Rome, the Colosseum. Before the end of this month, work is due to begin on exploring and restoring the ‘passaggio di Commodo’, a tunnel to the southern side of the Colosseum (at a depth of around 3 metres).
This tunnel was used by the emperors to arrive unseen by their people, their Romans – unseen and unsure, not always loved as they were.
Another tunnel is also to be part of this grand exploration, this time in the north east of the edifice. The tunnel was part of the day-to-day magic of the Colosseum, the workings of which were unknown to the circa 80,000 spectators that used to line its terraces. Via this tunnel, the gladiators were able to emerge, fully armoured and ready for ‘battle’, directly onto the floor (arena). Via this tunnel, wild animals were transported to the same destination, fully caged until the last possible minute.
The video below shows a (for now) privileged trip into these tunnels, the site of archaeological exploration – but who knows what the future holds for visitors?
Colosseum tickets | Colosseum guided tours
Colosseum by night | Colosseum dungeons