15th of February 2017 – €12

Joined by Sinead Flament

“Rome will exist as long as the Coliseum does; when the Coliseum falls, so will Rome; when Rome falls, so will the world.” St. Bede

Sorry mate, but the Colosseum fell ages ago. All the bits have fallen off the side. And to think, they call him “venerable”!

That the Colosseum is still standing at all is a testament to Roman engineering. As ruins go, this is up there with Machu Picchu , Easter Island, and Detroit. What’s left is as distinctive against the Roman skyline as a cross on Golgotha; that marble “O” being the world centre of cruelty for an aeon. To think how many people through history cheered for the blood of slaves and prisoners there. Thankfully, we’re over that in 2017… Oh God!

Call an see um. Callaseeum. I’m really trying here

Outside looked amazing

Why is Italy so shit at audio guides? Please explain to me how they fail to make a crucible for the slaughter of thousands come alive. Fat-tongued Englishmen reading hokey text, badly. This is the Colosseum for fuck’s sake! The part on building materials turned out to be even more boring than I anticipated. Well done. And there’s a lot of description of things outside (which are free) the fucking Colosseum (which isn’t). It wouldn’t matter so much if every venue in the peninsula didn’t depend on audio guides for the bulk of their storytelling. Tour guides, people, guide turistiche!!!!

Like all Italian points of historic and cultural significance, the user interface is, as the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius put it, “dogshittus”. My girlfriend and I had a competition to see who learnt more: she, from the signage; me, from my €7 audio guide. She taught me a lot.

There was a lot of construction going on but fair enough, the place is falling to bits. If this was London it’d have already been converted to luxury flats for wankers.

If I were a gull, I’d live here

As it is, the Colosseum’s visitors are ushered up the stairs, through the vomitorium then… nothing. The option is to walk around the place and that’s kind of it. Not bad (it’s the Colosseum), but not great. People were wandering, doubling back on themselves, pointing, scratching their arses. One lad with an audio guide asked me what the voice was describing, I didn’t know the answer so lied to look cool. Colosseum dudes, hire two men in helmets and metal miniskirts to carefully hit each other with rubber swords while we act like the mob, eating dormouse or whatever. My experience was as dry as Ben Hur’s sequel.

I’ll admit. I got bored

There was a four metre crucifix overlooking the stage because Italy. Sorry, because of those who died for their Christianity.

The permanent exhibition was a lie as it was temporarily shut due to reconstruction. What a double crossing rip off! Et tu Colosseo? Sure, things need sprucing, but was there no possibility of a temporary exhibition?

I don’t mean to sound like some beastly barbarian banging at the gates of an orgy, but I think you could gain everything you need from the Colliseum by looking at it from outside, watching a YouTube video on your phone, and spending the entrance fee on wine. Or simply by watching the film Gladiator, which is great.

I’m committing imperial suicide here by going against the mob and giving this one a thumbs down. Are you not entertained?!