At a Glance Why You'll Love It
Tour Summary Get in the Know
Colosseum Underground, Arena Floor & 2nd Tier
If you've been dreaming about visiting Rome's iconic Flavian Amphitheater then our Colosseum Underground Tour is for you. After skipping the general admission lines, and heading to this amazing edifice's backdoor, a.k.a. 'the gladiator's entrance', you'll be treated to sections that are completely closed off to standard ticket-holders. This means you'll have areas almost or completely to yourself at a monument that gets over 6 million visitors per year. You'll also stand exactly where the heat of the action took place on the Arena Floor, and in ancient underground corridors.
Seeing the Colosseum from these totally unique perspectives is an emotional rush, heightened by the captivating historic narrative supplied by your passionate guide, who'll separate fact from myth on one of the most intriguing sites in the world. Find out what each area of the Colosseum was used for, the engineering feats behind every brick, and how this bloodthirsty ring reflected the political and social values of Ancient Rome herself. You'll also get to take in its magnificent interior from the 2nd Tier to see how the games looked from above.
Explore the Forum with an Expert Guide
After exploring the Colosseum from three unrivaled vantage points, you'll be off along the Via Sacra to see the monolithic Arch of Constantine, built by Rome's first Christian Emperor in the 4th century AD, before descending into what once was the pulsing center of this vast ancient civilization. Walking into the Roman Forum is as close to time travel as it gets, as your guide unlocks the aura of glory still hidden among these ruins. Visual aids and vivid descriptions abound as open-air antiquity returns to life, and the marble columns hum to the beat of orators, emperors and triumphing centurions.
See how ancient temples were repurposed to churches, the senate-house Julius Caesar was building when he was assassinated, the exact spot his funeral pyre burned and much more, all the while listening to the perks and punishments reserved for Vestal Virgins and the exploits behind every single triumphal arch. Our guides provide you with history's missing pages, that extraordinary insight into the personalities and events that shaped western culture right from this spot.
Uncover the Palatine Hill An Opulent Past
Overshadowed by the Colosseum and Roman Forum, in reality it's the Palatine Hill that casts its shadow over both. Legend says it was here that Romulus founded Rome, setting the history we all know in motion, and the archaeological record confirms settlements began on this hilltop as early as the 8th century BC.
This hill was so lavish in its heyday that the word "palace" actually derives from it. Follow your guide for some of the best views of the Caput Mundi, looking over the Forum on one side, the Circus Maximus on the other, and explore the extravagant remains of many an imperial palace.
What You'll See Along the Way
When Emperor Nero was overthrown in 68 AD, imperial power was seized by General Vespasian Flavius. Upon his installation as the new emperor, Vespasian faced an intricate urbanistic dilemma: what to do with Nero's gigantic palace? He desperately needed to establish good relations with the Roman people and, thus, demolished the lavish estate to make room for a spectacular new amphitheater. The building project commenced in 62 AD and took only 8 years to finish – an incredible achievement celebrated with 100 days of gladiator games, animal hunts and mass executions.
For security reasons all visitors must present valid photo identification in order to be granted access to the Colosseum. Photocopies are acceptable.
Tour dates and times are subject to change depending on availability. The exact times and dates are released by the Colosseum on the first Monday of the month preceding the tour. All tour operators at the venue work within these parameters.
Due to extreme weather conditions, authorities may close off restricted areas for safety reasons as the underground could flood. If this occurs, we will try to reschedule your tour, subject to availability, or run the tour as a standard Colosseum tour without the special access areas. Refunds will be issued for the difference in cost.
Colosseum Underground Reviews
What Our Customers Say...
This was our first trip to the Colosseum and paying for the underground level and arena floor was worth the cost. Our tour group was small (10 people), so we felt like we got a lot of personalized attention from our guide, Carlotta. Carlotta was awesome. Her English is excellent, and she was eager to answer questions and share additional recommendations on our time in Rome.
We were fortunate enough to be able to do the very special tour of the Colosseum including going underground to the hypogeum and to arena floor. Our guide Ana was special, firstly in engaging children in the wonders of ancient Rome, and secondly in having a deep understanding and knowledge of the Romans and their history. The parts of the Colosseum we could access with What a Life Tours made us feel a bit special and was well worth the cost of the tour. Just having someone else negotiate cues and being with an enthusiastic and knowledgable guide really brought Rome alive for us.
Danielle took us into the under ground chambers of the colosseum as well as the surrounding Roman forum. It was incredible! She was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and able to keep two adults and two teenagers engaged and enthralled for 3.5 hours! This is well worth the cost. Informative, interesting and at times mind boggling. I highly recommend this to any history enthusiast or Italophile!
You never know what to expect when you book a tour over the internet but we had the best time. We did the Underground tour and it was really great. We were in the Colosseum early before the crowds and experienced things most people miss. To make it even better we had the greatest tour guide. Frederica was very knowledgeable about all the history of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum. What a fun personality which made the experience all the more fun!!
Our tour guide, Mario, was incredible. I can't say enough good things about him! He has an advanced degree in Ancient Roman History and was incredibly knowledgeable. I have a degree in history myself so I was very impressed by everything I learned. Mario is also very charismatic and has a great sense of humor - he had our group laughing from start to finish. This was by far the best tour I had in Rome!