Image copyright Reuters Image caption A video shows tourists staggering onto the grounds of the ancient amphitheatre
Tourists in Rome have been caught on camera slipping into the Colosseum and drinking beer from its giant vaults.
In the video, released by Italian media, up to 100 tourists can be seen rolling on the archaeological site’s ruins.
The footage from July, which shows tourists staggering onto the site and holding beers, goes on to show one in a beer tent on the ground floor.
Tour operators said it is not illegal, but it is against the rules.
Oenophiles have found ancient Greek beers in the vaults of the Colosseum, but all of them were brought in from outside.
The Colosseum was constructed around 100 AD as part of the Roman Empire’s colonial ambitions and victory against the invading Persians.
This particular beer – called Nuvoleum – is fermented from grapes, wine, and fruit-derived juices and served with toasted bread.
Tourism data in Rome indicates that the tourists who go to see the Colosseum make a total of 66,300 visits every year, of which 55,700 are to the vast amphitheatre.
After the Colosseum, Rome’s other most popular tourist attraction is the Colosseum Ghetto, which holds the tomb of Julius Caesar.
Tour operator Best of Rome, which gave the interview to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, said that its “close contact with market research in the best-tourist-destination sector could have led to the different conclusions”.
It said that the latter results were wrong, and the true numbers are twice those claimed by city tourism experts.
“Tourism as a whole creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Crude calculations may betray the truth,” it said.
By Marta Sofia Silva and Harry Allen
Image copyright PA Image caption Many Roman ruins are closed to the public due to vandalism
Correction 9 August: This article originally referred to the ‘Ancient Greek beer’ at the Colosseum as a Limpopo beer. Limpopo is an African lager.