When you think of the Colosseum, you think of espresso and vespas not mint tea and camels…. but maybe we should, because in former city of Thysdrus, Tunisia, an important centre for the olive oil production for the Empire, you will find the third largest Roman Amphitheatre – El Jem, named after the city as it is known today.
Against all odds, construction started in 238AD a year that was also known as the year of the “Six Emperors”. With a size of 148m and 122m, it was designed to hold 35000 spectators. Like the Colosseum it is built from the ground up, with no foundations and is the only one in the world that is built entirely out of cut stone. It is in extremely well preserved and unlike the Colosseum where the arena is missing, El Jem’s arena is intact: corridors and service rooms were dug underground and can still be visited. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, a full year before the Colosseum in Rome!!