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Colosseum

The Roman Empire’s largest amphitheatre, and one of the world’s most awe-inspiring ancient monuments.

TravelCurious Tip

Be sure to book a tour in advance to avoid the queues.

The icon of imperial Rome

The Colosseum is an enduring symbol of the power, prowess and bloodlust of the Roman Empire. Although damaged over the years by earthquakes, pollution and stone-robbers, it remains a truly spectacular structure.

Visitors tend to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Colosseum: it stands 48 metres tall at its highest point and boasts a perimeter over half a kilometre long, making it the largest amphitheatre in the world. To this day, the building dwarfs the majority of the Rome's more modern architecture. Remarkably, the Colosseum was completed in only 8 years (72-80 AD), thanks to the liberal use of slaves in its construction. Dio Cassius recounts that over 9,000 wild animals were killed in the inaugural celebrations.

Colossal entertainment

A crowd of over 60,000 came regularly to watch the entertainments on offer. These included dramatic productions, vast battle reenactments and, of course, gladiator fights. The Colosseum's groundbreaking engineering extended to a complex system of passages, ramps, lifts and pulleys that operated beneath its sand-filled arena; these contraptions were used to ensure a dramatic entrance for the gladiators, who would fight to the death against wild animals and each other. Evidence suggests the arena was even periodically flooded for sham naval battles called naumachiae.

The building hasn’t been used for entertainment since the early medieval era; in the following centuries it was employed variously as a fortress, Christian shrine, and housing for a religious order. Today, in limited numbers, visitors are now able to take a tour of the Colosseum underground and also the highest tier of the walls. Access to these parts provides a new perspective on the ancient building. Suffice to say, any visitors sightseeing in Rome should make the Colosseum a top priority.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Underground Colosseum
Exclusive access to the underground chambers and tunnels of this ancient amphitheatre - an unforgettable experience.
Domus Aurea
Emperor Nero's enormous private villa complex beside the Colosseum.
Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano
An early Christian church in a converted Temple of Romulus, with some mosaic masterworks inside.
Arch of Titus
One of Rome's most iconic triumphal arches, and the model for the Parisian Arc de Triomphe.
Arch of Constantine
The largest and most magnificent of Rome's triumphal arches, with a curious history in its sculpture.
Monti District
Formerly Suburra - an ancient Roman neighborhood walled off from the Forum - the neighborhood is now one filled with locals, and the occasional lost tourist.

Related Tours

Best of The Eternal City: Full Day Private Highlights of Rome inc Tickets
Discover the religious, historical, and cultural significance of Rome on this full-day tour. 

  • Take a step back into history as you explore the iconic Colosseum and Pantheon.
  • Do as the Romans do and take a stroll through the Roman Forum.
  • Explore the Old City Centre  to discover the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.
  • Relax in one of Rome’s most elegant squares – the Piazza Navona.
  • Be mesmerized at the many treasures and masterpieces found in the Vatican when you step foot in the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums.
We can’t wait to take you on a timeless tour of the Eternal City. Rome is often referred to as being one of the most important tourist destinations in the world due to its religious, historical and cultural significance. On this full-day eight-hour tour, you will take a step into the past and visit cultural and historical highlights throughout the Eternal City. 

Historically – Rome was home to one of the most powerful empires in ancient history, conquering almost all of Europe over thousands of years ago. Religiously - it is one of the most important cities in Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church as the Pope resides in Vatican City situated in Rome. Culturally – masterpieces from both the Renaissance and Baroque periods are found all over the city; Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Raphael have left their mark throughout the city and the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps represents some of the best architecture creations from the Baroque era. 
Empire and Power Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Colosseum & Roman Forum
On this three-hour tour, you will time travel back 2,000 years and visit sites that were of significance to the Roman Empire and do as the Romans do. 

  • Take a step back into history and walk through the Roman Forum.
  • Learn about the fascinating history of the Roman Empire.
  • Hear stories about some of the empire's greatest emperors, like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, and stories of its' cruelest emperors: Nero and Caligula.
  • Explore the iconic Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death.
Walk through the Roman Forum where you will come across remnants of magnificent temples, law-courts, palaces and marketplace, while your guide informs you of daily life in the heart of the Roman Empire. The tour will eventually lead you to Palatine Hill – the birthplace of the Roman Senate, and where Rome’s Emperors lived and ruled from. You will then discover the famous Colosseum, where you will learn more about this ancient amphitheatre; the Gladiators; and why violence was such a fundamental part of everyday Roman life. 
Gladiators and Games Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Colosseum and Forum for Kids
On this three-hour tour, you and your family will time travel back 2,000 years and visit sites that were imperative to the Roman Empire. Discuss the myths & legends of centuries past, uncover dynamic gladiatorial games, and marvel at the spectacular Colosseum.

  • Take a step back into history and walk through the Roman Forum.
  • Learn about the fascinating history of the Roman Empire.
  • Marvel with your kids at the history of Palatine Hill, where the Roman Senate began. 
  • Explore the iconic Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death.
Walk through the Roman Forum where you will come across remnants of magnificent temples, law-courts, palaces and marketplace, while listening to stories of great emperors like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar and stories of insane and cruel emperors like Nero and Caligula. The tour will eventually lead you to Palatine Hill – the birthplace of the Roman Senate and where Rome’s Emperors used to live. Eventually you will end up at the Colosseum, where you will have the opportunity to walk around this ancient amphitheatre and learn more about the gladiators’ role and why violence was such a fundamental part of everyday Roman life. 
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Group Walking Tour
  • With 10 people or less per group, your journey through the world’s biggest Open-Air Museum will be personal and at a slow pace, while always maintaining full interaction with your experienced tour guide. 
  • A no-line quick access means you’ll enter the sites before the general public without wasting any time of your precious holiday. 
The tour will start with an introduction at the top of the Oppian hill, where a scenic view over the Colosseum and the Arch of Costantine will bring you face to face with one of history's greatest example's of architecture, the Flavian Amphitheatre. Once inside, your friendly and professional English-speaking tour guide will illuminate the history of the greatest “Show on Earth”: you will be almost be able to feel the vibration from the lion’s roar and the screaming crowds, as if you were yourself one of Ancient Rome’s victorious gladiators. 

During a short pause to admire the beauty behind the structure of the Arch of Constantine you will hear the tales of triumphal parades that fuelled the egos of the Emperors, you will discover the secrets of Rome’s mysterious and gory sacrifices and learn about Ancient Rome’s everyday life. While exploring the Sacred Way and its many ruined temples you will reach the heart of the Roman Forum: the Altar, where the body of Julius Caesar was once cremated. Today inside the Forum is the reconstructed rostra siting on that site near the Temple of Saturn. Next to the body, was a torso of Caesar made of wax, which showed all 23 of his stab wounds. 

In the foot-steps of the most famous dictator in history you will then learn how Rome evolved from a Republic into an Empire. On this tour your English-speaking guide will bring the ruins to life for you and your group in a way that is not possible without an expert leading the way. 

We built this tour because 
the Colosseum is recognised as Rome's architectural centre, and so your experience will be enriched  with art history.
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