Rome's Colosseum reopens; flash mob marks opening of Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Colosseum will start receiving visitors again after three months of shutdown during COVID-19 containment measures.

To lower the risk of possible contagion at one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions, tourists must wear protective masks and have their temperatures taken before entering the ancient arena, which re-opens to tourism on June 1.

Entrance times will be staggered to discourage crowding and tickets must be bought online. A reduced-price ticket will be available for afternoon visitors in an effort to encourage Romans to visit the monument at the end of their working day, especially while Italy awaits for tourism from overseas to resume.

Tickets to the Colosseum also allow entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. But tourists to those two sites will no longer be able to wander at will through the sprawling ancient ruins. Instead, they will have to follow fixed paths.

In Pisa, another of Italy's best loved attractions the Leaning Tower has also reopened after a three-month hiatus.

"This is an important day, as we are making a new start by opening up the area," Pierfrancesco Pacini, head of the administration of the Primaziale Pisana said in remarks cited by Ansa news agency.

A flash mob was held to commemorate those who have died of the virus and to attract visitors to the site.

Virtually no tourists had arrived, Pacini said, adding that it was important to show a "sign of trust and hope."

Other attractions in Italy are opening up again, with the Vatican Museums also due to reopen their doors from Monday.

In Florence, the Uffizi museum and Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michaelangelo's David, are likewise set to welcome visitors again.