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5 hours plus a break
A unique experience in Rome, with an exclusive tour of the underground tunnels and the arena of the Colosseum. Includes visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with expert guide.
Enter the tunnels of the arena, and discover the secrets of the games
Join us on this Rome private tour in the fascinating underground tunnels of the Colosseum and marvel at ancient stage machinery capable of amazing special effects, mechanical elevators centuries ahead of their time, and an incredibly complex system of underground links between various supporting buildings that made the Colosseum's spectacles possible. These were amongst the ingenious inventions that we will see on our walking tour which helped ensure the incredible popularity of the games. Learn how the games were conceived as imperial propaganda, designed to cement unity between the incredibly diverse populations, languages and cultures that made up this enormous empire in the collective ritual of violence.
Relive an entire day's entertainment at the Colosseum
Follow the various phases of entertainment: the processions and the salutes, the battles between ferocious beasts and gladiators kept on a knife-edge by the surprise entrance of animals into the arena through secret trap-doors; the fights to the death between gladiators amidst the cheers of a delirious crowd; the capricious decisions of the audience or of the emperor to save or condemn a defeated gladiator according to their whim.
Discover who the gladiators really were through their own personal histories
Our guides are experts in their fields (most of them are archaeologists), and on this private tour they will take you into the world of the gladiators, evoking the modes of combat, the weapons and the origins of these men coming from the most remote provinces of the empire. The success of the games that ensured by the the multi-ethnic society of the time. On this Colosseum tour you will also learn of their daily training, which took place in the barracks where the gladiators lived: each of these was equipped with a small arena such as the Ludus Magnus near the Colosseum.
Uncover the daily life, the political struggles and the gods of the ancient city in the Forum
This great valley was the political heart of ancient Rome. Here we will retrace the daily life and politics of the Romans in the most important sites of the age, beginning at the Senate, where the most memorable debates of the Roman republic took place. Then our private tour will enter into the rooms and the stunningly beautiful garden of the House of the Vestal Virgins; discover who they were, gaze upon their marble portraits that still survive today, and learn of the cruel destiny that sometimes awaited them. The basilicas of Julia and Maxentius, seats of the courthouses where jurisprudence was born, will bring our tour into the spaces of the great public trials during the time of Cicero and Caesar. In thetemples of Saturn, Castor and Pollux, and Antoninus and Faustina, we will meet the gods of the Romans together with the enigma of a Christian church built into the structure of a pagan temple. The innovations of Roman engineers will amaze you on the Via Sacra, still marked today with the wheel-ruts of carriages that passed over it for centuries. The film-strips of antiquity carved into the marble of the Arch of Titus and Arch of Septimus Severus, meanwhile, tell of the great conquests of Imperial Rome. Finally, right in the places where they happened, we will relive timeless events such as the funeral of Julius Caesar near the Temple of Caesar, the decapitation of Cicero in the central square and the political rise of Augustus, who with his innocent face (or at least so he appears in countless statues) finished off the Roman republic and founded an empire.
Explore the luxurious villas of aristocrats and emperors on the Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill is still for the most part outside the itineraries of other tour companies. But it is a great shame to neglect this beautiful part of the ancient city, a place that for centuries hosted the exclusive residences of the Roman aristocracy, until the emperors appropriated it to construct their colossal villas, wonderfully preserved even today. But why was it such a desirable spot? Simple. The views from here of the Forum, the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus and indeed the entire city are unmatched. Our private tour will start with the origins of Rome, near the Huts of Romulus from the 8th century BC, which were later moved to the House of Augustus for obvious political reasons. We will explore the multiplication and excesses of the Imperial residences, with their gigantic colonnades, amongst them the House of Augustus, the Flavian palace, the Severian baths and the great stadium. You will uncover original furnishings fashioned from precious marbles and statues in the Palatine Museum, and retrace the lives of the most famous and extravagant emperors who ruled here, men such as Nero and Domitian.
The Colosseum underground and arena floor are reserved exclusively for us for a visit lasting over an hour
During your visit to the Colosseum Underground you may be joined by some of our other small or private groups, up to a maximum of 23 visitors. This experience of this Ancient Rome tour is guaranteed to be absolutely exclusive and unique!
Read more about the tour on our blog: Going underground at the Colosseum