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Complete Colosseum Underground Tour

  • Group Size:
    Group Size: Max 6
  • Language:
    Language: English
  • Duration:
    Duration: 3 hrs
  • Start:
    Start: Multiple times
  • Price:
    Price: From 149 €
  • Cancelation:
    Including: Skip the line tickets

Tour Overview

Update May 2024: This itinerary is currently unavailable due to logistical reasons.

 

Book our top-rated Colosseum Underground Tour with exclusive priority access. We take you past the lines to enter Rome’s world-famous amphitheater as the gladiators did, on the Arena Floor, then below to its underground dungeons, and up to the 2nd Ring, followed by the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, all in groups of 6 travelers! Your Skip-the-line Colosseum Underground tickets are included.


Tour Highlights

  • Colosseum
  • Colosseum Underground
  • Arena Floor
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Roman Forum
  • Temple of Vesta
  • Temple of Antoninus & Faustina
  • Temple of Caesar
  • Arch of Titus
  • Palatine Hill

What's included

  • Skip-the-line access to all sites
  • Expert English-speaking tour guide
  • A Semi-Private group of 6
  • All tickets and reservations

What you’ll See Along the Way

Colosseum

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.

Colosseum Underground

Our award-winning Colosseum tours offer exclusive access to an area that few visitors get to see – the two-level subterranean network of tunnels, called the hypogeum, which are straight out of a scene from Ridley Scott’s blockbuster The Gladiator. Explore the labyrinth of cages which held exotic animals from every corner of the Roman Empire as well as the 80 vertical shafts that lifted both animals and gladiators alike to the arena floor – a true showcase of Roman engineering. These gruesome games took the lives of an estimated 500,000 people and over one million animals, some slaughtered to extinction.

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.

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

The Arch of Constantine, the largest of Rome’s triumphal arches, was erected in 315 AD to celebrate the Emperor Constantine’s victory over Maxentius during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. On the lower portion of the arch, the defeat of Maxentius is depicted with Constantine forcing his troops into the Tiber, where Maxentius later drowned. His conquest represented a major turning point in Western civilization, as Constantine and his understaffed army rode into battle carrying a wooden cross. His victory cleared the way for Christianity to become the official religion across the entire Roman Empire.

Roman Forum

The colossal ruins and spectacular architectural feats of the Roman Forum, ancient Rome’s once bustling city center, dazzle and amaze onlookers even today. Walking amongst the remains of one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, you'll be mesmerized by the sheer enormity and vastness of it all. From the grand triumphal arches to the basilicas and beautiful remnants of temples, a vivid picture of ancient life in the Forum starts to emerge – one filled with banks and markets as well as political, legal and religious venues – a real social hub and a testament to the sophistication of Ancient Rome.

Temple of Vesta

While small in size compared to its imposing neighbors, this circular temple contained one of the most precious treasures of ancient Rome – the sacred flame of the city. The fire was tended to by a mysterious cult of priestesses known as the Vestal Virgins, whose primary job was to make sure the flame never went out. Only six vestals were in the cult at any given point. To be chosen, the young girl was required to be a free citizen of Rome with no physical deformities and with both of her parents alive. The prestigious vestal position came with a vow to 30 years of service, all of which had to be served in chastity.

Temple of Antoninus & Faustina

Right in the heart of the Roman Forum stands the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, one of the few almost fully-preserved structures from the Roman Empire. The imposing construction was dedicated to Emperor Antonius Pius and his wife, Faustina, both deified after their deaths at the order of Marcus Aurelius, Antonius’ successor, in 161 AD. During the Middle Ages, the beautiful edifice was transformed into a church called San Lorenzo in Miranda and, though attempts were made to pillage the structure, it basically managed to escape the rabid quest for building material.

Temple of Caesar

Meandering through the ancient vestiges of this once thriving city center is like opening a window to the past. In one scene, Emperor Augustus is addressing a crowd in front of Caesar’s Temple on the eastern side of the Forum after the murder of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar. “Those who slew my father I drove into exile, punishing their deed by due process of law, and afterwards when they waged war upon the Republic, I twice defeated them in battle...” Built in 29 BC by Augustus, the Temple of the Deified Julius marked the first time that a ruler had ever been elevated to the status of a god.

Arch of Titus

Upon Palatine Hill, the centermost of Rome’s seven hills which overlooks both the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus, is the Arch of Titus – a grand monument built to honor Emperor Titus and his military’s 70 AD victory in Judaea. Jewish zealots had revolted against the Roman occupation of Judea and, after the fall of Masada, Titus captured Jerusalem. The arch was commissioned by Titus’s brother shortly after his death to commemorate his victory, which brought unbelievable riches to the Roman Empire. It is one of the oldest surviving arches in the city and stands at almost 70 feet.

Palatine Hill

According to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the birthplace of Romulus and Remus, the twin-brothers who were suckled by a she-wolf and later became the founders of Rome. Literary sources imply that the city Romulus founded was confined primarily to this hill, where Romulus dwelt in a hut in the south-west corner, which was continually restored in his honor. Embrace the mesmerizing panoramic views and architectural remnants of this once mystical site now overtaken with lush vegetation, and take a journey through the vestiges of history to imagine the splendor and vivacity of this ancient settlement.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

The best-seller Colosseum Underground Tour and Arena Floor

If you’ve been dreaming about visiting Rome’s iconic Flavian Amphitheater then this gladiator’s Arena and 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. Our Colosseum tour with underground & arena floor access lets you stand exactly where the heat of the action took place.

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.

Admire the Roman Form 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 into 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.

Under 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 exploring the extravagant remains of many an imperial palace.

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REVIEWS

Colosseum Underground Tour

What our Customers say...

Great Colosseum Tour

Manuela was an amazing tour guide. She truly knew the history inside and out - you could tell she was very passionate about it as well. We learned SO much about the history of the colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palestine Hill. She catered to our needs perfectly - highly recommend Manuela as your tour guide!”

Underground Colosseum Tour

Amazing small group to the Colosseum Underground with Carlotta! Highly recommended!”

Amazing!!!

Great tour of Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Our guide Vasco was professional, friendly and knowledgeable. Meeting place easy to find. We would recommend What a Life Tours!”

Excellent Tour!

Our guide Carlotta was excellent! Going underneath the “back stage” of the Colosseum was one of our most interesting tours! The information Carlotta gave was incredible. She really brought the Colosseum to life!”

Amazing!

Our tour had special access to under the Coliseum arena floor where the gladiators and animals took an 'elevator' to the arena floor. Vincent the-terrific-tour-guide made the tour. He has rich knowledge of the history, and was totally entertaining. What A Life Tours, you have a gem of an employee. Don't let him go!”

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