Lonely Planet Writer

First phase of Rome Colosseum's multi-million euro facelift is now complete

One of Rome’s most famous attractions has undergone the first step of its multi-million euro makeover.

Colosseum in Rome.
Colosseum in Rome. Image by Micha‚ Krakowiak

The Roman Colosseum has undergone a thorough cleaning for the past three years to remove dirt and grime that has built up on the nearly 2000-year-old monument. Parts of the structure, which had been blackened by dirt, have been under scaffolding while the restoration work was underway. Now, the workers will move inside the structure to continue the project, reports the Guardian. The continued work will restore passages and underground vaults and will see a new visitor centre built at the site, reports Reuters.

Italy’s culture minister has said that the ongoing restorations will allow for the possibility of cultural events to be held at the site in the future.

Overview of Colosseum.
Overview of Colosseum. Image by ©Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

Rome has been taking steps to clean up its famous sites, and earlier this year, Italy has announced it will invest €1 billion into the cultural sector and work on its museums, monuments and more. But, the country has been getting some help – the Colosseum restoration project was given €25 million in funding from Diego Della Valle, the owner of luxury shoemaker company Tod’s.

It’s not the only case of business stepping in to help preserve Italy’s culture, Fendi paid for the recent restoration of the Trevi Fountain, while Bulgari paid to restore the Spanish Steps.

The newly restored Trevi Fountain is lit during the official inauguration in Rome, Tuesday, 3 November. The historical fountain, famed as a setting for the film "La Dolce Vita'' and the place where dreamers leave their coins, reopened after a 17-months restoration financed by the Fendi fashion house.
The newly restored Trevi Fountain is lit during the official inauguration in Rome, Tuesday, 3 November. Image by PA

The eagerness of businesses to help fund such projects is due in part to tax breaks that come with it. Regardless, it is good news for the country, which has so many cultural riches that this year it decided not to submit any locations for inclusion in the Unesco World Heritage shortlist, as it already has the highest number in the world.