Quite by accident, via the Daily Mail, I find this 1846 photograph online, taken by the Rev. Calvert Richard Jones (click for a larger size):
The circular area to the right is the basin for the Meta Sudans, the now vanished fountain outside the Colosseum. The man in the top hat, and the woman in the dress of a vanished age, are sitting against … what?
I can’t quite tell from the angle of the shot.
Is that pile of masonry the equally vanished platform for the colossal statue of Nero, from which the Colosseum takes its name? It was demolished by Mussolini, to make way for the Via di Foro Imperiali.
Or is it just some general ruins in the area?
The next photograph, sadly vandalised with a watermark, shows that magnificent road leading up to the Vatican … under construction! Indeed it shows the man responsible. Yes, Mussolini again!
In fact the source site has a cluster of photographs, all from the 8th October 1937, showing Mussolini and his colleagues walking along the new road. This photograph from 1911 (via here) shows what was there before:
The view today is this!