A major road running alongside Colosseum in the heart of Italy's Rome was banned for private traffic on Saturday to help preserve the city's historic buildings.
Pollution and vibration from heavy traffic was blamed for harm to some of Rome's ancient beauties, including the Colosseum, the Imperial Forums and the Roman Forum.
Newly elected Mayor Ignazio Marino said that his plan will reduce vehicle traffic by 90 percent, eliminating some of the damage caused by the steady flow of cars.
Only emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and bicycles will be allowed to enter the large archeological venue close to the Colosseum, which is nearly 2,000 years old and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.
"Today is the beginning of a dream," Marino said in a television interview.
"I believe we have a responsibility to keep the richness of history for the entire human kind," the 58-year-old transplant surgeon added suggesting that he plans to make further steps towards heritage protection.
An evening of exhibitions and concerts was held on Saturday to celebrate the novelty in the Italian capital.