More than one in four Italians (29 percent) say the Colosseum (or Coliseum), one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, is their favorite location to visit in Rome.
Roughly 4 million tourists visit the Colosseum every year, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist destination; it ranks as the 39th most popular attraction, according to one list. Other popular locations for locals also include Old Town, the Imperial Forums, Trevi Fountain and the Basilica of Saint Peter, the Autoclick survey found.
Construction on the Colosseum started in 72 under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 during the reign of Titus. This incredible building has lasted generations and is the best and most widely-known symbol of Rome’s past.
The Colosseum could hold 50,000 people, had a retractable roof and could be emptied of spectators in a matter of minutes. At times, the Romans apparently filled the stadium with water to reenact sea battles for war-loving crowds, though that is open to some debate among historians.
However, it is perhaps best remembered for the gladiator fights that once took place there. The Colosseum hosted gladiator flights until about 435, though the arena was used until about the 6th century.
The Colosseum was damaged in a fire in 217 and in earthquakes in 443 and 1349. Over the years, parts of the building was torn down and used in the construction of new buildings elsewhere in the city.