You’ll Soon Be Able to Catch a Live Show at the Colosseum

published Jan 8, 2021
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Credit: Creative Commons photo via NH53

If you’re a traveler who has already put off your plans to visit Rome due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to shift your plans a bit further down the road. By 2023, the Italian government hopes to be finished with a Colosseum renovation that will make it possible for tourists to see live performances at the ancient amphitheater.

Colosseum Archaeological Park and Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism have developed plans to install a retractable floor over the basement of the arena, called the hypogeum. Back when it was in service, the Colosseum had a wooden floor over the hypogeum that has since rotted away and has never been replaced.

“The reconstruction of the Colosseum arena is a great idea which traveled around the world,” Dario Franceschini, the minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, said in a statement, per Dezeen. “It will be a great technological intervention which will give visitors the chance not only to see the basements but to admire the beauty of the Colosseum from the center of the arena.”

The retractable floor will make the Colosseum “usable” again, Franceschini said, allowing the space to be used for live performances and offer tourists a new way to view the Colosseum as it once was when it was used for gladiator contests in and around 80 A.D.

Although the Colosseum has been taken care of, it has not been restored nor received an update of this caliber since it fell into disrepair at the fall of the Roman Empire. 

“The new arena will have to be conceived as a unitary floor, with a high technological content, consisting of mechanised opening and closing devices, allowing visitors to understand the synergy and the close relationship with the underground, also using systems that refer to the mechanisms of the lifts and of ancient mobile scenes,” Franceschini’s statement reads. The update will hopefully be completed within a two-year timeframe.