The Colosseum depicted in Ridley Scott's film Gladiator may look like the real thing, but the $1 million replica, built in Malta, consisted of only two tiers-the rest was generated by computer effects. At the original arena in Rome, however, new flooring allows visitors to take center stage and see roughly the same view the gladiators saw-minus the crowds of Romans who once flocked to the Colosseum to watch fights and wild animal hunts. To celebrate the stage's return, the city is putting on eight performances at the Colosseum, including Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and a Mendelssohn concert. With many of the upper tiers in ruins, only 700 spectators are allowed, but tours include a stroll across the stage after the entertainment finishes, on Aug. 6.
Built for Edward the Confessor, the Palace of Westminster was described by medieval London writer William Fitzstephen as an "incomparable structure." But the complex of Gothic revival buildings, designed by Sir Charles Barry after fire destroyed most of the Houses of Parliament in 1834, was widely panned: British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli called for the architect to be hanged. Visitors can make up their own minds during Parliament's summer recess, when the palace is opened to guided public tours for the first time. The 75-min. tours, which take in the Queen's Robing Room, the Royal Gallery, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, are available from Mondays to Saturdays from Aug. 7 through Sept. 16. Tickets cost $5.25 and must be pre-booked at Ticketmaster, .
The Paris photographed by Eugène Atget (1856-1927) was one little seen by tourists or the affluent. The former seaman and actor forsook postcard panoramas for the grimy façades of weathered houses, storefront displays and street-fair booths, which he photographed during his solitary pilgrimages through the city streets, carrying a heavy, tripod-mounted camera and a supply of glass plates to make negatives. More than 80 of Atget's images are on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in "The Man on the Street: Eugène Atget in Paris," which also includes images by other photographers who made a single city their principal subject. Through Oct. 8.
The Kenya Wildlife Service, which runs the country's national parks, estimates it loses $1.2 million a year in park entry fees because of fraud. To get around the problem, the service is introducing electronic smart cards in six of the country's major parks, including Lake Nakuru and Tsavo East. Tourists are issued with the free cards at park entrances and load them with credit, payable in cash (U.S. dollars or Kenyan shillings) or by credit card. The appropriate amount-fees range between $20 and $27 a day-is then deducted whenever the cardholder enters a park.