Right outside of the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, a large triumphal arch dedicated to the victory of Constantine over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of the Melvin Bridge in 312AD. Interestingly, the exterior of the arch has a lot of artwork that appears to have been repurposed from older Roman monuments, and it may have been that Constantine was seeking to portray himself as being in line with previous emperors that the Romans remembered favorably. There’s even a theory that the arch was built long before Constantine’s reign and Constantine merely had its facade reworked to his personal liking, but that can’t be proven conclusively. Whatever the case, it is the largest triumphal arch that the Romans built and it was situated on the route that emperors would follow when they entered the city after a successful military campaign.

My parents and I stopped by the Arch of Constantine after we left the Colosseum and took a few quick photos before we moved on to the Forum and Palatine Hill. The fence around the arch keeps people from getting a good look underneath it like you can do with the nearby Arch of Titus, but it’s still an impressive sight, particularly with the Colosseum in the background. I don’t remember there being any benches nearby but if there were then the area around the arch would be a pretty nice place to stop for a picnic lunch on a sunny day.