Though smaller than the Coliseum in Rome, the Arena, as it is known by locals, is remarkable because its outer wall is almost entirely intact. Inside, vestiges of the Arena's fittings still are visible, though its stone seats were removed in medieval times to complete other building projects. The facility was designed to host gladiatorial contests and 20,000 people. The Emperor Augustus (31-14 B.C.) started construction of the amphitheater in 2 B.C.; it was finished in A.D. 14, during the rule of Vespasianus. It used a clever system of cloth canopies to shade spectators from the sun and parts of the system still hang from the wall. The chambers under the Arena have been restored and now house a museum whose permanent exhibit, "Olive and Winegrowing of Istria in Antiquity," is beautifully done and captioned in English. During the summer, the Arena is a concert site attracting such big-name stars as Elton John. It is also the site of the prestigious Croatian Film Festival (July). Tip: Rent an audio tour the first time you visit the Arena.