Rats close Colosseum ticket office

Rat emergency in Roman Forum says archaeological superintendent.

Two booths at the newly-opened ticket office at the Colosseum were closed on 1 March after a dead rat was found on the premises, according to Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

The ticket booths were closed for the entire day while pest control workers disinfected the office, which remains partly closed on 2 March.

Francesco Prosperetti, the superintendent for Rome’s archaeological heritage, says that authorities are unable to cope with the "rat emergency" at the Roman Forum, part of which is currently under scaffolding to allow Metro C excavations.

However Prosperetti admitted that the site of the new ticket office, at the foot of the Temple of Venus, has "long been devoid of human presence" and acknowledged that the rats were previously the area's "legitimate inhabitants."

The discreetly-designed ticket office opened on the edge of Piazza del Colosseo on 8 December, after being moved from its former Via Sacra location.