Colosseum to open its doors for rare night visits

One of Rome’s most celebrated sights is to offer tourists a different view this summer when the Colosseum opens its grand entrance for night time visits.

The great amphitheatre which was named as one of the Seven ‘New’ Wonders Of The World in 2007 will open after dark on seven straight Saturdays, from August 21st. However, numbers will be limited. A maximum of 40 people will be allowed onto the site per evening and the programme will end on October 2nd.

Normally, the Colosseum is only open during the daytime, but it hosted a brief run of night visits last summer, and the decision has been taken to repeat the scheme in 2010. Access will be from 9pm until midnight, with visitors accompanied by an archaeologist.

Built between 70 and 80AD during the reigns of Vepasian and Titus, the Colosseum was one of the clearest symbols of the might of Ancient Rome. In its heyday, it held 50,000 spectators, who gathered to watch the gladiatorial contests for which the structure is still famed, and even epic ‘sea’ struggles, where the arena was flooded to let boats do battle. It was still even used for gladiator fights as late as the 6th century, long after the fall of the Roman Empire.

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* Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single Trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3-days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (September 2010) and are subject to change.