This tour of Ancient Rome encompasses the whole of the ancient city and includes skip-the-line access. See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill Rates.
Special access to the arena floor
With special access to the arena floor, you will be center stage as you imagine the roar of the crowd and the gory battles that once took place exactly where you stand. Then you will descend into the belly of the Colosseum to explore the underground chambers as well as the elevator and trap door system that were key to staging the spectacles held in the arena. You will then have free time to wander the corridors and walk up the ancient marble steps as you explore the first and second levels of the Colosseum.
History – This guided tour of the Colosseum, with special access to the Gladiator’s Gate, the Colosseum Underground and the Arena floor, begins with an introduction to the building’s exterior and the surrounding ancient city. As you stand in the centre of the Roman Empire, your guide will describe the construction and importance of the Arch of Constantine, one of the many triumphal arches in Rome. You will 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 centre of the ancient empire. All elegantly combine to set the scene for the construction of the Colosseum.
Roman Emperors – Your guide will describe 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 will point out the Roman numerals above each archway and describe the Roman’s inventive ticketing system, still used by modern-day stadiums. Before using our special entrance at the Gladiator’s Gate, you will 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 will 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.
You will journey down to the Colosseum underground dungeons where you will have an exclusive close up view of the area where both the gladiators and wild beasts were held as they waited for battle. You will learn about the intricate pieces of machinery which were used to deliver them via trapdoors directly onto the arena floor.
Your backstage access continues as you will walk directly onto the partially reconstructed arena floor. 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 will 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 will describe 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 will be 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.
- 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)