ShoreTrips logo Shore Excursions - City Tours - Day Activities


Private Tour for up to 2 (Not a per person rate.) $1093 USD
Private Tour for up to 3 (Not a per person rate.) $1362 USD
Private Tour for up to 4 (Not a per person rate.) $1631 USD
Private Tour for up to 5 (Not a per person rate.) $1900 USD
Private Tour for up to 6 (Not a per person rate.) $2155 USD
Private Tour for up to 7 (Not a per person rate.) $2431 USD
Private Tour for up to 8 (Not a per person rate.) $2707 USD
*Selections and optional choices will be made during checkout


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Only 24 people are able to participate in this tour daily. Please make your reservation as early as possible as space is very limited.

This exclusive tour of the mysterious underground tunnels of Rome will take you back in time. Your guides will move you through the ancient areas past stage machinery capable of amazing special effects, mechanical elevators centuries ahead of their time, and a complex system of links between various buildings that helped create the spectacles for which the Colosseum was known. This walking tour will introduce you to inventions that hardly seem as old as they are and it will be hard to comprehend the mechanics that ensured the extravaganzas that took place centuries ago. Not only will you see the way they created the games, but you will learn about the games themselves--rituals of violence conceived as propaganda to unify the diverse populations and strike fear in the public.

As you follow the various stages of entertainment, you will come to understand the processions and the salutes, the battles between beasts and gladiators with secret trap doors, the fight to the death amidst cheering audiences. To help you understand this period of time and the loyalty it commanded, your excellent guide will explain about the manner of combat, the weapons, and the background of the men who came from remote locations to test their strength. Gladiators' daily training took place in the barracks of the Colosseum, which is also where the gladiators lived, and you can see the small arena where they honed their skills in daily practice. You are even able to step onto the Arena floor where the Gladiators fought!

You will learn about daily life and politics as you begin your tour of the rooms and the beautiful garden of the House of the Vestal Virgins. So much of the past is there for you to see and will help you set the stage as you hear the history that has taken place where you are standing. Included are the basilicas of Julia and Maxentius, where seats of the courthouses bring you into the spaces where the great public trials were held in the time of Cicero and Caesar. Meet the Roman gods as you visit the temples of Saturn, Castor and Pollux, Antoninus and Faustina, and listen to how the Christian church was built into a pagan temple. Stories and tales and the spirit of mythology surround you as you pass through these areas.

Next, you'll make your way to the luxurious villas of the emperors on Palatine Hill, a special stop that most do not include. This wonderfully preserved part of the old city once hosted the exclusive residences of Roman aristocracy until appropriated by the emperors for their own villas. From here you can view the Forum, the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, and the entire city to make sense of how all of these parts worked as a whole. You'll also tour the origins of Rome near the Huts of Romulus from 8th century BC.

Explore the excesses of the Imperial residences with their glory and power funneled into their gigantic colonnades. The House of Augustus, the Flavian Palace, the Severian Baths, and the great Stadium are included; original furnishings and statues are still there, created from precious stones and marbles, a symbol of the extravagance of the rulers of this time.

Some of the sites you will not expect to see are the Cryptoportico, or long underground tunnel, of Nero; the luxury villas of the emperors on Palatine Hill; Severian Baths; wonderful views of the Circus Maximus, the Stadium of Domitian, the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the original mosaic floors of Imperial Rome in the Curia Julia. Who knew these things still existed until now?

The depth of this experience will enhance your entire stay in Rome and explain so much about the development of all of Europe.

  • This Tour Includes:
  • Licensed English-speaking guide, often an archaeologist
  • "Behind the Scenes" Colosseum
  • Entrance to the Arena floor
  • House of the Vestal Virgins and the gardens
  • Roman Forum
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Palatine Hill
  • Short break for lunch
  • Additional Languages Available
  • American Sign Language
  • French
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • *Possible upcharge at checkout for languages denoted with ($) symbol.

Days of Operation

Mon - yes
Tue - yes
Wed - yes
Thu - yes
Fri - yes
Sat - yes
Sun - yes

Departures (local time)

  • 10:30 AM (5 hrs) Length does not include a 30-minute break.

Transfer / Meeting Instructions

See Special Instructions Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.

Special Instructions

• All participants must bring a photo ID with them to participate in this tour. Passports or drivers licenses are fine. If you forget to bring your photo ID, you will be denied entrance and no refunds will be granted.
• Tickets to the Colosseum Underground are generally released two months in advance. We will confirm your booking when it is placed. In the rare instance we are not able to secure tickets to the Colosseum Underground we will suggest an alternative exclusive viewing area, such as the Belvedere. You may be joined by other small or private groups.
• The Underground Colosseum visit is approximately one hour.
• Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. This is a walking tour through archaeological sites of ancient Rome, which has steps and uneven surfaces.
• This tour has a meeting point that is near the start of the tour; the address will be on your voucher.


• You will be required to provide the name (as it reads on the passport) and date-of-birth of each person participating on this tour. Please have this information on hand when placing your booking.
Only 24 people are able to participate in this tour daily. Please make your reservation as early as possible as even a month in advance, space becomes very limited.
• This tour is not available on the last Sunday of every month as there is no skip-the-line option.
• Please note that large bags, backpacks, and luggage cannot be brought into the Colosseum, Roman Forum, or Palatine Hill.
• There is no coat check or space on-site to leave your belongings therefore we encourage you to leave such items at your hotel.
• There have been new security checks that have been added before entering the Colosseum. This means that there could be a possible delay before entering the monument. To be clear, our clients are allowed to skip the ticket lines to get into the Colosseum but every person entering into this site must go through this security line.
Entrance and reservation fees to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Colosseum (including special entrances) are included in the tour cost.
• The admissions are non-refundable if you cancel a confirmed booking as they are preferred entrance to allow our clients to skip the lines. Your billing information will be charged.