In ancient Rome, up to 50,000 people gathered inside the Colosseum to watch enslaved men, condemned criminals, and wild animals fight to the death.

To make caged creatures and fighters emerge from underground, the Romans devised a labyrinth of secret tunnels beneath the arena’s floor. These underground structures have remained exposed to the elements for centuries, enabling millions of tourists to see them up close.
The Italian government has pledged $12 million toward the construction of a retractable floor that will offer tourists a glimpse of the amphitheater as it was.

Italian authorities say the restored version of the floor will feature replicas of trapdoors, lifts, and other mechanical elements. The project has a 2023 completion date, and officials in Rome will launch a new chapter for the ruins, like concerts and events, which will be held on the floor.