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Soon You Will Be Able to Tour the Colosseum’s Nosebleed Seats

For the first time in 40 years, the arena’s fourth and fifth levels will be open to the public.

An inside view of the Colosseum. The top levels will soon be accessible to tourists.
An inside view of the Colosseum. The top levels will soon be accessible to tourists. Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/CC BY-SA 3.0

Entertainment types aside, the Colosseum of Ancient Rome had a lot in common with modern-day arenas, especially when it came to seating tiers. If you were a wealthy person—a senator, say—you could take in the spectacle from marble benches in the front rows. If you were a knight, you could choose a spot on the second or third levels. If you were the emperor, you got a special box all to yourself.

If you were a regular person, though, you had to squint down at that lion fight or gladiatorial match from way up in the fourth and fifth levels, the ancient Roman version of the nosebleed section.

Now, modern-day people from all walks of life will finally be treated to a plebe’s-eye view of the Colosseum. After forty years of being blocked off to the public, the fourth and fifth levels of the ancient arena will be included in tours of the building, the Telegraph reports.

Starting on November 1st, visitors will be able to book a special walkthrough focused on those areas, which provide a great view of the building’s interior, and the city beyond.

The Colosseum from the outside.
The Colosseum from the outside. Bengt Nyman/CC BY 2.0

Besides the upper levels, a connecting tunnel has also been reopened, where, the Local promises, “tourists will be able to spot traces of six Roman toilets.”

The Colosseum has been under renovation since 2013. Over the next few years, there are plans to restore and re-open the underground vaults—where wild animals and prisoners were kept before they died—and even the arena floor, which, Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini has said, may host “cultural events.”

In other words, the ordinary people of today may soon be able to take in spectacles from the nosebleed seats once again.

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