Please note: tickets for the Arena Floor entrance to the Colosseum are among the most difficult to procure in all of Rome. They are released for sale by the venue in waves approximately 30-60-90 days prior to entry date and sell out quickly. We cannot confirm Arena Floor tours until about 2-3 weeks prior to your tour date. Thank you for your patience!
With priority access tickets to the Colosseum’s Arena Floor entrance, our exclusive 4-hour tour begins with no lines and no crowds. We’ll enter from the “Gladiator’s Gate”, where ancient warriors passed on their way to battle, and start our tour from this unique vantage point. We will launch our discussion of ancient Rome as we head to the upper level of the Colosseum and then on to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, focusing on the archaeological core of the city. Led by an archaeologist or historian, this tour features an in-depth look into the Colosseum in Rome and uses the ruins of the ancient city as a backdrop for discussing the rise of the Roman empire, the political intrigues of emperors, and the daily life of commoners. Since our guide is a trained scholar, we’ll also use our time together to discuss the role of archaeology in history and learn how to read the ruins in order to reconstruct the ancient city, using skip-the-line Colosseum tickets so that our entry into the Forum, Palatine, and Colosseum happens quickly and smoothly.
- Priority Access tickets to the Arena Floor Entrance of the Colosseum includes skip-the-line tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
- Led by an archaeologist or classical historian
- Detailed explanation of ancient Roman politics, society, and empire
“[Our guide] skilfully invoked the historical, cultural, and material background needed to arrive at a deeper and richer understanding of these ruins. Truly the highlight of our trip.”
At the Colosseum, we will discuss Roman public spectacle and decadence. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is a marvel of ancient engineering and construction. Gladiatorial fights, wild beast hunts, and mock sea battles all contributed to the spectacle that played an important role in the social life of ancient Rome. We will explore these themes in detail, separating fact from fiction in one of the most visited sites in Rome. We'll also gain greater insight into the way the Colosseum was constructed, with our guide’s expertise to help us imagine the monolith in its full marble-clad glory.
Ascending the Palatine Hill
On the Palatine Hill, we will explore the first stages of the city and the legend of its founding in 753 B.C. (on April 21, to be exact) by Romulus. After covering the founding myths and anthropological record of the Palatine, we'll explore the imperial palaces that eventually covered the hill, using our imaginations and the expertise of our docent to mentally recreate the grandeur of the former residences. If time and interest allows, we usually stop in the Palatine Museum to learn about Roman sculpture. We will linger for a while among the ruins of the Palatine, using the remains as a primer to the archaeological technique, Roman architecture, and construction technologies, and Roman political and social structure. From here, we will explore the remnants of the aqueduct of Claudius and take in vistas of the Roman Forum that illustrate the palimpsest nature of the city.
Roman Forum Tour
As we continue to the Roman Forum, we will delve into a series of discussions that will carry us down the Via Sacra (the main street of ancient Rome) and past the major sites that crowded the city center, including the Curia (senate house) and the temples, triumphal arches, and basilicas around the Forum Square. Depending on our guide’s specialization we may linger in front of the House of the Vestal Virgins, the Basilica of Maxentius, or the game boards etched into the steps of the Basilica Giulia. There are tens of thousands of fascinating details to focus upon in the Forum; based on the interests of the group, our guide will pick apart a few salient ones to help us get a perspective on the history of this area.
At the end of the tour, we will have a deeper knowledge of ancient Rome—its emperors, its history, and its feats of engineering. The Colosseum tour with Arena Floor Priority Access is also a perfect way to begin a visit to Rome: the archaeology of the Palatine, Roman Forum, and Colosseum only serves to whet the appetite for the feast of monuments that awaits us throughout the city. It provides a nice foundation for more thematic explorations of ancient Rome, such as our Caesar and Empire tour.
We highly recommend either an early start or in the summer season a late in the afternoon tour when the morning crowds have thinned out. Due to increased security measures and a strictly enforced maximum capacity at the Colosseum, the queues mid-morning can be very long, even with priority access Tickets.
Important: All visitors must pass through security checks before entering the monument. You must bring a valid government-issued photo ID with you on the day of the tour as you might be asked to present it to the Colosseum ticketing staff. Context is not responsible if the entrance is denied.
Disclaimer: please note that this tour is not confirmed until we guarantee the ticket availability.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a semi-private tour?
Our semi-private tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our semi-private tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.