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Dive into the mysteries of the Colosseum at night

Rome to offer night tours of the Colosseum

Rome to offer night tours of the Colosseum

Explore the underbelly of the city’s most iconic site in the moonlit hours

Authorities in Rome have announced that starting on 20 May, residents and guests to the city will also be able to visit the famous Colosseum at night. The hour-long evening tours have been designed to present the landmark monument in a new way and to reveal lesser known sides of it.

The itinerary, enlivened by multimedia projections, will take visitors on a tour of the arena floor and the underground areas that once housed gladiators and wild animals before combat. Furthermore, people will get the chance to understand the importance of the Colosseum as a Christian site after the fall of the Roman Empire – an aspect that has been less emphasised in popular culture.

There will be video projections, too

The tour is called Luna sul Colosseo, (or Moon over the Colosseum) and its mission is to create a special magic atmosphere for the visitors who will be led on an exploration of the labyrinth of underground chambers and tunnels, where the preparations for the shows took place, where the props were stored and where the beasts, closed in cages, were then loaded on the elevators to get to the arena floor.

The novelty of this year’s tour is also the presentation of the 17th-century wall painting depicting what was considered the ideal city back in the day – Jerusalem. The fresco is located on the rear arch of the Porta Triumphalis gate.

The mural, which has been worn out through the wear and tear of time will be enhanced through video projections. The latter will form a multimedia dialogue recalling the scenes represented in the painting and those depicted by an engraving with the same iconography by Antonio Tempesta from 1601.

The immersive narration, favoured by the dim evening light, allows viewers to focus on the stories contained in the painting. Depicted are the events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus with the crosses representing the Golgotha and the comet premonitory of the destruction of Jerusalem, under which figures of prophets parade.

The painting reminds us that the Colosseum continued to be important even after the fall of the Roman Empire. In particular, in 1750 by the will of Pope Benedict XIV it became the seat of the now traditional Via Crucis (Station of the Cross Catholic devotion), in order to strengthen the sense of the historical mission of the papacy.

The ancient amphitheatre will open every Friday and Saturday night until 31 December, and on Thursday-Friday-Saturday between June and October. The hour-long tours, in Italian and English, are designed for groups of up to 25 people, with tickets costing 25 euros, or 22 euros (for groups or members).

Here is how to book you night visit to the Colloseum of Rome through its official website.

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