The sounds of classical music echoed around an almost empty Colosseum this afternoon as a concert took place that organisers aimed to serve as a sign of hope for a new beginning.

Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed in Rome for the first time since before Christmas allowing the Colosseum and other museums to open.

But there were no crowds and hordes of people waiting to get in. Only a few people had the privilege of listening to the concert in an almost empty arena.

Students from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory played a classical selection inside the Colosseum for the special occasion.

It was particularly special for the performers, who have not had an opportunity to perform live for members of the public due to Covid restrictions.

"It's very emotional because there haven't been many concerts during this time, so to be here on the first day of the reopening of the Colosseum is a pleasure and an honour," said soprano singer Olimpia Pagni before taking to the stage.

As one of the most iconic Italian monuments, the Colosseum has witnessed many historic events in human history, the last of which the coronavirus outbreak that killed more than 88,000 people in the country.

Built by the Roman emperor Vespasian, the amphitheatre could seat 50,000 spectators, who would gather to watch gladiatorial contests and sometimes executions.