If you’ve never seen the Colosseum in Rome, I recommend you do something about that. It’s one of the more amazing things I’ve seen in my travels. It’s huge, it’s old, and it conjures up exciting images of 50,000 Ancient Romans whipped up into a frenzy.
And soon the Colosseum is getting even better. Starting later this summer, thanks to 18 million dollars worth of restoration efforts, visitors will be able to go down to the amphitheatre's underground section to see the cages and holding pens where they kept the criminals, gladiators, lions and tigers before sending them up to battle to their deaths on the arena floor.
I’ve always had a soft spot for spooky and morbid historical sights. Catacombs, cemeteries, medieval dungeons. This newly opened section of the Colosseum certainly qualifies as spooky and morbid.
I can picture myself down there among the cages. Knowing that I’m walking where criminals, gladiators, lions and tigers waited for their probable deaths is a sobering thought. As I look at the spaces where they actually sat, I can't help but wonder what they were thinking about, where they came from, what they said to each other. I can almost feel what it would be like to be one of those unfortunate souls. Of course, I can also leave and go get a gelato.
In any event, it’s a nice new addition to any visit to the Colosseum. Trips to Italy just got a little more interesting. Thanks, Rome.