The Circus Maximus (Latin for great or large circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest Chariot Racing Stadium in ancient Rome. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width, and could accommodate about 250,000 people, over a quarter of the city's population. In its fully developed form, it provided the canonical type for circuses throughout the Roman Empire.
This is the venue point for the prayer vigil preceding John Paul II's beatification rite at St. Peter's Square.