Express Colosseum Tour

Skip the line and see the best of the Colosseum in one hour!

Quick Details

The Express Colosseum Tour here at Show Me Italy has been designed give guests the opportunity to receive a guided tour of Rome’s Colosseum even if they don’t have a lot of free time. This skip-the-line Colosseum tour will take you through this incredible ancient structure, showing you all the key points, in approximately one hour. If you have a lot more time and you’d like to take every little detail in, you may like our Ancient Rome guided tour.



This express skip-the-line Colosseum tour shares the history of Rome’s most famous ancient monument in just about an hour! 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 responsible for its construction: the emperors, architects and slaves — all of whom played an integral role.

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. As saving time is a priority, you will enjoy skip-the-line access and won’t be expected to line up for your Colosseum tickets. The old stones and worn marble will seemingly come to life, as your licensed guide describes the bloody gladiatorial combats once held in the arena. 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 surrounding landscape of the Ancient City. For a more intensive tour of this incredible ancient structure, you may prefer our Colosseum arena tour; there is still the same skip-the-line access, but you spend a little longer exploring the area around the Colosseum, learning even more. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this express Colosseum tour or any of our Rome day tours.

The History of the Colosseum

  • Chevron down 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.

  • Chevron down 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 follow 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.

  • Chevron down Story of Gladiator Battles
  • As you move through the immense corridors and head to center stage, your guide tells stories of gladiator battles, and you are able 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 signaling 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.

  • Chevron down Underground Chambers
  • Before you leave the Colosseum, make your way to the second level, where you 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.

  • Chevron down 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.

  • Chevron down 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!

More Information About Your Colosseum Tour

  • Chevron down Included
    • Professional tour guide
    • Tickets and reservation fees
    • Skip-the-line entrance
  • Chevron down Excluded
    • Food and beverages
    • Hotel drop-off/pick-up (available on request)
  • Chevron down Please Note
    • The latest check-in is no later than 15 minutes before the starting time.
    • The tour runs rain or shine! No refunds provided for no-shows or late arrivals.
    • Skip-the-line refers to the line to buy tickets. We do have to do the security check.
    • There may be security checks and delays due to new security measures.
    • Only small bags are allowed inside.
  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Comfortable shoes and clothing
    • Bottle of water (especially in hot weather)