Rome’s authorities have estimated that there are around seven million rats in Colosseum, roughly two and a half for every city inhabitant.
For several years, the city has also struggled to deal with large amounts of waste, with bins frequently allowed to overflow and mountains of trash dumped straight into the streets.
Tourists have shared videos of the rats strolling around the old amphitheatre on social media.
Sabrina Alfonsi, the city’s head of garbage collection, claimed there had been an “extraordinary intervention” over the weekend by employees cleaning trash and putting traps.
The rodents, according to Ms. Alfonsi, were drawn to mounds of garbage left by tourists.
She noted that recent heatwaves have exacerbated the situation, with enormous numbers of plastic bottles thrown near the monument.
The situation was now under control, she said, but the operation will continue next week with workers cleaning up the green areas surrounding the Colosseum and the drains where rats are common.