By Dwaram Ruthvik Reddy

The Ancient Rome Colosseum, Italy


           Italy's most popular monument, with up to six million visitors a year, felt its age. Its massive size and long life granted it some dignity, but news reports started placing it on the level of a bedraggled theme park. The construction of the Colosseum was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed by his son Titus in 80 AD. The inaugural festivities lasted for about 100 days and 5,000 wild beasts were said to have been killed in one day - ostriches, tigers, lions, panthers, bears and hippos - certainly a record. Considering its historical importance, Tod's Group proudly supported the restoration of the Colosseum, the renowned symbol of Italian history.
          The "intervention plan" for the restoration of the Flavian Amphitheater was a project requested by the Government Commissioner for Rome's archaeological areas and Ancient Ostia in collaboration with the Special Superintendent for the Colosseum and the Rome's Archaeological Heritage and supported by Tod's. The first part of the intervention plan had been completed with the restoration of the northern and southern prospectus (approximately 13,300 square meters) and the replacement of the actual locking system of arches with new gates. The plan foresaw the restoration of the ambulatory and basements of the Colosseum, the retrofit compliance, implementation of standard equipment, the creation and re-positioning from internal to an external visitors' service and reception area. The most important changes related to the opening up of other floors of the monument, some never accessed before by tourists. This will allow small groups to descend with a guide to the dark corridors of the Hypogeum below the arena, where caged animals and gladiators waited to be hoisted into action. Visitors will also be allowed to climb to the third tier of the Amphitheater where they will have wonderful view of the whole interior and outwards, looking north-west to the Forum and the Capitoline Hill. In addition, they will be able to see where sailors stretched canvas sails over the whole area and visit the topmost tiers of seats, supposedly open to Roman women after a strenuous climb.
          The work had been scheduled to be completed by 2014 where 85 per cent of the structure was opened to the tourists as against the existing figure of only 15 per cent. One of the world's great buildings was revealed as never before.