When an opportunity arose for me to experience a Colosseum Underground Tour, including a walk through the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum with The Roman Guy, I was elated and wasted no time making arrangements.
It’s been years since I’ve toured Rome’s Colosseum, long before its travertine exterior was cleaned in 2016, and long before the underground was open to visitors. And although I have been to Rome on six previous occasions, I had never walked through the ancient Palatine Hill or the Roman Forum until now.
What a difference to visit these historic landmarks in Rome, with a highly qualified, knowledgeable, professional tour guide, as opposed to browsing on my own. From the initial communication with The Roman Guy tour agency, I was kept informed of everything necessary to make my experience a memorable one. The attention to detail distinguished this tour company as a top-notch organization, and I knew I was going to enjoy the day.
While an English-speaking tour guide was promised, I was even more fortunate after meeting Eleonora, who introduced herself as not only the tour guide, but also an archeologist. Audio devices were provided to each of us and the quality of the sound was excellent, making the information easy to understand. Eleonora’s enthusiasm equalled her experience, and throughout the tour, she provided historical facts as well as intriguing stories about Rome’s most ancient sights.
The skip-the-line perk is a real advantage with this Colosseum Underground tour, because, even though groups must wait their turn in line, the alternative option of standing in line without advance reservations is not an appealing option, especially when hundreds of visitors make up the queue.
I wish my history teachers in elementary school and high school had presented the facts in as interesting a way as Eleonora did, because I was fascinated by what I saw and learned as our group made its way through the lowest levels of the Colosseum.
After approximately two hours, including time to take photos and ask questions, we exited the almost two-thousand-year-old Flavian Amphitheatre, and walked past the Arch of Constantine, toward Palatine Hill.
Surrounded by Rome’s beautiful umbrella pines, the massive Circus Maximus came into view below, as we explored the rooms of the Domus Augustana.
As I wandered into various rooms, I tried to imagine what life might have been like so many centuries ago in these palatial villas.
On to the Roman Forum, which I have only seen from above until now, the walking tour past the Arch of Titus, which was the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, was fascinating.
Steeped in history, the ruins here offer numerous stories from ancient times. The sights of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and the House of the Vestal Virgins held an allure for me, as Eleonora provided the background information on these and other archaeological structures here.
Lasting over three and a half hours, this experience was not only thorough, but well worth the price of €93 per person. I now feel I have a much fuller appreciation for Roman history.
For some visitors, this Colosseum Underground Tour may be a but lengthy, and I can easily envision separating this experience into two tours, one for the Underground Colosseum, and one for the stroll through the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. There is plenty to see in all three of these historic locations.
Since this Underground ColosseumTour is one of the most popular and sells out fact, The Roman Guy offers several other cool Colosseum tours to make sure nobody is left disappointed. Check them out, as they are available in various price ranges and age groups. The Colosseum night tour is especially intriguing.
Disclosure: I was a guest of The Roman Guy and the opinions, words and photos are my own.
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