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Things to do in Rome – Visit Circus Maximus

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Pianta del Circo Massimo... (19723585979)

Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo), which measured over 650 yards long and 150 wide, was one of the largest sporting arenas in the world. It was also the very first of its kind. 

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Today, the area – an oblong depression in the earth with recently excavated subterranean areas and the renovated 12th-century Torre della Moletta – remains in use as an entertainment venue and is open to the public as a park and a museum.

Circus Maximus Model
Image from www.vroma.org

In its heyday, the Circus – believed to be where the Great Fire of Rome originated in 64 AD – was equipped to accommodate over 250,000 spectators

Circuspainting.jpg Public Domain, Link

and was host to such spectacles as horse and chariot races, religious and triumphal processions, theatrical events, and public executions.

Circus Maximus (Atlas van Loon)

The site boasted grandiose décor including altars (one dedicated to the goddess Murcia), statues, a 1st-century-AD triumphal arch (dedicated to the Emperor Titus), and two Egyptian obelisks (now located in Piazza di San Giovanni Laterano and Piazza del Popolo). In the Middle Ages, it was home to several mills, an aqueduct, and centuries later, a Jewish Cemetery. 

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Today, the oval arena is visible from a path along the perimeter, as well as from the medieval tower and museum terraces.

Getting there:

Circus Maximus is located at Via del Circo Massimo.

Ticket info:

Adult Admission (Park area) = Free; except during special ticketed events

Adult Admission (Archaeological Site/Museum) = 5.00€

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