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Circus Maximus

Photo credit: scazon / Source / CC BY
Circus Maximus
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The oldest and largest Roman stadium now used as a public park

Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Rome, Italy

Circus Maximus or in Italian “Circo Massimo” was the oldest and largest stadium from ancient Rome and its remains still exist and can be visited by those interested in learning about Roman history. The stadium is located in the valley between the Palatine and the Aventine Hills and it dates back to the 6th century BC. It was a chariot racetrack but also used for other public events such as wild animal hunts, gladiator fights, public executions and Roman games – called Ludi Romani, a 15-day festival held annually from 366 BC onwards around mid September to honour Jupiter.

 

Legend has it that Circus Maximus was first constructed in the 6th century BC by Tarquinius Priscu, the fifth king of Rome and subsequently expanded by Julius Caesar around 50 BC. The Circus measured 621 m in length and 118 m in width, and had a capacity for 250,000 spectators and 150,000 seats. Sometimes In the ancient Rome the circus was filled with water and the romans replayed previous sea battles in it.

 

Unfortunately not much left from the circus today but it is still an incredible sight and acts as a public park used for recreational purposes such as concerts, rallies and large events (including a big celebration when Italy won the World Cup back in 2001) or simply for people to chill in during their free time. The remains of Circus Maximus has been host to many great concerts including one by Genesis and another one by The Rolling Stones.

 



Opening hours

Always

How to get there

Metro: Circo Massimo (Blue B Line)

Location: