Number of Forum, Colosseum visitors jumps

Almost 13% rise reported in Ferragosto visits in ancient Rome

Number of Forum, Colosseum visitors jumps

Rome, August 21 - Visits to the Colosseum and other top sites of ancient Rome rose by almost 13% last week during the national Ferragosto holiday, compared with the same time last year, according to statistics released Wednesday. Visits to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill increased by 12.8% in the week of August 12 to August 18 compared with the same week in 2012, said the Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage. More than 131,000 tickets were sold at these sites last week, a gain of about 15,000 visitors. It wasn't clear what made the difference: slightly more moderate temperatures this August compared with last; the lingering recession that has forced more Romans and Italians to spend their holidays closer to home; or the mayor's decision to close more of the area around the Colosseum to automobile traffic, creating a larger pedestrian space.

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