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Gladiator's Gate Colosseum Arena Floor Tour

  • Group Size:
    Group Size: Max 10
  • Language:
    Language: English
  • Duration:
    Duration: 3 hrs
  • Start:
    Start: 2:00 pm
  • Price:
    Price: From 89 €
  • Cancelation:
    Cancellation: Free Cancellation*

Tour Overview

Revel in an experience once reserved for gladiators alone as you skip lines and walk straight through the ancient gates that lead to the Colosseum Arena Floor. This carefully crafted itinerary includes the 1st & 2nd floors of the Colosseum, plus the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to give you a complete perspective on one of history’s most epic civilizations.


Tour Highlights

  • Colosseum
  • Gladiator’s Gate
  • Arena Floor
  • Ancient Elevator Reconstruction
  • 2nd Tier
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Roman Forum
  • Temple of Antoninus & Faustina
  • Arch of Titus
  • Tempe of Vesta
  • Temple of Castor & Pollux
  • Basilica of Maxentius
  • Temple of Caesar
  • Arch of Septimius Severus
  • Palatine Hill

What's included

  • Skip-the-line access to all sites
  • Expert English-speaking tour guide
  • A small group of 10 or fewer
  • All tickets and reservations
  • Headsets to hear the guide clearly

What you’ll See Along the Way

Colosseum

When Emperor Vespasian made the first draft of the Colosseum in the 2nd century AD, he certainly didn’t go for a “less is more” feel. While the plan of the building was inspired by a classical Greek theater, Vespasian’s vision was much grander than that. He made his architects place two theaters back to back, creating an oval stage with the audience seated around the entire perimeter and pushing the backstage to the underground. We are left to imagine how magnificent the then marble-clad edifice must have looked on its inauguration day in 80 AD but, luckily, what remains of the Colosseum is still undeniably spectacular.

Gladiator's Gate

There are a few ways to actually get inside the Colosseum, but the gladiator's gate is by far the best. Not only is it a reserved skip the line entry for exclusive groups, it is also the Porta Libitinaria leading directly onto the Arena Floor. In ancient times this was the exit through which defeated gladiators were carried and is named after the caste whose job it was to remove them. As you step through the shadows of the corridor and into the light of the Arena Floor, it's easy to hear the ancient echos of the crowd.

Arena Floor

At its peak, the arena was the focal point of a wide range of entertainment and shows in ancient Rome. A show day often began with an early dawn production featuring dwarves, fighting women and acrobats. Next, a barbaric hunt of wild beasts amused an overzealous crowd. By noon, the most ferocious of the shows featured brutal gladiatorial re-enactments, which represented Rome’s wars with Greece and offered extreme, high-octane, adrenaline-charged entertainment for the throngs of bloodthirsty spectators; it was the most popular form of diversion second only to chariot races at the Circus Maximus.

Ancient Elevator Reconstruction

The Arena Floor stage is a very recent edition to the Colosseum, built to wow visitors and satisfy the musings of archaeologists on just how this complex structure functioned in antiquity. As part of this engineering experiment a team actually fabricated an elevator using the technology and methods of the day. The Colosseum originally had some 24 functioning lifts to use during the gladitorial games, wild beast hunts and theatrical re-enactments.

2nd Tier

The Colosseum is also home to some spectacular views from above, so after you're finished exploring the underground and arena floor, you'll get the chance to follow your guide up to the second tier to see how the patrician and knightly classes watched the games. Photo-ops abound with your guides intricate tales, and be sure not to miss the Valdier Terrace, with views over the Arch of Constantine, Via Sacra and Roman Forums (yes there was more than one!).

Arch of Constantine

Next stop on our guided tour of the Colosseum and Ancient Rome is the Arch of Constantine. Every inch of this massive triumphal arch is covered by carvings and sculptures, making it a veritable billboard, made to advertise the achievements of Constantine in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Curiously, much of its decoration was cobbled together from monuments built by earlier emperors, more specifically those of Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. These were all men that Constantine considered to have been the great rulers of the 2nd century AD and with whom he most wanted to be associated.

Roman Forum

At its crowning apex, the Roman Empire covered an area of 2,500,000 square miles and was ruled with an iron fist from the Roman Forum. But the Forum was more than just a political hub; it was also the beating heart of the Empire, where Roman lawyers, bankers and commoners went about their daily business. While the temples and basilicas may have been sacked by both barbarians and Renaissance builders throughout the centuries, the remnants of what once was remain - and the site continues to leave visitors speechless to this day.

Temple of Antoninus & Faustina

This well-preserved temple is the moving testimony of one of the most beautiful love stories of Ancient Roman history. Upon the death of his beloved wife Faustina in 140 AD, Emperor Antoninus made sure to have her deified by the senate and – as if that wasn’t enough, to prove his devotion - constructed one of the larger temples in the Roman Forum in her honor. 20 years later, Antonius would join Faustina, in both the afterlife and the inscription of the colonnade, which reads “To the divine Antoninus and to the divine Faustina by the decree of the Senate”.

Arch of Titus

This arch was erected by Emperor Domitian in 81 AD to commemorate his brother Titus’ victory in Judea. The reliefs depict the Roman soldiers carrying spoils from the temple of Jerusalem. No one knows the current whereabouts of the stolen treasures, though legends abound. Some say that the loots from the temple of Salomon were swiped from Rome and taken to Cartage by vandals upon its sacking in 455 AD. Others believe that the sacred Menorah and its counterparts are being held within the Vatican City treasury, quietly waiting for a reemergence into the world.

Temple of Vesta

Inside this relatively modest temple from 7th century BC, a mysterious cult of young women, known as the Vestal Virgins, worked around the clock to keep the scared flame of Rome burning. This was considered an extremely crucial task in ancient times and the priestesses, who were easily recognized by their shaved heads and traditional white garments, were amongst the most respected citizens of the Empire. Other duties of the vestals were to look after sacred objects, protect the testaments of the aristocracy, and perform sacrificial ceremonies.

Temple of Castor & Pollux

The temple of Castor and Pollux was built in 484 AD to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Lake Regillo against the Tarquin kings. Its position right in the heart of the Roman Forum suggests that this was an important sanctuary for the ancient Romans and it very much was – so much in fact, that the majestic structure even housed the Senate for many years during the Republican Era. Sadly, very little of the original building has stood the test of time, but the three slender marble columns that remain standing are a great testimony to the majestic beauty of the city at the time of Emperor Augustus.

Basilica of Maxentius

This overwhelming super structure began as an ambitious project by Emperor Maxentius in 308 AD and was completed by Constantine 4 years later, hence the reason it is sometimes referred to as the Basilica of Constantine. Spanning the size of an American football field, this building was the largest of the Forum and an absolute marvel of Roman engineering and artistry. Though only ruins are left of its past grandeur, the resilient remains have inspired the leading architects of both the Renaissance and our modern times – even Penn Station in New York replicated its main features.

Temple of Caesar

When Julius Caesar was declared “dictator perpetuity” in 44 AD, many felt nervous that too much power was in the hands of one man and – only months later – he was assassinated by a group of fellow senators. Though the Senate considered Caesar to be a danger, he was still very much loved by the people, who carried his body to the Roman Forum and burned his remains for three days of mourning. Upon the site of his cremation, a temple was built in his honor and to this day, fresh flowers are placed there every morning. A stunning testimony to Caesar’s position as Pater Patriae, “Father of the Nation”.

Arch of Septimius Severus

This well-preserved archway dates back to 203 AD and depicts the victories of its namesake Emperor in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. Though the reliefs are interesting, the writing on this arch reveals something far more intriguing – an ancient family feud. In reality, the arch was dedicated not only to Emperor Severus himself but also to his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. Geta's name, however, has been removed and only the holes from the bronze letters remain. This cunning deed occurred when Caracalla had his younger brother killed, and then systematically destroyed all pictures and mentions of him.

Palatine Hill

This lush peak is believed that to be the place where the very first Romans lived; in fact, archeological finds from the area conclude that the Palatine had already been inhabited as early as 1000 BC. The hill’s strategic position and its spectacular views of the Tiber River, below made this spot prime real estate later on in history, as well. Throughout the republican times and into the Imperial Era the hill would serve as a neighborhood for the aristocracy and the monarchy. At the height of the Roman Empire, it abounded with numerous opulent buildings, which together formed the Imperial Palace.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

See the Colosseum from the Arena Floor Up

If you truly want to immerse yourself in the Eternal City’s millennia of history, there is no better place to start than the Colosseum Arena Floor. Not only will you be following in the footsteps of gladiators, you’ll also get a 360° panorama from where it was possible to see all 50,000 blood-thirsty spectators with a brilliantly executed narrative from a passionate guide.

Ancient Rome’s most spectacular edifice is still in existence, and this immortal amphitheater has a past filled with both gore and glory just like the Roman Empire itself. Over time, the lines between history and legend may have blurred out, but your guide will help you debunk myths and surprise you with stories even more jaw-dropping than the ones you’ve seen played out in the film. From imperious emperors to gruesome gladiator fights, we’ll delve into the fray from the beginning.

Across the Millennia & into Ancient Roman Life

After your guided Colosseum tour, you’ll head past the Arch of Constantine and into the Roman Forum. This was once the central hub of the sprawling empire, where ancient Romans would mix and mingle throughout its glory days. As you gaze upon its towering triumphal arches, columns, and temples, you’ll be mesmerized by the stories that transpired right under your feet. Get the inside scoop on Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s epic love story and hear the thrilling tale of the conspiracy that led to the assassination of Julius Caesar, but also learn how the great Roman Empire slowly began to crumble toward its dramatic demise in 476 AD.

Then it’s a short hike up the adjacent Palatine Hill – the very birthplace of Rome. It was upon this summit that a small hillside village took its first steps toward becoming one of the largest empires ever known. But what drove the first settlers to make their home here of all places, and how did the twins Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf who raised them fit into the equation? Your tour guide will straighten out those question marks and more as you uncover secrets among scattered ruins on the most notable of Rome’s seven hills.

Contagious Passion for Illuminating History

In a city with millennia of enthralling history, story-telling is the core of everything we do and we’re proud to say that we have some of the most animated guides in the business. Every single one of our Colosseum guides has been chosen based on their stellar ability to engage, entertain and educate – and their qualities shine in the thousands of 5-star TripAdvisor reviews they receive.

We ensure that you always have personalized attention and time to ask any questions that pop up along the way. Don’t hold back your curiosity because our goal is to enlighten you with a deeper understanding of the Roman Empire and a wider perspective on how today’s society has been shaped by this uniquely influential place and period in time.

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REVIEWS

Gladiator’s Gate Colosseum Arena Floor Tour Reviews

What our Customers say...

Skip the Line: Colosseum Arena Floor Tour with Roman Forum

Great tour. We had a small group, Manuela is very knowledgeable (archeologist by training!) and a great tour guide. We highly recommend this tour as a great way to learn a lot about Rome in a few hours.”

The Colosseum brought to life

When it came to touring the Colosseum, I would've had it no other way. Mario was spot on, his rendition was incredible, and he took time and care to interact personally with us. He is a master craftsman carving you back through the layers of history with humor and wit, never letting the excitement drop. Thank you for bringing my favorite place to life so uniquely.”

Amazing!!!

We had the best time, you will not regret taking this tour. But the highlight of our tour was by far our guide Vincenzo. He made ancient Rome truly come alive. Thank you!!!”

Fantastic Tour!

Our family of 4 took the tour with Marcello and it was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip. He was very informative, educational and an overall delightful guy. Don't hesitate to book this tour!”

Loved it!

Our guide walked us past the long lines waiting to get into the Colosseum and gave a very colorful tour, full of interesting facts and some pretty hilarious opinions. We so enjoyed the tour and it was definitely worth every penny spent!”

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