Probably the best know Roman amphitheater in the World is Colosseum, but there are counted hundreds of others as well. Maybe not all that big ones, not so well-preserved, but definitely with the same breath, resembling times of the ancient Roman Empire. You just need to stop for a moment if once near any of them and try to imagine chariot races, gladiator fights, executions, emotions, spread by gathered people, try to understand what great history did those walls or ruins see in ages.
During my travels in Italy I’ve had a pleasure to visit a few different Roman amphitheaters. I would be lying If I tell that not Colosseum left me the biggest impression, but at the same time it would not be true as well, If I say that all others, visited after, didn’t make my heart beating faster. So, on my list till now I have four of them.
- Colosseum, Rome. Built in 70 AD. At once in this giant with around 80 entrances could hold more that 50 thousand spectators. This iconic symbol of Imperial Rome each year receives millions of tourists from all over the world.
- Pompeii amphitheater. This amphitheater built in 70 BC is the oldest known surviving amphitheater, as well – first one built with permanent stone. 150 years passed after its construction and this giant was buried together with all Pompeii and Herculaneum cities by the Eruption of Vesuvius. In 1971 Pink Floyd there created their concert film named “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii”.
- Fiesole amphitheater. If once in Florence – definitely grab a bus or make quite a challenging walk on foot and go up to Fiesole, absolutely lovely town just around 8 km from city center of Florence. It is not only an amazing point to watch breathtaking panoramic views but as well to visit a site of ancient Roman ruins and amphitheater as well. Even this one is extremely small, comparing with two previously mentioned, but it becomes as a really cozy place to sit there, have a look around, read a book or have a picnic with friends. By the way, even if Fiesole amphitheater is not that huge, it could hold two thousand people anyway.
- Verona Arena. This is a lovely amphitheater, which meets you if you’re entering city center from the direction of Verona Porta Nuova railway station. It was built around 30 AD. Shows held there were so popular that attracted so many people even from far away. Things today did not change a lot as this Arena is perfectly preserved and is fully in use, where various large-scale performances are being organized. To watch a concert held in ancient amphitheater was one of my dreams and I am so happy that a year ago I finally did that: so exactly in Verona Arena I was enjoying the beautiful concert of Leonard Cohen. Experience must experience, I should say!
Only one thing about this amphitheater in Verona I must confess that I do not have any photos of it… And yes, I’ve not only visited this city few times but lived there nearly a month as well. However photos stay photos, and I am just glad that I have such nice memories related with this place.