On April 26th the Colosseum finally reopened to visitors, giving Romans a unique opportunity to visit the amphitheatre almost alone, and to coincide with the long-awaited reopening we’d like to introduce our most exciting experience of this summer: our Arena Colosseum tour.
Walks Inside Rome’s Arena Floor Colosseum tour guides you through the best of ancient Rome. Starting at the Colosseum, guests step straight out onto the reconstructed arena floor, looking down into the hypogeum where gladiators and wild animals would wait to ascend to the arena sands, or up into the stands where people from all walks of life – from plebs to senators – would sit in wait of the brutal spectacle. The tour follows with a classic tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – the cradle of Roman history, and where Rome’s ascent into the world’s greatest ancient empire began.
Innovative changes to an ancient arena
By 2023, the Colosseum will be endowed with a hi-tech retractable floor, allowing visitors to stand in the centre of the ancient arena to gain a gladiator’s perspective. Visitors to the Colosseum can currently step out on only a part of the arena floor (although being able to enjoy a view of both the Colosseum Underground and upper stands is an unforgettable experience).
Once the construction of the new floor has been completed, however, guests will be able to wander the entire area of the ancient arena. The project, estimated to cost cool €18.5 million, will deliver a fully retractable floor, allowing the Colosseum to host events, quickly cover (or uncover) the hypogeum below, and support the vast numbers of visitors expected to return in the coming years.
Our Arena Colosseum tour starts in the heart of the ancient centre
Your timed skip-the-line tickets mean you and your guide step straight inside the Colosseum, avoiding the lines that are sure to return once we can travel once again. You’ll then walk through the Gladiator’s Gate to emerge on the ancient level of the arena floor. Standing on the current wooden reconstruction of the original arena floor, you’ll be treated to a 360° panorama of the entire ancient amphitheater.
Gazing down into the Colosseum Underground and up into its ancient stands, you’ll learn all about the violent, visceral history of this amphitheatre from your expert guide, who will bring the amphitheatre to life. Listen to the shocking stories of the scenes that took place when the Colosseum was inaugurated and find out how the Colosseum was designed to accommodate such spectacles.
Explore the upper levels of the Colosseum
As well as bringing you exclusive access to the Colosseum Arena Floor, this Arena Colosseum tour also grants you access to the Colosseum’s upper levels. Gain expert insight into the secrets of this iconic monument. Learn about the lives of those who fought and died here as you gaze down on the amphitheater’s floor. And discover the different kinds of gladiators – what separated the best from the rest and how they inscribed their names in immortality.
Step straight into the Roman Forum
Crossing the short distance from the Colosseum to the entrance of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, your guide will accompany you along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) – the route victorious generals took during triumphal military parades. Scanning you into this incredible archaeological site, you’ll then be left to explore for yourself, armed with a newfound knowledge of imperial Rome.
Passing around the symbolically fertile Arch of Titus, you’ll tread the same cobblestones as some of the most famous names in history, visiting the site of Julius Caesar’s cremation and the platform from which the likes of Cicero delivered their speeches.
Exploring the many temples and basilicas of the Roman Forum, you can enter the House of the Vestals, the living quarters of Rome’s virginal priestesses who kept the city’s symbolic hearth fire burning in the temple next door. Visit temples dedicated to gods and others built in honor of emperors. And stand before the door of the Curia (Senate House) where the Senate convened to make the decisions that would shape the Roman Empire. Should you wish, you can also ascend the Palatine Hill to explore the remains of ancient palaces and learn the history of the hill where Roman history began.
Our most popular ancient Rome tours
Walks Inside Rome runs a series of tours guiding guests through the must-see attractions of the ancient capital.
- Appian Way Bike tour: Running south from Rome all the way to the city of Brindisi on the Italian heel, the Via Appia Antica is the oldest and most famous of Rome’s consular roads. Built in the fourth century BC, this ancient cobblestoned highway is lined with funerary monuments, mausoleums and catacombs, testament to the tradition that burial was forbidden within the walls of the ancient city. On a sunny spring or summer’s day, there is simply no better experience than jumping on an e-bike and cycling along Old Appian Way through the southern Roman countryside in the company of an expert guide who can narrate its fascinating history.
- Ancient Ostia: Everybody has heard of Pompeii: the southern Italian city perfectly preserved in ash after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Few have heard of Ostia, Rome’s contemporary and equivalent, which offers the best insight into the layout and everyday life of a bustling Roman city around the turn of the first century. A day-trip to Ostia will immerse you in the art, architecture and history of one of Italy most underrated archaeological sites, complete with an amphitheatre, forum, temples and villas still resplendent with frescoes.
- Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli: As Rome’s most artistic and well travelled emperor, Hadrian has left an enviable legacy in the city of Rome. We have him to thank for the Pantheon in its current incarnation, the Temple of Rome and Amor between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and Castel Sant’Angelo (which he built as his dynastic mausoleum). But it is his magnificent and expansive villa in Tivoli, resplendent with fountains, artificial lakes, and looming architecture, which leaves the most lasting impression and makes the most rewarding day-trip for ancient enthusiasts in the Roman hills.
- Classic Ancient Rome tour: The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill might be among the city’s most visited attractions, but they are popular for a reason, and deserve to be explored in their entirety. Our private or small-group Classic Ancient Rome tour immerses you in the riveting history of the Roman Republic and Empire, told from the perspectives of everyone from slaves and everyday citizens to gladiators and emperors.
These are some of our favourite ancient Rome tours, but they are by no means the only ones. Check out our list of Rome tours for the complete catalogue. And watch this space: we’ll soon be introducing our most immersive ancient Rome tour yet for history lovers: our Conquests of Rome tour.
Explore the ancient capital with Walks Inside Rome
For more than 20 years, Walks Inside Rome has been guiding guests through the most enticing attractions of the Eternal City. Our experienced team of archaeologists, art-historians, ancient historians and culinary experts offer an unparalleled range of unforgettable, family-friendly experiences, ranging from traditional guided tours and day trips around Rome’s environs to food tours and cooking classes.
Check out our catalogue of tours on this website and choose from our extensive range of experiences to make your next trip to Rome unforgettable. You can book directly on our product page, send us an email or message on our contact form, or call us to reserve your place or request more information.
We look forward to hearing from you – a presto!