The underground dungeons at Rome’s Colosseum — regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Roman architecture and where gladiators engaged in battles royal for spectators’ leisure — will open to the public for the first time.
The upper, third tier of the ancient arena, closed since the 1970s, will also be accessible to visitors and offer them a view of the Roman Forum.
The opening of the underground chambers, where lions and tigers were caged and gladiators prepared for mortal combat, follows restoration works recently carried out.
From the Porta Libitina — the “Gate of Death” through which the bodies of dead gladiators were carried outside the amphitheater — visitors will enter the “insides” of the Colosseum.
“This is the first time people will have the chance to go down into the places where the spectacles were organized,” said Rossella Rea, director of the Colosseum.