Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy seeing Rome by night? The Colosseum will open most evenings for the rest of 2017

Visitors to Rome will be able to tour the iconic Colosseum at night on most evenings throughout the rest of 2017.

Colosseum at night
Colosseum at night Image by Getty Images

The tours last 75 minutes and include visits to the floor of the arena and the underground area where gladiators waited before entering the arena. Guides, speaking English, Spanish and Italian, will bring the history of the arena to life, with tales about the gladiators and the history of the monument.

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Rome’s 50,000-seat gladiatorial arena, inaugurated in AD 80, was built to stage dramatic fights to the death involving gladiators and wild animals. The special night visits include the underground complex (known as the hypogeum) where animals were caged and stage sets prepared. Animals in cages and sets for the various battles were hoisted up into the arena by a complicated system of pulleys.

Tickets cost €18, €6 more than standard daytime entry to the Colosseum, but will allow visitors to avoid queues and visit areas such as the hypogeum that are off-limits to standard ticket holders. Night tours will run everyday from June to September, every day except Tuesdays and Sundays in April, May and October, Fridays and Saturdays in November and on Saturdays only in March and December. The earliest night tours start at 8 pm and the latest at 11 pm.

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