of Nero, once situated in its vicinity. Today, the Colosseum is a symbol of Rome, and every traveler coming to the Italian capital wants to go see the most famous of all amphitheaters in Rome and Italy. For the Romans, the Colosseum is seen as indestructible and they believe that as long as it still stands, Rome will continue to exist, too.

The Colosseum is part of a larger archaeological site which includes the Arch of Constantine, the Imperial Fora, and Domus Aurea.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Colosseum is open daily, between 08.30 and 19.00.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €12.00.

Reduced tickets cost €7.50 and are offered to EU citizens.

Free access is provided to children under 17 years old and seniors over 65 years old who are also EU citizens.

The ticket to the Colosseum is also valid for the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Colosseum
Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Subway line B stops at the Colosseo station.
Tel. +39 06 3996 7700


teatro marcello rome amphitheaters
Circuses and amphitheaters in Rome: Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)

Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)

Not far from Piazza Venezia, travelers can uncover the Theater of Marcellus, the only one preserved in Rome to this day. Its construction was started by Caesar, probably to replace a temporary wooden structure. It is thought that Caesar decided to build this theater because he had an interest in raising buildings that could help with his propaganda.

However, it was Augustus who finished the construction, in the year 11 BC. The latter dedicated this theater to Marcello, both his nephew and his son in law, hence the name.

Teatro Marcello stood almost 33 meters tall and could accommodate between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators simultaneously. It is thought that it was the most visited event venue before the Colosseum. However, as the attention of locals faded, the Theater of Marcellus was left deserted for a very long time. In this period it was actually used as a quarry for construction materials.

It came to life again, when Baldassare Peruzzi restored it between 1523 and 1527 for the Savelli family. Turned into a fortress, it gained the name of the Savelli Colosseum.

A second restoration took place between 1826 and 1932, and many of the surrounding buildings were demolished.

Today, an apartment building has the remaining structure of the Theatre of Marcellus embedded in it. Next to it, one can spot three columns that once belonged to a temple dedicated to Apollo Medicus. This temple was first raised in 432 BC, then rebuilt in 34 BC. Not far, there are also the remains of the Temple of Bellone, raised in the 3rd century BC. Both buildings once housed the meetings of the Senate.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Theater of Marcellus is always open, but it can be visited only from the outside by non-residents.


Tickets

Admission is free of charge.

Theater of Marcellus
Address: Via del Teatro di Marcello, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 30, 44, 51, 53, 81, 83. 85, 87, 118, 160, 170, 628, 715, 716, 781 stop next to Teatro Marcello.
Tel. +39 06 0608