The Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome

The Ultimate Colosseum Tour In Rome with The Roman Guy

Guess where we were?

It’s only one of the most iconic, famous places in the world. We heard time and time again that when you visit Rome, the one place you have got to visit is the Colosseum. It’s true. And if you visit the Colosseum, you should do it properly. You need to give this majestic monument the time and care that it deserves. Skip those long lines and tour around exclusive restricted areas. Come along with us as we show you the best Colosseum tour in Rome!

We took a tour with The Roman Guy called Colosseum “Dungeon, Third Level and Arena Floor”, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The tour lasts about three hours in duration, and you get to see a lot of sights in those three hours. Not only did we visit multiple levels in the Colosseum including all of the restricted areas, but we also walked around Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, and learned about everything along the way. We were arranged into two small groups of twelve with two tour guides, Alisse and Raffaela. During our time at some of the restricted areas, we formed into one large group as there are time restraints for tour operators in these spots. For all of the other times, we stayed in our small group with our guide, Alisse. Everyone in the group received headsets to wear with earbuds to make sure that we could hear Alisse at all times. This was crucial as it can get quite loud in some spots, making it difficult to hear the history lesson otherwise.

We started at the Colosseum. There were huge crowds of people all around and we waltzed ahead of the line with our group. It was one perk of booking a tour with a guide!

The Colosseum

Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
Throughout our visit, Alisse would reference a book with photos of what the Colosseum used to look like when it was first built in comparison to today. It was so interesting to try to envision how it may have looked back then. The most amazing part of visiting the Colosseum was setting foot inside a place that you’ve learned about so much in school and seen so many times in photographs and movies. It almost didn’t seem real.

Here’s a short video of our entire visit to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum!

Our first stop was the Colosseum Arena Floor, a restricted area where only our two small tour groups with The Roman Guy gathered.

Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome with The Roman Guy Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The arena floor was where the gladiators went into battle. Could you imagine yourself entering a fight for your life, surrounded by 60,000 spectators? The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built. It was constructed in only eight years by over 60,000 Jewish slaves, completed in 80 AD. The outside of the building was built from travertine stone, and both tufa and brick were used on the inside. On several occasions, Alisse pointed out areas where you could see the original brick versus spots that had been reconstructed or repaired. The main pedestals were created using marble, though you won’t be able to see any marble at the site today. Most of the marble was taken from the Colosseum to build St. Peter’s Basilica. Much of the damage that was caused to the Colosseum over the years was from natural disasters, such as two major earthquakes; however, lots of stone from the interior was removed and used in other building projects during the Middle Ages.

Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
The two of us at the Colosseum on the Arena Floor

Back in the day, the arena floor was wooden and covered with sand. Beneath the arena floor was the hypogeum, which was where most of the magic happened. Literally meaning “underground”, the hypogeum was a complex multi-tiered network of tunnels and cages that contained live animals and traps to intensify the gladiatorial performances. As most of the arena floor is gone today, this structure is mostly visible from many levels. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy Our next stop was The Dungeon, another restricted area limited to small tour groups. There were eighty vertical shafts where scenery set pieces or animals could be concealed beneath the arena floor. Systems of pulleys and elevators would raise and lower entertainers, props, and animals. Wild animals were brought to the Colosseum from all over the Roman Empire, including lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, bears, and even elephants. There were even mock sea battles as it was possible to flood the entire arena floor very quickly due to a nearby aqueduct. There were several underground tunnels connected to the dungeon where animals and performers could be easily transported inside without having to go through the crowds outside. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy We left the dungeon and traveled up to the second floor by way of visiting the Third Floor. The second floor was where most of the tourists gathered and it was quite crowded. We meandered through the crowds. While we got some great glimpses of the amphitheater, our views were even better up on the third floor. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
Views from the 2nd Level
The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
Views from the 2nd Floor

Up on the third floor, we were able to see sweeping views of the whole interior of the Colosseum. We were also treated to panoramic scenes of the surrounding cityscape. If you’re looking for the best views, be sure to book this tour and visit this space which isn’t open to the public.

