Rome’s Colosseum will gain new floor after 200 years

An impression of the retractable arena floor. Image: Milan Ingegneria

The famous Colosseum of Rome will receive a new hi-tech arena floor. Italy’s Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, hoped that the new floor allows visitors to admire the “majesty of the monument” from its centre. He expected the project to be completed by 2023.

Italy is planning to use the new stage to host cultural events in the ancient amphitheatre. “It’s an ambitious project that will help the conservation and protection of the monument and improve its usability”, Franceschini reckoned according to The Guardian. Milan Ingegneria, a structural engineering and architecture firm, won an €18.5M bid to carry out the project.

Sustainable flooring

The new floor can open and close to protect the lower foundations of the building from rain or host cultural events within the Colosseum. Franceschini mentioned that the new stage would be sustainable and reversible. This means it can be removed if plans for the ancient amphitheatre change in the future. Check out the video below to see how the retractable floor will work. (Text continues below video)

The ancient Colosseum once had a wooden floor covered with sand. However, archaeologist removed it in the 1800s to research the lower levels of the building. Beneath the original floor ly many tunnels and rooms where gladiators and animals waited before entering the arena.


In 2014, archaeologist Daniele Manacorda already suggested rebuilding the Colosseum’s floor. Now that the €18.5M project plans have been approved, the Colosseum seems to be one step closer to hosting, for example, re-enacted gladiator battles again. That way, visitors could catch a glimpse of the arena’s famous past.

The Colosseum in Rome, seen from the interior
The current interior of the Colosseum. Image: Marie-Claire (Wikimedia), CC BY-SA 3.0

Source: The Guardian

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