La Luna sul Colosseo – The moon over the Coliseum

Rome's most magnifient monument - magical at any time of day or night

One’s first glimpse of the amazing, ancient, historic and imposing Coliseum, is almost impossible not to remain emblazoned in your mind for ever.

That first time wandering about Rome, turning around a corner and spying a sight that takes breaths away – the wondrous monument spied perhaps at the end of a charming narrow cobbled alleyway, rising up above the low-rise buildings.

We fondly recall one Christmas Eve in Rome many moons ago, when we went wandering out into the cold night air for a stroll around the streets to mingle amongst the many people out taking a stroll to enjoy the Christmas carols, the lights and even some Christmas markets.

At one point, we wandered into a small deserted piazza that overlooks the Coliseum giving a fantastic vantage point of Rome’s most recognizable monument, beside which stood a gigantic Christmas tree dwarfed by the magnificence of the Coliseum. The ancient building was illuminated by the soft light of the Christmas lights on one side, and from above by the large moon that hung in the sky directly above the Coliseum. Italian Christmas carols could be heard floating out from a nearby Italian restaurant to complete what turned out to be a magical moment that rendered the evening just perfect.

Now each Saturday from 25th June to 17th September, the Coliseum is offering even more magical moon moments with the ‘La luna sul Colosseo’ event. From 8.20pm to 10.45pm, it is possible to enter the Coliseum’s underground area.

Until recently, the underground areas were not open to the public. Now it is possible to explore parts of the exclusive subterranean passageways.

The Colosseum was actually built as an amphitheatre, designed to house some 50,000 people to watch spectacles. Throughout its near-on 2000 year history, the Colosseum has been used most famously as the site of epic gladiator battles, but also for plays, executions, and even plays concluding with real-life executions as part of theme (the starring role being played by a pre-condemned prisoner), a market, a quarry, as accommodation, a fortress, a monastery, a church with cemetery, for the staging of hunts using animals including crocodiles, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, bears and even giraffes, elephants and ostriches, not to mention the more dangerous animals of the big cat family ? lions, leopards and panthers.

Under the Colosseum is a whole network of underground passageways, cells and special rooms. They were often used by important political figures, including the Roman emperor, to navigate through the Coliseum and avoid the crowds (particularly helpful since it was a time of frequent rioting by the masses!).

For more information on the Coliseum’s secret passageways, email

Of course, the complete history would take some years and a doctoral study or two to fully grasp, but we do have a more concise and fascinating 3 ½ hour walking tour of Rome’s city with an expert guide, a tour which includes skip-the-line entry into the Colosseum, along with visits to several other major sights in Rome. It’s called the Original Rome Walk, and this guided tour can be done as a small-group walking tour of Rome or a private guided tour of Rome with an exclusive tour guide.

We also have a small-group skip-the-line Vatican tour that can be done on the same day as our small-group Rome walking tour as part of our discounted Rome tours package, Rome in One Glorious Day or two. Note we say ‘(or two)’ because you do also have the option of doing the two tours over two days.

The My Exclusive Original Rome Walk private guided tour and the My Exclusive Masterpieces of the Vatican and St. Peters guided tour tours allow you do these fantastic tours as private guided tours.

We love Rome so much that we have many more private Rome tours with an expert tour guide for you to choose from, as well as tours in Florence/Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Venice and beyond, which you can see on our site,

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