The Colosseum (or Coliseum) is the most popular and most visited monument in Italy (over 6 million visitors a year).
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is the largest amphitheater ever built in the world and the most voluminous ancient Rome building that has come down to us. Its construction was started by Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and inaugurated by Titus in AD 80, with further changes made during the Domitian empire (AD 81-96). The Colosseum is a fascinating place that brings to mind images and atmospheres of a legendary age. Wanted by Vespasian as a gift for his people. The building forms an oval with a perimeter of 527 meters (187.5 long and 156.5 wide), 48.5 meters high (originally was 52). The inside arena measures 86 × 54 meters, with an area of 3,357 square meters. For five centuries it has hosted public spectacles for which the Romans were passionate: animal hunts, gladiator fights, capital punishments, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles and dramas based on Classic Mythology. Originally the Colosseum was adorned with statues, friezes and marbles. After the fall of the Roman Empire it was abandoned and reused for such purposes (among them as a reserve of building materials). In the XIII century a palace was built inside the Flavian Amphitheater: the residence of the Frangipane Roman family. Later the monument continued to be inhabited, until its rediscovery as an artistic asset in the nineteenth century.
On 1980 the Coliseum was inserted in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On 2007 was also included among the New Seven Wonders of the World.