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
Views from the hallway before heading up to the 3rd level

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
View from the 3rd Level

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy So, we toured around the entire Colosseum, but that wasn’t all. This particular tour also took us to many important historical sites surrounding the Colosseum, too. Unfortunately, it had just started to rain, but we were prepared with our umbrella. It really didn’t put a damper on anything as it only rained for a moment. It actually helped cool the weather down, so it was actually nice that it did rain!

Arch of Constantine

It is the largest arch in Rome, celebrating Emperor Constantine’s victory over Maxentius and the legalization of Christianity in Rome. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

Palatine Hill

Rome’s Emperors used to live on Palatine Hill, one of the seven founding hills of Rome. We saw beautiful gardens here, and there were some spectacular views from the top of the hill overlooking Rome. It’s a bit of a climb to get to the top, but it’s completely worth the exercise!

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
At the entrance to Palatine Hill

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
View of the Roman Forum from Palatine Hill

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy
View of this outlook point from down below

 

Stadium of Domitian

These ruins are all that is left of the Stadium of Domitian. The Emperor Domitian had his own private chariot racing track here. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy

The Roman Forum

After seeing Palatine Hill and the Stadium of Domitian, we ventured down to the Roman Forum. Remains of columns and buildings stood proudly. We slowly walked down the cobblestone roads as I attempted to travel back in time in my mind to picture this place as it once was. It was the political, economical, and religious center of ancient Rome. I tried to imagine Romans having lively political debates on the streets, or bartering for goods at the local marketplace. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy We first entered the Temple of Romulus, an ancient church in the Roman Forum. There were remnants of wall murals and statues on display. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy Next, we walked past the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. I always find it truly remarkable when buildings that are this ancient are still standing in tact today. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with the Roman Guy We wrapped up the three hour tour in the middle of the Roman Forum, viewing the remnants of the ancient structures all around. Many notable events in ancient Roman history occurred in the Roman Forum, such as the funeral of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony’s famous funeral oration. There is a temple for Julius Caesar here, too. Other important sites to look for at the Roman Forum include the Arch of Titus, Rome’s Eternal Flame, the Atrium, the Senate House and the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy The ultimate Colosseum tour in Rome with The Roman Guy After this tour, we had an even greater appreciation for these architectural marvels of the ancient world. On this tour with The Roman Guy, Colosseum “Dungeon, Third Level and Arena Floor”, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, we caught exclusive looks inside the Colosseum, traveled to the surrounding buildings within the Roman Forum, and saw beautiful views from on top of Palatine Hill. Our tour guide, Alisse was very knowledgeable and was excellent at explaining many interesting details to the group. She answered any questions along the way, and even made some area restaurant recommendations and tips at the end of the tour. Thank you so much to The Roman Guy for an amazing and memorable tour. It’s not to be missed when you visit Rome!

The Ultimate Colosseum Tour in Rome with The Roman Guys

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Disclaimer: We were guests of The Roman Guy for this tour. Our opinions, as always, are completely our own. We highly recommend this tour in Rome; in fact, we think it’s the best way to see the Colosseum!

20 Responses

  1. Camille
    | Reply

    Oh, you’ve just brought back all my memories of Rome! I’ll always remember the first time I came out of the subway and spotted the Colosseum, it’s quite a surreal experience… I visited the sites covered on the tour independently, but it did sometimes feel like something was missing – getting the history, explanations and access to restricted areas through a tour definitely would have been worth it!
    Camille recently posted…Wanderlust Instagrammy Awards: Bolivia in 30 Amazing PicturesMy Profile

  2. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    | Reply

    thank you for bringing back some lovely memories.
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour recently posted…Photo Flashbacks – Bangkok Express FerryMy Profile

  3. The Roman GUy
    | Reply

    We’re so happy that you enjoyed so much the the Colosseum “Dungeon, Third Level and Arena Floor”, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tour!!! Thanks and hope to see you soon here in Italy another time!

  4. Anna
    | Reply

    I’ve been twice in Rome but never entered the Colosseum. It’s a massive construction I must admit! I love the Roman forum a lot…I like to walk inside ancient cities and although we have the ancient agora here in Athens, it’s much smaller than the forum! I can totally relate to rocks being used for other buildings during the middle Ages…happened in Athens as well!!
    Anna recently posted…Foodie’s Guide to BostonMy Profile

  5. Karen
    | Reply

    Great review. This tour sounds like a great experience. I visited the Colosseum may years ago but didn’t have a tour so I feel like I missed out on a lot.
    Karen recently posted…Sunrise at Borobudur TempleMy Profile

  6. Brian
    | Reply

    Great review of the Colosseum! We just returned from Rome and took a small group tour of the restricted areas as well. Hands down one of our best tours during our time there!

