I cannot stress to you that while in Rome and doing tours, especially the Colosseum Tour: Arena Floor that you really should be paying the little bit more to do a ‘Skip the Line’ tour. Who wants to be spending a good portion of their holiday waiting for entry into a famous historical site or a museum? At the end of the day, you are there to see this famous site and bask in its history and glory. The Colosseum in Rome is no exception.
So it is because of that I chose ‘The Roman Guy’ skip the line Colosseum Tour: Arena Floor. And boy am I glad I did.
You meet your guide across form the Colosseum where you are given an introduction of what you’ll be seeing on tour and given an earpiece to hear what the guide is saying. Handy when there is 20 of you on this particular tour and there’s roughly 10 other tours starting the same time.
We move over to the side of the Colosseum where the guide gives us a lesson on the history of the Colosseum, how it was made and who fought there. Our guide also told us the stories of what would happen to the Gladiators if they won, or if they lost (poor guys), the animals who fought and what kind of spectators came to watch the fights. Interesting to hear all of this and how Roman class society dictated where you sat in the arena and what privileges you were given while being at the colosseum.
All while she was talking, I was taking in her words but itching to get inside and see with my own eyes what it would have been like in its heyday.
From the outside the colosseum is massive. It is actually so amazing that it is still standing and in reasonably good condition after close to 2000 years.
I chose the gladiators entrance tour because I wanted to go out on that level and potentially feel what it may have been like. Walking out onto the arena floor is a life experience that I will never forget. Just so amazing! On this tour the entrance from outside and onto the arena floor happens really quick.
Once you are on the arena floor, I turned around and looked up into the stands, and imagined it full of people cheering on the animals and Gladiators who fought where I was standing. I imagined the women delegated to the top levels of the Colosseum, the people having Roman BBQs, drinking wine and enjoying their day out amongst the bloodshed on the arena floor. The important society close to the arena floor sitting on their marble seats.
From where our tour group was standing, we got a close-up glimpse of what was underneath the arena floor. While it is partial ruin, you can picture what it would have been like full of animals and Gladiators, awaiting their turn to fight. Would they win, or would they lose and possibly die?
Our tour group took us around the perimeter of the Colosseum on the arena floor level, then up some pretty uneven steps (there is a lift for those who can’t do stairs) to the third level. From here you get a bird’s eye view of the arena floor and also the wings of the Colosseum.
From here the tour of the Colosseum finishes but it is off to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum next. It was quite a long wait to get into as we were herded in with the general public.
The day I did this tour was a beautifully warm and sunny day in Rome. It would have been not so much fun if it was raining, so keep an eye on the weather forecast. There is a fair bit of walking involved so be sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring water and use sunscreen.
The tour guide had an exceptional knowledge of the Colosseum, The Forum and Palatine Hill. She really knew her stuff. I found her really engaging and really easy to listen to.
In all the things I saw and did in Rome, this was my favourite. Seeing the Colosseum and walking out onto the arena floor is something I will never forget out all of my travel experiences. It is simply incredible. It was a place where I could really let my imagination run wild. Knowing a small part of what had happened there, how important the Colosseum was to the Roman’s almost made me feel like I was there amongst the crowds of people.
Next time I go to Rome I will definitely be off to see the Colosseum again. That is how much I loved it.