All’Ombra del Colosseo (shadow of the Colosseum)

"All’Ombra del Colosseo (shadow of the Colosseum)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 18th July 2011

All’Ombra del Colosseo (shadow of the Colosseum) - Soaking away with poolside at All'Ombra del Colosseo through Rome's Colosseum

Thousands of tourists shuffle through Rome's Colosseum each summer day, sweating and struggling in the 33C heat. Little do they know that relief is just around the corner – albeit at a price. The All'Ombra del Colosseo summer festival is sited at the top of the Caelian Hill, a three-minute walk from the Colosseum, and features a bar, restaurant, club, and night concerts. But that's not why most locals have heard of it. They head to All'Ombra for its pièce-de-résistance: the swimming pool.

The swimming pool, run by the Castellum Sport and Culture Association, is located in the heart of the historic center, just behind the Colosseum, in the Parco del Celio (a popular park frequently used as a concert venue). The pool is part of a larger city-run “resort” called All’Ombra del Colosseo, meaning literally “in the shadow of the Colosseum.” It includes the pool, food and drink stands, live music performances, a disco (this is Italy after all), and even a poker table!

The Caelian Hill is scattered with ancient ruins and, considering the age and fragility of the buildings, the area seems like an iffy venue for summer entertainment. Rarely bogged down by the technicalities of archaeological conservation, the city has approved the festival anyway. And since a reasonably priced pool in downtown Rome is such a novelty, one may be willing to overlook the preservation issues on a hot day.

Rome's 'Parco del Colle Oppio' archaeological site is the setting for this huge annual open-air theatre that takes place each summer. Italy's foremost cabaret artists make an appearance, and the programme also features plenty of live music. The surrounding area is jam-packed with food stalls and there are great crèche facilities offering games and activities to keep little ones amused. On-site art exhibitions are also organized.

At seven in the evening, the mood changes with cocktail hour, pizzarie and restaurants at poolside. Then comes the cabaret, pop concerts, Italian comics.... and an area for those who like to play, of all things, "Texas Hold'Em," a form of poker. Finally, as the night lingers on, the action gets going at l'Avenue, a dance floor with djs.

All’Ombra del Colosseo is open for frolicking from June 26 through September 5, when the worst of the summer heat should have passed. Soaking away with the iconic monument in full view does come at a price: The pool costs €14 for an all-day pass (starting at 9 AM), and €10 for a half-day runs (starting at 2 PM). Reduced admission is available for children and students, from €7 to €9.

Enter from the Salita di San Gregorio. Although the price seems steep, remember that the usual price for a beach club pass anywhere in Italy is about €10. The aperitivo, with buffet, costs another €9. For more information, call + 06 70031701 or visit:

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