The Colosseum of Rome was built in bricks and covered with travertine in a valley among the Palatino,
Esquilino and Celio hills, after having dried a small lake that Nerone was using for the Domus Aurea.
The building consists of four floors, with a total height of 52 metres and an extension covering an elliptical area
of about 19000 square metres, it is without a doubt the most renowned symbol of Rome all over the world. For the
enjoyment of the inhabitants of Rome, here fights between gladiators or against wild animals and fabulous
spectacles as "naumachie", real naval combat in the arena filled with water, were organized. Under the arena of
the Colosseum were numerous corridors and rooms used for housing the gladiators and the ferocious beasts
that could be brought to the centre of the arena thanks to a series of elevators and ramps.
The museum is located in the Museum of Cesare where, among the monuments collected from the hill site,
various artefacts of Iron Age tombs and works of art from imperial buildings are exhibited. The most important
of these works are the decorative pictures in the reading room of Isiaca. According to ancient tradition, it was
on this hill that the first settlement of Rome was made by Romulus in the middle of the eighth century B.C.
Excavations have revealed huts and tombs from the Iron Age and, an ancient fortification. The Palatino was also
the centre for some important cults such as, for example, that of Magna Mater (Cybele). Between the second and first
centuries B.C. it became a residential district for the Roman aristocracy. In this period the House of Grifi, famous
for its paintings, was built. The Emperor Augustus made the Palatino his official centre of power and initiated
a building program: the construction of imperial palaces and various restructuring and enlargement of existing
buildings built by previous emperors.
The valley of the Forum, nestled between the seven hills of Rome, was in ancient times a marsh.
From the end of the seventh century B.C., after the drainage of the marshes,
the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) was constructed and this served as the centre of public life in Rome
for over a millenium. Over the course of the centuries, the various monuments were constructed:
firstly, those structures which served political, religious and economic purposes and, later, during the
second century B.C., the civil buildings or 'basilicas', which functioned as juridical centres. At the end of
the Republic era of Ancient Rome, the Forum Romano was inadequate in its functioning as a civil and administrative
centre. The various Emperors and their dynasties added only monuments of prestige: The Temple of Vespasian
and Titus and that of Antoninus Pius and Faustina dedicated to the memory of the Divine Emperors, the monumental
arch of Settimo Severo, built on the extreme west of the square in 203 A.D. to celebrate his military victories.
The last great addition was made in the first years of the fourth century A.D. under the Emperor Massenzio, a temple
dedicated to the memory of his son Romulus. The imposing Basilica on the Velia was restructured at the end of the
fourth century A.D. and the last monument to be erected in the Forum was the Column of 608 A.D. in honour of the
Byzantine Emperor Phocas.