“Are you not entertained?”
~Russell Crowe from “Gladiator”
Like most first time visitors to Rome, The Colosseum was on the top of our “must see” list. We couldn’t wait to finally see this icon of Rome with our own eyes!
We were visiting in July during peak season therefore we knew it was going to be crowded. Luckily, we found LivItaly Tours who offers semi-private tours to help get a more personalized experience versus mass tours that many offer. We really enjoy small group tours as they offer the opportunity for a more luxurious tour experience due to 1:1 interactions with the tour guides to get your questions answered. As a bonus, we enjoy meeting the other people in the small groups. LivItaly has a maximum of 6 people in their groups so they truly are semi-private and we were sold.
Next decision was regarding the Colosseum Underground – should you add it? Without a doubt, YES! For us it was an added piece of luxury to experience areas of the Colosseum not seen by the masses. When you purchase the tour, entrance is not guaranteed for the Underground but lucky for us, LivItaly was able to secure the passes and we were confirmed!
We met right outside the main entrance and just standing at the street level staring up at this monstrosity gave us an appreciation for the shear size!
Once inside, we met with the Colosseum guide who would take us to the restricted areas. First up was the arena floor, the small area in the photo below.
See the people in the distance? That is where the standard entrance gets you. We were on a partial floor on the far end looking out and up as the gladiators did when they were in the arena. Quite a surreal experience!
The first class seats of their time!
The next part was to go underground and experience the areas where the gladiators were held. We literally walked the paths that they would have to get into the arena!
It was amazing to learn of the elevator system the Roman’s used when this was fully functioning to get the animals and gladiators up to the main floor. Quite advanced for its time!
The third and last restricted area was to go to the top to get a birds eye view.
We didn’t have to fight the crowds for a spot in the small look out areas as you can see above. If this place didn’t feel large to us already, seeing it from above really made us feel like peanuts within the huge structure!
Another bonus to having a small group tour with LivItaly? Our guide offered to take pictures for everyone on the tour!
As we looked out over the side of the Colosseum wall, it offered a great view of The Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill in the distance.
Upon exit of the Colosseum, we walked past the Arch to see it up close and then continued to Palatine Hill to end our tour.
We saw the ruins of the massive estate and then were afforded with a beautiful view overlooking the Forum.
We couldn’t help but envision what this place would have looked like centuries ago as it was bustling with traders, merchants and customers. LivItaly made this tour truly memorable and we are grateful for all the new knowledge we learned during our semi-private tour!
Finally, our visit to the Colosseum was not quite complete. We returned that evening to get a view of her at night! We were glad we came back to watch the sunset and see the beauty of this architectural wonder in the evening.
We hope you get the opportunity to add the Underground to your next Colosseum visit!
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