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04 May 2016

10 curiosities about the Colosseum

The Coliseum is the symbol of the Eternal City, perhaps the best known monument in the world and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Flavian Amphitheatre has, behind its colossal size, a historical and  archaeological treasure that, also today, is able to constantly remind the greatness of the Roman Empire. In addition to its traditional history are 10 curiosities of the Colosseum, hidden behind its many legends built around him over the centuries.

1) A long opening party 100 days
80 A.D. after work lasted almost three years, the Colosseum was inaugurated with a series of events and performances that followed for a hundred days. In addition, only in the first day of celebration, 5000 animals were sacrificed chosen to make the most bloody battles. The gladiatorial activities, symbol of this ancient arena, stopped only in 404 when a monaco named Almacchio lost his life during the protests, which during the Empire of Constantine began to spread in the city.

2) Part of its walls have created other Roman buildings
The Flavian Amphitheatre, during certain historical periods, was abandoned and this was used as a primary source of raw materials. Some of his marbles were used to erect many Roman structures, such as St. Peter's Basilica and the Palazzo Barberini. This, along with the terrible earthquake that destroyed it in 851, made the Colosseum an archaeological site very different from how it appeared originally, some historians think that it lacks at least one third party.

3) A historical garden plants
Inside the Colosseum you can find, among the ruins, some plant species from various sources. Some botanists have been able to classify 684 plants, some of which seem to have an exotic origin, thanks to the presence of microclimates inside the amphitheater, but with the passage of time the number of plants present were drastically reduced 242.

4) It was the location of exceptional concerts
Surely the Coliseum is the place dreamed by many artists who aspire to outstanding performances saw the atmosphere, but only a few have succeeded in this colossal undertaking. The first Italian artist who performed inside the Flavian Amphitheatre was, in 2011, Biagio Antonacci, after him, Andrea Bocelli and Nicola Piovani; the internationally renowned artists who have sung surrounded by these historic arches are: Ray Charles, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Noa, Mercedes Sosa and Khaled.

5) The symbol of the Death Penalty
To support awareness campaigns for the death penalty, the Coliseum and, for over 15 years has been chosen, becomes the protagonist with a very special light, it changes every time, anywhere in the world, a man is saved from punishment death, at that moment you can see the Colosseum change color and go from gold to white.

6) In the fascist period could be a hotel
In the fascist period in many proposed to the Duce, to use the wide space of the Colosseum to host a luxury hotel. The idea, fortunately, has not really gotten any feedback and the Coliseum was the sporting symbol of the Roman Empire.

7) The most visited monument in Italy
From an estimate made by the Ministry of Culture during all the past years, the Flavian Amphitheatre ranks first in the ranking of the most visited monuments of Italy, with an average of five million visitors. Only after we find Pompeii, the Uffizi in Florence, the Accademia Gallery, then another Roman monument placed in the first places Castel Sant'Angelo result from the Egyptian Museum in Turin.

8) A tent protected the audience from the sun
The organizers of the games, during the Roman Empire, had predicted a curtain or a huge towel composed of 80 sails shaped like a triangle, supported by 320 cables able to protect spectators from the sun during games or fighting that usually lasted a all day.

9) In ancient times it became a pool
The Colosseum was used also for the naval battles, but that despite the magnitude of the undertaking did not seem to please the Romans. The Colosseum was, at that time, used as a swimming pool thanks to the pipes connected to aqueducts and underground wells that filled the huge arena, in seven hours.

10) it was a part of Hell
At the time of the Gladiators, the Coliseum was known as the seventh port to access Hell, most likely this fame was linked to the fact that there were many people who died during the games. In addition, many legends, the Flavian Amphitheatre was used as a place for sacrificial rites during which it was used the blood of gladiators killed, these were not the only episodes. Even during the Middle Ages, it is said that some brigands used this space to bury the victims, some wizards, they used to use for their potions herbs gathered inside the Colosseum.

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