Hammamet: El-Jem Colosseum
On Wednesday we hired a car and went off exploring. Our first stop was at El-Jem and its colosseum. The El-Jem colosseum was the third largest in the Roman world. Its seating capacity has been estimated at 30,000. It was built between AD 230 and 238. It is better preserved than the one in Rome and is a spectacular sight. We could see the colosseum from miles away towering over the rest of the city. We joked that once in the city we would never see the colosseum again but spend the day driving around town. We did fairly well and managed to park close by. There was no car park available but it was simply a case of seeing some tarmac and declaring it a parking space.
We set off at 06.30 from Hammamet and arrived at the Colosseum by 08.15. Even this early there were streams of tourists from the coach tours arriving. We paid to get in, but we think we could have blended in with one of the coach loads and got in for free!
We spent a while walking around. Thankfully the coach loads of tourist only stayed on the arena floor so it was not too crowded everywhere else.