Driving in Rome - Via dei Fori Imperiali road to Colosseum closed
Sunday, August 4 of 2013 was the last day when cars and scooters were allowed to circulate on Via dei Fori Imperiali leading to the impressive amphitheatre Colosseum in Rome.
Closing the traffic around Colosseum, was one of the first, yet highly controversial steps of Rome’s new mayor Ignazio Marino. The event was celebrated on the night of September with a street party that gathered over 100,000 participants, Rome’s residents and tourists.
Colosseum and Mussolini’s parade route
The decision to close the traffic to Colosseum was taken to protect the nearly 2,000 years old amphitheatre structure and other archaeological treasures of the Monti district of the Italian capital. Colosseum, whose construction was completed in 80 AD was the largest Roman arena.
The traffic around Colosseum intensified in 1920s, after the inauguration of Via dei Fori Imperiali, a major traffic artery idealized by Italy’s fascist dictator Mussolini as a perfect venue for military parades.
For the completion of Via dei Fori Imperiali is one of the largest thoroughfares of the Eternal City and required several hundreds of Rome’s poorest residents to move to make room for Il Duce’s prestige project, then called Via dell’Impero.
Via dei Fori Imperiali was immortalized by a scooter ride scene featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday.
Rome sightseeing on a bicycle - cycling to Colosseum
Until December 2013 it will still be possible to drive through Via dei Fori Imperiali to Colosseum by bus or taxi.
After that, the road will be closed to all motorized traffic. A cycling path will be constructed by the end of 2013.
A large section of Via dei Fori Imperiali road in Rome remains open as usual, with only the southern stretch leading from Largo Corrado Ricci to the Colosseum being closed for motorized traffic.
As can be seen on the map, motorized access to the amphitheatre is possible through Via di San Gregorio/Via Celio Vibenna passing by the Colosseum in the south.