Our professional, entertaining guide brings the Colosseum to life. This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the Colosseum in just one hour!
Take a guided tour of the Colosseum with Show Me Italy. Take advantage of our exclusive access to skip the lines and enter the Colosseum via the Gladiator’s Gate! Explore Rome’s most famous (and infamous) ancient structure, standing were Romans, gladiators, and Caesars once stood. Show Me Italy has put a lot of work into ensuring this is the most comprehensive and informative guided Colosseum tour available. For a more streamlined experience, you may be interested in our Express Colosseum tour, which fits an entire Colosseum tour into just one hour!
ESSENTIAL DETAILS OF OUR COLOSSEUM ARENA TOUR
COLOSSEUM ARENA TOUR | HIGHLIGHTS
With our exclusive access, this guided tour of the Colosseum arena allows you to skip the line as you walk through the Gladiator’s Gate and directly onto the arena floor. Once you reach the meeting point and are acquainted with your guide, the tour will begin with an introduction to the Colosseum’s magnificent facade, its ingenious design, and to those responsible for its construction. As you stand in the heart of Ancient Rome, you will learn about the spectacular Arch of Constantine that sits in front of the Palatine Hill, as well as the beautiful ruins of the Roman Forum — a picturesque backdrop for Rome’s most famous monument. You can visit both of these areas, along with the Colosseum, on our Ancient Rome Tour.
Your tour guide will point out architectural details on the Colosseum and give surprising little-known facts as you make your way to the Gladiator’s Gate. With priority access and a dedicated entrance, you will skip the long ticket lines into the Colosseum as well as the lines at the group entrance. Just as the gladiators did centuries ago, you will walk through the Gladiator’s Gate and onto the arena floor. As you enjoy this unique view of the Colosseum, your guide will describe the many gladiatorial battles that took place in the arena and show you where the emperor and senators used to sit as they watched the bloody spectacles unfold. You can also peek over the railing for an up-close view of the underground tunnels and chambers that served to house the wild animals used in the shows. After enjoying this special access, the guided tour continues through the first and second levels of the Colosseum. Once the tour is finished, be sure to stop at the balcony for a breath-taking view of the surrounding ancient city!
What You Experience
- The History
This guided tour of the Colosseum, with special access to the Gladiator’s Gate and the arena floor, begins with an introduction to the building’s exterior and the surrounding ancient city. As you stand in the center of the Roman Empire, your guide describes the construction and importance of the Arch of Constantine, one of the many triumphal arches in Rome. You learn about the ruins of the magnificent imperial palaces that can been seen on the Palatine Hill, as well as the Roman Forum that was the political, financial, and religious center of the ancient empire. All elegantly combine to set the scene for the construction of the Colosseum.
- Roman Emperors
Your guide describes how the Roman Empire and its citizens suffered greatly under the rule of the Emperor Nero, the city’s most despised leader, who had claimed public land to build himself lavish palatial grounds. When the Emperor Vespasian came to power, he worked hard to reverse the damage caused by the infamous Nero, giving the land back to the people of Rome and dedicating a monument to their enjoyment and entertainment. Discover that the construction of the Colosseum was no small venture — in order to transport the more than 100,000 cubic meters of travertine, a 20-mile road had to be built from the quarry in Tivoli. With the labor of more than 50,000 slaves and after less than 10 years, the amphitheater was finished.
- Gladiator's Gate
The completion of the Colosseum was celebrated with 100 days of games for the entertainment of the people, whose entrance was organized by numbered gates. As you make your way around this colossal building, your guide points out the Roman numerals above each archway and describes the Roman’s inventive ticketing system, still used by modern-day stadiums. Before using our special entrance at the Gladiator’s Gate, learn why much of the original travertine is missing and where in Rome it can now be found. This ‘ancient recycling’ also explains the presence of the many holes that can be seen in the Colosseum’s walls.
You then follow in the footsteps of the gladiators as you enter the Colosseum through the Gladiator’s Gate, which is also known as the Gate of Death, through which the corpses of defeated gladiators, executed criminals, and unfortunate wild animals would be dragged. As your guide describes the bloody scenes that took place on this stage, you can see what remains of the senator’s seat and the emperor’s imperial box, from where he would signal the fate of the awaiting gladiators. Before leaving the arena, take a peek over the wooden railing to the exposed underground chambers. During any given battle, there would be a frenzy of activity taking place below the arena floor. To the surprise of the crowd, and to the horror of the gladiators, trap doors would open and wild animals would be released onto the stage.
As the tour of the Colosseum continues, you stroll through the spacious corridors with your guide and explore what remains of this impressive structure – you may even catch a glimpse of faded ancient graffiti! Your guide describes what happened to the building after the fall of the Roman Empire and how, if not for the Church, it may not be standing at all. Once the tour has finished, you are left with a new appreciation of the Colosseum and a deeper understanding of what it meant to both the Roman Empire and the Roman citizens.
More About Your Tour
- Professional tour guide
- Tickets and reservation fees
- Skip-the-line entrance
- Hotel pick-up/drop-off (available on request)
- Food and beverages
- Please Note
- Latest check-in is no later than 15 minutes before the starting time
- Tour runs rain or shine!
- No refunds provided for no-shows or late arrivals
- Skip-the-line refers to the line to buy tickets. You still have to do the security check.
- There may be delays due to new security measures.
- What to Bring
- Comfortable shoes and clothing
- Bottle of water (especially in hot weather)
- Only small bags allowed inside