Take advantage of our exclusive access to skip the lines and enter the Colosseum via the Gladiator’s Gate!
Skip the Line Express Colosseum Tour
Show Me Italy’s Express Colosseum Tour is perfect for those of you short on time or, as exciting as it may be, for those who don’t want to spend several hours immersed in the world of Ancient Rome. Skip-the-line with us and enjoy a fantastic guided tour this incredible monument in around an hour.
If you are feeling up for it and have more time to take in every little detail, then our Ancient Rome guided tour or our Special Access Colosseum Floor Tour would be perfect for you.
This express skip-the-line Colosseum tour shares the history of Rome’s most famous ancient monument in just about an hour – perfect for those of you who weren’t big history fans at school! After you reach the meeting point at the Colosseum metro stop, the guided tour will start with an introduction to this architectural masterpiece. As you admire its impressive facade, you will not only learn about the materials used to build the Colosseum but also about the people who put their blood, sweat and tears into its construction: the emperors, architects and slaves!
Whilst standing in the heart of Ancient Rome, you will learn about the Roman Forum (once a vast swampland), the Palatine Hill and the triumphal Arch of Constantine. You will then enter through one of the Colosseum’s many arches, just like the ancient Romans once did, but unlike them you will enjoy priority access by skipping the lines to go directly inside.
The old stones and worn marble will come to life as our fabulous guide describes the bloody gladiatorial combats once held in the arena – not for the faint-hearted! You will see where the emperors were seated as they decided the fate of the mighty warriors and imagine yourself a part of the crowd. After the tour concludes, be sure to explore the second level for a birds-eye view of the arena and underground chambers, as well as the balcony for a spectacular panorama of the of the Ancient City – cameras at the ready!
For a more intensive tour of this incredible ancient structure, you may prefer our Colosseum Arena Tour which also benefits from skip-the-line access but is more detailed and includes special access to the Colosseum’s Arena Floor or, for a really special time, our Colosseum Arena Floor and Underground Tour. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this Express Colosseum Tour or any of our Rome day tours.
Colosseum Construction – The Colosseum, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian, was symbolically built atop the remains of the Golden House of Nero (Rome’s most despised emperor) and was given as a gift to the Roman people. More than 100,000 cubic meters of travertine were needed to construct the Colosseum and, in order to transport these huge blocks, a 20-mile road was built from the quarry in Tivoli. After approximately 8 years and with the work of tens of thousands of slaves, the amphitheater was completed in AD 80.
Inauguration and History – The inauguration of the Colosseum was marked by 100 days of games and entertainment including gladiatorial combats, public executions, and wild beast hunts. As your tour guide leads you through one of the 80 archways of the monument, you will be following in the footsteps of the ancient Romans. While you enjoy priority access, you learn about the ingenious ticketing system (still used in stadiums today) as well as the different types of entrances, including the Gate of Death through which the dead bodies of men and wild animals alike would be dragged from the arena.
Story of Gladiator Battles – As you move through the immense corridors and head towards the centre stage, your guide will tell stories of gladiator battles enabling you to imagine the roar of the bloodthirsty crowd. The emperor, enjoying the show from his imperial box, held the fate of these mighty warriors in his hands — sparing their life or signalling their death with a single gesture. Senators and Vestal Virgins had some of the best seats in the house, while the second tier seats were reserved for the wealthy. Roman citizens watched the bloodshed from the third level, and the fourth was left for women and slaves. With a capacity of between 50,000 and 80,000 people, it must have been a tight squeeze on the upper floors.
Underground Chambers – Before you leave the Colosseum make sure to visit the second level where you will find fantastic views of the underground chambers. These rooms once held the wild beasts that were released onto the arena floor through trap doors, surprising gladiators and spectators alike. There is no guided tour of these levels on the Express Colosseum Tour.
Spectacular Views – Then be sure to spend some time on the balcony overlooking the heart of Ancient Rome. With stunning views of the Arch of Constantine, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, this is the perfect spot to reflect upon the tour and to imagine what life was like in the ancient city.
Life as a Roman Citizen – With the Colosseum Express Tour, your guide provides you with a detailed portrait of life in Ancient Rome. Stand in awe of the Colosseum’s majestic facade as you examine the Roman numerals and the pock-marked walls. Then marvel at its ingenious architectural design as you enter through the massive gates and stroll the spacious corridors. When you look out onto the arena floor, you can imagine yourself as one of the crowd, maybe as the emperor as he decides a gladiator’s fate, or perhaps as a Roman citizen cheering from the seats high above. As you gaze upon the ancient city from the Colosseum’s balcony, you have a better understanding of this monument’s importance to the Roman Empire as well as a new glimpse into the life of an average Roman. With nearly 2,000 years of history within its walls, the Colosseum comes to life on this guided tour!
- Professional licensed tour guide
- Tickets and reservation fees
- Skip-the-Line entrance (refers to ticket line, everyone must go through the security line)
- Food and Beverages
- Hotel pick up/drop off (available on request for an additional fee)
- The latest check-in is no later than 15 minutes before the tour start time
- The tour runs rain or shine! Refunds will not be provided for no-shows or late arrivals
- Skip-the-line refers to the ticket line only and not the security check line which everyone has to go through upon entering the Colosseum
- There may be additional security checks and some delays due to new security measures in operation
- Only small bags will be allowed inside
- Prohibited items include scissors, pocket knives, aerosols and liquids, even if less than 100ml (except for water)
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
- Bring a bottle of water (especially in hot weather)