Colosseum Arena and Underground

The Arena and Underground offer an extraordinary glimpse into the ancient world of gladiators and spectacles. 

Stepping onto the storied Arena floor, you’ll walk in the footsteps of ancient warriors who once engaged in fierce battles for the entertainment of thousands. 

But beneath it lies a hidden world, you can descend into the Underground and explore the intricate network of tunnels and chambers that house wild animals, gladiators, and props hidden from the eager eyes of the audience above. 

Unravel the secrets of this awe-inspiring monument, immersing yourself in the captivating history and unparalleled engineering of the Arena and Underground.

A Quick Overview

Essential InformationArenaUnderground
VisibilityVisible from all anglesLimited due to low lighting and narrow passages
AmbianceOpen air, bright, historical atmosphereEnclosed space, dark, mysterious atmosphere
SurfaceMarble and sand flooringStone walls, corridors, and chambers with some areas featuring original flooring and remnants of ancient mechanisms
AccessibilityAnyone can accessSome parts can be challenging for visitors with mobility issues
Best way to reachIndividual entrance Accessible only through special tours with Group gate or State gate
Best forHistory and architecture buffs, family toursAdventurers and explorers

Note: Book your Underground, Arena & Roman Forum tour and don’t miss out on any aspects of the monument’s beauty and grandeur. Delve deep into the history with this guided tour.

Colosseum Arena

Image: TripAdvisor.com

The Arena tickets take you back to the era of the gladiators in ancient Rome. It comprises the stage and the galleries.

Although the it didn’t have a stage traditionally, the main stage for the performances was, in fact, the arena floor. 

The galleries, also called maeniana, or tier-based sitting portions, surrounded this center space.

The Arena floor, easily identifiable by its distinctive red and black stone blocks, is not just the heart of the action; it’s also your gateway to hidden wonders.  

Doors located within the area lead you down to the Underground and its network of chambers and elevators.  

While exploring the floor, be sure to keep an eye out for these entrances:

  • The northwestern ‘Porta Triumphalis’ or the gate used for triumphal processions. The gladiators entered the Arena through this gate.
  • The southeastern ‘Porta Libitinaria’ is named after the Roman Goddess of funerals and burial. 

Colosseum Underground

Image: Adamfortuna

The Colosseum, a monument to Roman power and amusement, conceals a hidden underground passage.

The subterranean is a secret network of chambers, tunnels, and passages that went mostly undiscovered for centuries before being revealed when a portion of the arena floor fell.

Today, by descending from the floor, you may access a maze of tunnels and passages that formerly served as the core of the Colosseum’s shows.

The VIP night tour takes you to the Arena floor and the underground tunnels.

Training grounds and Deadly Entrances

These passages were far more than just storage spaces. 

Imagine gladiators sharpening their talents at nearby Ludus Magnus, a gladiatorial training school, before entering the Colosseum through these same tunnels. 

The network even extended to the main corridor, enabling for controlled movement of artists and animals around the facility.

Animal Dens and Surprise Entrances

The Underground offers fascinating vistas into the past. 

Animal rooms previously harbored fearsome monsters, awaiting their spectacular ascension to the Arena via an intricate system of 80 vertical shafts and trapdoors buried beneath the floor. 

Consider the clamor of the crowd when these predators appeared from well camouflaged entrances, heightening the sense of surprise in the spectacles above.

Insider Tips For Visiting

  • Plan your trips for early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Pre-purchase your tickets online to avoid lengthy ticket lineups. Consider taking a guided tour, particularly of the subterranean, as access is limited and trips provide excellent information.
  • The exploration requires a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes with good traction.
  • Prepare for uneven terrain, steps, and tiny corridors in the subterranean.
  • The peculiar lighting and perspective in the subterranean may result in spectacular photographs. However, tripods are often not permitted.
  • Pay attention to detailed elements such as winches, ramps, and drainage canals to better grasp the Underground’s sophisticated mechanism.
  • Pack snacks or dine ahead of time, as food options around the attraction might be expensive.

Exclusive Tours 

Choose from a variety of affordable Colosseum guided tours to visit the Arena and Underground. Here are our top 3 recommendations:

Tour TypeAdult ticket (18+ years) price)
Underground and Ancient Rome tour€119
Underground, Arena & Forum Tour€129
Underground and Arena tour at night€129

Colosseum Arena and Underground FAQs

Can I explore the Colosseum’s Arena and Underground areas?

Regular entry tickets may not include access to both the Arena and the Underground which is why we recommend visiting with a guided tour.

Are both the Colosseum Arena and Underground excursions appropriate for people of all ages?

Yes, age is never a barrier at Colosseum. You can plan excursions with people of all ages.

What is the duration of the Colosseum Arena and Underground tour?

The Arena and Underground tour lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours. It gives you plenty of opportunity to explore both areas.

During the Colosseum Arena and Underground tour, are there any restrictions or limitations?

Yes, there are a few restrictions during the Arena and Underground tour. You cannot touch or climb historic structures. Do not carry any sharp objects, for example, knives or heavy bags while visiting.

Can I take pictures during the Colosseum night tour?

Absolutely, you can click pictures during the Colosseum night tour. In fact, visitors love capturing the beauty of the monument at night.

Try to refrain from flash photography inside the monument since this preserves the artifacts and promotes a respectful atmosphere for all visitors.

Does the Colosseum Arena and Underground tour cost extra?

The Arena and the Underground tour costs more than regular guided tours but it’s completely worth it to explore the attraction in its entirety!

Can I pre-order tickets for the Arena and Underground tour?

Yes, we recommend you book your tickets in advance since they get sold out quickly, especially the Colosseum night tour tickets.

Featured Image: Elnur

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