  7. Fairlie
    | Reply

    This sounds like a great tour. I’ve been to the Forum and the Colosseum a couple of times…but I’ve never been into the dungeons. I love tours where the guides show you how things would have looked and you can stand in the spot and imagine the older reality.
    Fairlie recently posted…Juan tea ceremony workshop in KyotoMy Profile

  8. Monica @wtraveltogether
    | Reply

    We’ve been there twice and the first time we joined a guided tour. Great to skip the line and get to know so much about the Colosseum. The second time we wanted to go on our own, but we had pre-booked tickets, so the line wasn’t an issue. Love this place, and love Rome!
    Monica @wtraveltogether recently posted…Okavango DeltaMy Profile

  9. Gery de Pierpont
    | Reply

    Very nice pictures! Much different from the usual shots you see everywhere. Thanks to your beautiful post I really had the feeling I could discover many different spaces in this huge and fascinating ancient building.

  10. Paula McInerney
    | Reply

    Great review of a very historically significant place. Plus, I just though the the Colosseum was magical
    Paula McInerney recently posted…Traveler Alert: Which Web Browser Should you Use to Save Money?My Profile

  11. Ruth - Tanama Tales
    | Reply

    Lauren, very engaging post and pictures. If you are going to visit the Colosseum anyway, why not invest in seeing it in the best way possible? When I visited (included in a tour thru multiple countries), we saw the inside (I think the second floor you showed here). It was interesting and amazing but would have liked to see more.
    Ruth – Tanama Tales recently posted…Yosemite National Park: Glacier PointMy Profile

  12. Lexie
    | Reply

    I absolutely love Rome! The history and all the ancient architecture that is still standing is amazing to me! I studied Ancient Rome is University in a few elective courses and getting to see the ancient city still predominately standing is just so great! Thanks for sharing all your pictures!

    Lexie
    Lexie recently posted…Everest Diary Day 6: Rhododendrons, Monasteries, Yaks and SunsetsMy Profile

  13. Sounds like you two had a great guide! I know many people prefer to go it on their own, but there is so much to see, and good tour makes sure you don’t miss the best parts. We had a great tour too, but the Temple of Romulus was closed so we obviously need to go back!

  14. Bryna
    | Reply

    Love all the photos! I have yet to see the Colosseum in person but it’s definitely on my bucket list. I can only imagine how stunned I’d be to see this in real life. It always amazes me how people built all these amazing structures without the help of the technology that we have today!
    Bryna recently posted…My Top 3 Spots in Zaanse SchansMy Profile

  15. This is a cool post, and I really liked the video that you put together. I was in Rome a few years ago so it was interesting to see this place again! Thanks for sharing, and I am glad you had a good time in Rome!
    Katie
    Katie @worldwidevegetarian.com recently posted…What I ate in BerlinMy Profile

  16. Vegan Food in Berlin
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  17. This tour sounds like the ideal way to see the Colosseum. Loved the video. We didn’t do an organized tour when we were in Rome which was a mistake so we swore we’d do one when we return. Glad you enjoyed your visit and tour. Rome is such a fascinating place to visit.

  18. Aodhan. waste management
    | Reply

    Great article and ao many pictures. would love to visit Rome again and see the remains.

  19. Maria Sandra
    | Reply

    This place is really beautiful, after reading your article I just want to go to Rome. I hope your experience will guide us.

  20. Colosseum Free Tours
    | Reply

    Thank you for all the information. Wanted to give a tip to who is in Rome the first Sunday of the Month, that the Colosseum is free . There is a Colosseum Free Tour. You can book the tour through eventbrite: search for “Colosseum Free Tour” or you can also book through the website: http://www.colosseumfreetours.com
    Thank you
    Colosseum Free Tours recently posted…COLOSSEUM FREE TOUR ON SUNDAY 2ND OF APRIL 2017My Profile

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