The underground area of the Colosseum & the 3rd tier holds outstanding stories & sights of the Ancient world. They are specifically open on specific hours on particular days of the month. A couple of would understand that the Colosseum was designed on the impulse of emperor Vespasian from draining pipes a stagnant lake. 6 meters of concrete was gathered big amounts & a brick wall to bring it to level ground.
Join Colosseum Underground Tours & Tickets:
There are hundreds of Colosseum and Rome tours that we compare on our website. Some of these tours are underground tours. The tours we have compiled for you are as follows**.
**Tour prices are checked and updated on average once every 3 days. You can click on the reservation link for short-term opportunities and more details. You can send us an e-mail for your tour suggestions, we will be happy to publish them.
If you think that the underground tour option exceeds your budget, you can choose tickets with the Arena-Entry option or standart skip-the-line entry.
from €21.50 EUR
Organized by: Getyourguide
from €28.00 EUR
Duration: 3-4 Hours
History and Facts
Vespasian’s son, Emperor Domitian, made big changes to the basement. Domitian built a complex system of rooms and tunnels called the Hypogeum. Later elevators on pulley systems added. They lifted gladiators, wild animals, and scenery to the arena floor. Huge, hinged platforms allowed animals to walk up to the arena of the Colosseum.
Underground tunnels connected the Hypogeum to nearby barracks for Roman gladiators. Running a great building like the Roman Colosseum needed a large staff and tireless managers to organize them. Some Colosseum staff could be seen by the spectators as they swept and cleaned, guarded the entrances, and lugged heavy safety fences into place. But most people working at the Colosseum were less visible because they worked underground. While the gladiators fought and the lions roared overhead in the arena, dozens of workmen and slaves were busy in the maze of corridors, elevators, stairs, and store-rooms that lay hidden beneath the Roman Colosseum, far from public view.
The Roman engineers designed tunnels to bring the Gladiators into the arena hidden. The animals were confined in cages and raised in elevators 30 feet up. They were trained to assault their enemy at very first sight. Trap doors would launch the animals and men at the same time into the arena. In the early days of the Colosseum’s history, the arena might be flooded and might be the phase for naval fights. The 4th tier of the arena had the most remarkable technological technology for its times – A retractable roofing made from the canvas was utilized to offer shelter to the audience from the scorching sun.
While the audience in the Colosseum focused on the bloody events in the arena, the hypogeum below it was a scene of furious activity. Laborers performed their backbreaking jobs in humid summer and chilly, damp winter. The chambers reeked from years of accumulated smells of human sweat and wild animals.
It was also dark, lit only by smoky oil lanterns. And it was deafeningly loud, with an overwhelming din of creaking machinery, people shouting, animals growling, and loud signals made by horns or drums to coordinate the complex series of tasks being carried out. Then, when it was all over, there was an eerie calm—but the work was not finished.
Historian Fik Meijer writes, After the spectators have left the Colosseum, a powerful atmosphere of death and decay lingers in the underground passageways. Carcasses of wild animals lie everywhere, along with the corpses of executed criminals, horribly mutilated by the claws and teeth of predators. Everything is drenched in blood and there remains a penetrating odour of rotting esh. But since there may well be another show within a few days, perhaps even the next day, everything has to look clean again. For the large permanent sta of the Colosseum and the extra manpower hired for the occasion, a dispiriting task now begins: clearing out all the corpses and carcasses.
Underground Tour: Worth It?
If you are looking for a detailed Colosseum visit and planning to take a tour, we highly recommend you to take a tour that includes visiting the underground of the Colosseum. Of course, the first thing you will witness when you visit the Colosseum will be pure stone creations. However standing in the narrow aisles of the Colosseum where gladiators stand before the fights, feeling the atmosphere of the venue, where gladiators were once worried and sweat, is a unique feeling that you must experience. Also as you can learn more about by clicking this link, the ancient elevator is recreated by archaeologists.
The underground tours of Colosseum usually include the arena section, other parts of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. You can learn more about how the Colosseum used to be and the lives of gladiators by participating in one of the tours with thousands of positive feedbacks we recommend.
See the stream of water under the Colosseum, see underground sites and the upper area of the arena. Get special access to limited locations and check out the arena flooring of the Colosseum while countless other visitors take a look at you with envy. Discover more about the underground staging location where animals were caged and the gladiators honed their swords in preparation. Check out the just recently opened dungeons and examine the working systems below the arena and on the arena flooring itself.
Visiting the Underground by Night
If you don’t want to visit the Colosseum in the heat of the day and you want to visit it away from the busy crowds, you can visit the Colosseum at night. Visiting the Colosseum at night doesn’t mean you’ll see it in total darkness. You will not miss the details thanks to the special lightings and the explanations of your tour guide. Also, a night visit will give you a different perspective and atmosphere. However, underground night tours do not have the option to visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill can only be visited at night for special events.
2021 Update – Good News
The underground structure of the Colosseum can be visited on a tour since 2010. However, these visits covered only a small part of the underground structure of the Colosseum.
As a result of the arrangements and work done by the Italian authorities during the global coronavirus pandemic, tourists will now be able to explore the underground tunnels and rooms almost completely. With the restoration project financed by the Italian fashion company Tod’s and involving 81 archaeologists and experts, 15 corridors were opened to visitors. Visitors will now be able to tour the backstage of the Colosseum, which is spread over half a hectare with a 160-meter walking path, much easier.
Restoring the Colosseum underground is actually part of a much larger restoration project. The project, which is expected to be completed by 2023, is aimed to cover the underground and to be buried in darkness as in ancient times. After the restorations carried out in the arena and underground are completed, visitors to the Colosseum will be able to perceive the functioning of the building much better.