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The Moon over the Colosseum, Rome’s new stunning moonlight guided tour

Thursday, 19 May 2022 14:52
Colosseum Colosseum

The Moon over the Colosseum, Rome’s new stunning moonlight guided tour starts tomorrow 20 May in collaboration with Electa and Coopculture.


The new route that has been developed for this 2022 edition features the monument’s history, with the Amphitheatre in ancient Rome told through the floor of the arena and the underground, and then moving on to the Christian Colosseum. The latter begins with the 17th century wall painting depicting an ideal view of the city of Jerusalem, and this is the great novelty of this year's tour. 

2ipogei-ColosseonotteParco-archeologico-Colosseo
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2ipogei-ColosseonotteParco-archeologico-Colosseo
Parco-archeologico-del-Colosseodipinto-di-Gerusalemmeproiezione-notturnaveduta-anfiteatro-1

The Moon over the Colosseum is for a maximum 25 people

The tour, reserved for no more than 25 people, includes the extensive underground route and is available every Friday and Saturday from May to December, and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between June and October. The itinerary passes through the tunnels and passages where the preparations for the performances took place, where stage materials were stored and where caged animals were loaded onto lifts to reach the arena floor for the famous hunting scenes and gladiator fights. Crossing a footbridge, the bowels of the monument will no longer hold any secrets and, as night falls the atmosphere that envelopes these ancient areas brings them to life again. 

A 7-minute historical video

For the first time the tour includes a multimedia reading of the painting depicting an ideal view - a bird's eye view - of the city of Jerusalem, on the bottom arch of the western archway, the so-called Triumphal Gate: the same gate through which gladiators and beasts once entered the arena. Lasting seven minutes the video, curated by the Colosseum Archaeological Park, is projected on the two lunettes of the western archway: on one side a selection of 22 scenes depicted in the painting and, on the other, the engraving with the same 1601 iconography by Antonio Tempesta.

The Colosseum used to hold 60,000 spectators

The narration and the atmospheric evening light bring the Old and New Testament narratives in the painting to life, and the painting reminds us that the Colosseum continued to live on after the end of the Roman Empire. In fact in 1750, at the behest of Pope Benedict XIV, it became the site of the now traditional Via Crucis, reinforcing the sense of the historical mission of the papacy. The itinerary ends with an extraordinary view of the complex structure of the underground and the vastness of the cavea terraces that once held and over 60,000 spectators. Guided tour times in Italian and English: 8 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Tickets € 25.00 full price; € 22.00 concessions (groups/whole-slot fixed price/adults under 25); € 20.00 young people under 25.  Info and presale: Tel 06-3996-7700 Monday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm www.coopculture.it 

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