The Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla are now open for guided tours every Saturday night until October.
The tours, conducted by archaeologists, bring to life the workings of the Colosseum, from its functionality to the range of entertainment laid on for spectators in between the gladiator fights. The tour begins with an exhibition entitled 'Gladiatores' which displays replicas of weapons and accessories used by the gladiators in combat. The exhibition comprises eight sections and includes information about their day-to-day lives and professions. The tour concludes with a visit to the flood-lit underground chambers which housed wild animals and the stage backdrops used in battle scenes.
Likewise, tours of the Baths of Caracalla explain the functions of the thermal treatments once available, as well as the history of the structure's architecture and decorative design. Built between 212 and 216 AD during the reign of emperor Caracalla, the public baths contained rooms whose temperatures ranged from hot to medium to cold. In addition, the buildings were furnished with libraries, gymnasiums and a swimming pool with heat-reflecting bronze mirrors above and furnaces below. The baths remained in use until 537 when their hydraulic system was destroyed by the Ostrogoths during the gothic war.
The tours, in Italian and English, begin at 21.00 and end at midnight. The last tour of the Colosseum takes place on Saturday 2 October 2010, while tours of the Baths of Caracalla continue for three weeks after that, ending on Saturday 23 October 2010.
Booking is essential: for ticket information contact 06 39967700 or consult: www.pierreci.it