How to visit Colosseum’s underground

Posted on Dec 11, 2019 in Planning Support, On your own

[revised November 2023] In the last years, the visit of the Colosseum has been enriched with new areas, i.e. the underground layer, the arena, the third tier called the “belvedere”. Unfortunately people interested in this kind of visit are more numerous than the available slots and the way these tickets are put on sale is not exactly “transparent”.   We have tried in the past to assist our guests in securing these tickets, but every year it gets more difficult and frustrating, tickets are sold out after few minutes they are put on sales: check our post explaining the issue. We understand the fascination of the dungeons and the attraction of exclusiveness,  but there are few things you should be aware of:

  • you can see the whole structure of the Colosseum even without this special access, from the ground level or second tier which are open to everybody with a standard ticket. It is mainly a matter of perspective. It’s surely nice to walk across the new underground path, but the work for the new arena floor will start soon and the path will be closed  again for a while.
  • private slots are almost impossible to get  but you can join an internal group tour, this is a bit easier to find and we can meet you afterwards (approx 1 hr later)  to continue the visit in the archeological park (or before). The slots are open to sales exactly 30 days ahead of your required day.
  • There are several big companies which invest a lot of time and money  to buy the largest amount of tickets they can and resell  these tickets at higher price in conjunction with their tours. Of course this secondary ticketing practice results into a lack of availability: finding a slot now is as hard as buying a ticket for the U2 concert!!!


  • you can decide a standard tour of the Colosseum is enough, you will learn everything about the Colosseum in any case and we can combine the standard visit to an “Underground Rome” tour, including other sites nearby, in order to  understand the stratification of Rome.
  • you can check the official website of the company managing the tickets of the Colosseum here: and you can try to secure tickets on your own. They sell the simple access or you can buy the internal guided tours of the Colosseum (approx 75’ long). If you are interested in a visit of the Forum/Palatine area (these sites are included in the ticket you buy for the Colosseum) we can meet you earlier or later outside the Colosseum and tour these areas with you.
  • this internal company (Coopculture) has several guides at disposal, we know some of them, most are archaeologists and well prepared tour guides. It has to be said they reiterate this tour more than once a day and several days in a row. They know their stuff, but sometimes they lose freshness and enthusiasm.

Be informed and chose what’s best for you!

Three final notes: 

  1. a little trick if you really want to “be there” even without an explanation, is to check the guided tours in Italian, they usually have more slots available. 
  2.  arena access is something easier to secure, you can buy the Full Experience ticket and get there, even with us.
  3. they re-opened the restored “attic” with a new elevator to reach it. Max capacity of a slot is 8 people, counting your guide too. We are happy to include this visit, so far it is still easy to book this slot.