The Colosseum was built over 1,900 years ago, but it never gets old. But if you really want to see the inner workings, you need to take the Colosseum underground tour.
I have walked by it countless times. It is a part of Rome’s background that I never ever tire of.
However, until recently, I had been inside exactly once.
Which is pretty unacceptable because inside the Colosseum is amazing.
And getting really down into it – literally underground – is even better.
I was thrilled to join Through Eternity’s Underground Colosseum Tour.
When I first moved to Rome, the underground area of the Colosseum was off limits, but it is now possible to visit if you book the right tour.
The small groups of the Colosseum underground tour are escorted in past the lines.
Before you know it, you are walking out on to the stage of the Colosseum.
From there, you can start to get up close and personal with the inner workings of the amphitheater.
You can see the stacks and tunnels that once held animals and gladiators, hoisting them up through trap doors in the floor to the waiting crowds above.
The history of the structure and the games it held is fascinating.
You can get a sense of the scale from the stage – and try to imagine what the arena would have been like when it was filled with spectators screaming to be entertained.
You could bask in the sun all day, but there is more to be seen.
Down a tunnel, the warmth disappears.
Walking past the water source that was once used to flood the arena to re-create naval battles, you emerge into the ruins.
From the ground floor, you can see the tunnels that were used by the hundreds of hidden workers who kept the games moving.
I was sold.
Even more in the love with the Colosseum than ever before.
You know who else loves the underground Colosseum? Cats.
(Can you spot him sleeping on the ledge in the sun?)
There is always more to be seen, so we kept moving.
Climbing up the ramp, we walked to the center level of the arena.
And we kept climbing.
Past the crowds, and above the masses, all the way to the top tier of the Colosseum.
Only accessible through a locked gate, we had the terrace all to ourselves, with Rome spread out below.
Throughout the tour, and over the gorgeous views, I learned more about the Colosseum than I knew was possible. Thomas entertained us with the history of the name, the construction, the politics and the sheer ingenuity of the inner workings.
I was completely awed by the the underground tour, and can’t wait for my next walk by the Colosseum. Now I know what’s inside, outside, above and below.
If you want to book a lighter version of the Colosseum underground tour with skip the line access to the underground and main areas (but not the 4th and 5th-floor terraces) you can do that here.
Please note that the Tiqets option is an affiliate link and Natalie may receive a commission if you choose to book that way. You are under no obligation to do so!