The construction of the Colosseum started around 70-72, under the rule of Vespasian. The location chosen for the construction was a flat area, between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine Hills.
The area was devastated, in 64 AD, by the Great Fire of Rome. Nero took the area for his personal domain and built the Domus Aurea, with an artificial lake, gardens and pavilions. A complex system of aqueducts was developed there, to supply water to the area. He than placed a monumental bronze statue - Colossus of Nero.
The Colossus was preserved under Vespasisan and his successors, but the Domus Aurea was destroyed. The place became the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre constructed as a triumphal monument, celebrating great victories.
Vespasian wanted to give the area to public use, in contrast with Nero, who used it for his personal interest. The amphitheatre was build in the middle of the city and not somewhere on the suburbs, as many other amphitheatres were located. This was a symbol for the amphitheatre’s importance.