Rome Colosseum Visitors to Finally Get Gladiators’ View With Hi-Tech Ampitheater Floor
A plan to give the Roman Colosseum a new floor has been approved by the Italian government—meaning visitors will soon have an opportunity to stand right where gladiators once fought.
The 2,000-year-old arena hasn’t had a floor since the 19th century, when it was removed by archaeologists to reveal an impressive network of tunnels where gladiators and animals were held before rowdy events.
The hi-tech floor will be wooden and sustainable, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced—with the engineering firm Milan Ingegneria winning the $22.2 million bid to design it.
“[The floor is] another step forward toward rebuilding the arena,” Franceschini said, “an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archaeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum.”
Intended to be completed by 2023, cultural events could take place in the Colosseum once the new floor has been completed.
The design is completely reversible, and if a new one is made in the future, then the 32,200 square-foot floor could be entirely removed without damage to the ancient building.
This iconic landmark of Rome dates back to the first century and the Flavian dynasty who, it seems, had a predilection for blood spots. Since then, it’s been a quarry for building materials, a place of shelter for animals, and of course, an archaeological excavation site.
After being closed for much of last year during Italian lockdowns, the Colosseum re-opened to members of the public a couple of weeks ago.