About Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo) in Rome was the main and largest sports stadium in Ancient Rome. Overlooked from the north by the emperors’ palaces on the Palatine, this grand arena was the site of exciting chariot races watched by an exhilarated crowd.

Built and rebuilt several times, at its largest the Circus Maximus held between 150,000 and 250,000 people. It is unclear as to when the first version of the Circus Maximus was constructed – it was certainly the oldest of Rome’s arenas - although it was in use by the fourth century BC and was enlarged under Julius Caesar in the first century AD and later by other emperors.

Today, the Circus Maximus is a shadow of its former magnificence. Without its Egyptian obelisks and Roman monuments, many see it as just a field, yet, with its shape and vast size still clearly visible, the Circus Maximus is definitely worth visiting.

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