Tourists walk in the Colosseum near the hypogeum (underground) on October 14, 2010, in Rome. The underground, never before available to the public, is now open for visitors.
Gladiators, wild beasts and ... tourists? Yep. People visiting the Colosseum can now walk around the underground chambers where lions and tigers were caged and gladiators waited to hear their fate.
More than 18,000 people visit the amphitheatre every day. The newly opened areas will be accessible to guided tours of a maximum of 25 people at a time.
The Colosseum is one of the most recognized structures not just in Rome, but in all of Europe. The building, which was inaugurated in 80 A.D., is visited by several million tourists each year.
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter is illuminated in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. The basilica, until recently, was the largest church ever built. The holy place stands where St. Peter was crucified and buried.
The Roman Forum is located between the Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. The ancient city's most important and oldest structures were situated in or near the Forum, including many shrines and temples.
The Piazza del Campidoglio was designed during the 16th century by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The piazza is located atop Capitol Hill in Rome. The structure seen today dates back to 1560.
Two tourists rest next to a statue in front of the Campidoglio, Rome's city hall. The statue, one of a set of two, was built by Italian artist Matteo Bartolani in 1588 and is meant to represent Rome's Tiber River.
Castel Sant'Angelo, sitting above the Tiber River, was built by the Emperor Hadrian as a tomb for himself and his successors. The Mausoleum was later completed by Antoninus Pius in 139 A.D.
Legend has it that if a visitor throws a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, he or she is ensured a return. About 3,000 euros are tossed into the fountain each day, according to the BBC.
Antique statue fragments sit inside the Capitole Museum yard, located at the Square of Campidoglio, in Rome. The Capitole Museum contains an antique collection began in 1471 by pope Sixte IV.
Shafts of light fill the interior of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Tourists who plan to visit the basilica should take note of a strictly enforced dress code, which includes no shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts.
The ceiling of Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Images on the ceiling depict scenes from the book of Genesis, and the walls are covered with Renaissance frescoes created by other artists.
The main staircase of Vatican Museum forms a tightening spiral as it descends. The museum is located in the Vatican Palace, which popes have called home since the 1300s.
The Pantheon, according to the Web site italyguides.it, is the Roman monument that holds the most and best preserved records, and is "the most copied and imitated of all ancient works."
The Museo D'arte Contemporanea Di Roma (MACRO) houses a permanent art collection that includes "some of the most significant expressions characterizing the Italian art scene since the 1960s," its Web site claims.
Villa Medicis is a 16th Century garden located on the Pincian Hill at the top of the Spanish Steps. The gardens are complemented by statues and fountains.
The area now known as Villa Borghese was originally started as a vineyard in the 1500s, but was purchased by cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, in 1605 and turned into a park. Rome obtained Villa Borghese in 1903, and it was opened to the public.
People take a freshly brewed espresso at a cafe terrace on Piazza Navona in Rome during the "Espresso Italiano day 2009." Italians drink some 70 million cups of coffee at the bars every day, according to the figures given by the National Institute of Italian Espresso.
This aerial shot of Rome shows the Vittoriano Monument, dedicaded to the Italian king Vittorio Emmanuelle II, in the background.
Italian shoppers browse at Via Condotti, which is the home to some of the world's most famous designer boutiques, in Rome.
The Spanish Steps connect Piazza di Spagna to Trinita dei Monti, a French church. Once a gathering place for beautiful men and women hoping to be chosen as artists' models, the Spanish Steps are now used as a catwalk for an annual summertime fashion show.
The Ara Pacis Augustae, or Altar of Peace, dates back to 9 B.C. The altar was built to celebrate the advent of peace under the reign of Augustus, Rome's first emperor.
The Vittorio Emmanuele II monument is seen at sunset. With nearly 3,000 years of history, Rome continues to live up to its motto of "The Eternal City," being one of the founding cities of Western civilization.