Rome Colosseum: beyond gladiators and tourism

Rome Colosseum: beyond gladiators and tourism

It’s inevitable – as one of the most famous attractions in the Eternal City and one of the wonders of the world, the Rome Colosseum can’t help but seem a little too touristy at times. As you plan your visit to a monument that attracts a staggering 4.2 million visitors a year, it’s important to remember that there are ways to avoid the tourist hordes, and to discover another side of the Colosseum…

Rome Colosseum private tours

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Private tour of the Palatine Hill; Colosseum in the background.

A history of Rome tour is an ideal way to experience the Colosseum, exploring this magnificent monument from top to bottom in the company of an expert. While regular visitors wait in line, and group tour participants are stuck with other tourists, a private tour of the Colosseum is another experience altogether. You’ll get to skip the lines and enter the Colosseum directly, avoiding the crowds as your personal guide takes you to the quieter corners of the Colosseum.

One of the main advantages of a private tour of the Colosseum in Rome is that it’s a much more personal experience. Instead of having to struggle to keep up with your group tour guide, or, even worse, wandering around on your own without really understanding what you’re looking at, you’ll have the opportunity to explore at your own pace, and learn all about the fascinating history of this incredible monument. With an archaeologist guide by your side, you’ll discover that there’s so much more to the Colosseum than meets the eye.

Special Colosseum events

To make your visit to the Rome Colosseum even more memorable, keep an eye out for special events. This summer there will be regular guided

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The “Gladiator show” at the Colosseum

tours of the Colosseum by night – an even more atmospheric way to experience the amphitheatre.

Over the years there have been occasional concerts in the Colosseum, performed by the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John and Andrea Bocelli, but they tend to be few and far between. This may soon change, however, as the director of the Colosseum has said that there are plans for more events: “I want the Colosseum to return to its original function, a place frequented by ordinary people, a place where Romans can watch spectacles, to wander around as people did during the time of the emperors.”

Only last week there was a special charity screening of Gladiator inside the Colosseum, featuring a live orchestra and Russell Crowe himself as a special guest. Those who missed out had to make do with a larger screening just down the road, in the arena of the Circus Maximus. Not bad for a “second-best” option!

Tips for visiting the Colosseum

Make the most of your visit to the Rome Colosseum by following our insider tips:

  • Remember that it’s possible to book tickets online in advance, or from the lesser-used ticket office just around the corner. The lines tend to be the longest in front of the Colosseum, so buy your ticket from either the office in front of the entrance to the Palatine, or the Roman Forum office.
  • Combine your visit to the Colosseum with the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Even if you don’t opt for a tour and buy a regular ticket, this allows you access to all three sites – take advantage of the opportunity to explore the heart of Ancient Rome in its entirety.
  • Even better is the S.U.P.E.R. Colosseum tour, which offers exclusive access to special areas of the Roman Forum, as well as an in-depth visit to the Colosseum. Learn more about the S.U.P.E.R. tour here.
  • There are very few places to eat in in the immediate vicinity of the Colosseum, and most of them are just low quality tourist traps. After your Colosseum tour, head to the nearby Monti neighbourhood (a 5 minute walk away) to discover authentic Roman cuisine in restaurants like La Carbonara (Via Panisperna 214) and La Taverna Romana (Via della Madonna dei Monti 79).


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