Colosseum Top Floors Now Open
After more than 40 years, the Colosseum’s top floors are open to the public. The iconic landmark, visited by 6.4 million people in 2016 alone, has inaugurated two new levels. These floors feature breathtaking new views of the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the rest of Rome.
The Colosseum’s Upper Tiers: Part of a Larger Project
This opening comes as part of a major restoration project. The previous segment being the dungeons and 3rd tier back in 2010. Next on the agenda is the arena floor, a project that could take a year and a half to complete. As of November 1st, groups of 25 can go to the top level called the Belvedere for beautiful view.
“I can see the Belvedere becoming the new picture-perfect spot in Rome, but the tour might not be for everyone because of the dark, steep stairs visitors have to walk through,” says Beth Rubin, President of Olive Tree Escapes. Beth recently returned from her latest trip to Rome, where she was in one of the first groups to see the Belvedere.
A Little Bit of History…
The Colosseum was a gift to the Romans by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD. It held its grand opening 8 years later in 80 AD. For 400 years it hosted gladiator and animal fights before falling into neglect. The first restoration dates back to the 1800s. The top floors, however, were kept closed for safety reasons.
Seating in the arena was based on social class. The emperor in his special box, senators near the pitch, knights on the intermediate levels, and merchants and traders on the fourth. The commoners got to sit all the way up on the fifth level. Even in ancient times, the nosebleed seats were still the cheapest.
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