Mirabilia Urbis: Rome Walking Tours

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Ludi et Mors: A Fight to the Death
Outside view of the Colosseum

Who masterminded the most impressive stadium in the world? Is it true that circa 65,000 spectators could feast their eyes on the games offered to them by the State? During half-time, did musicians really play in the arena as perfumes and gifts were showered on the crowds?

Inside view of the Colosseum

Our visit to the Colosseum will help you understand the mechanics of a unique ancient stadium. You'll be able to rebuild the monument in your mind's eye. You'll flash your ivory ticket to get into the games, salute the Emperor in his imperial box, snack on pistachios bought from your favorite concession stand, and find yourself gaping at the sleek panthers which have appeared in the arena thanks to well-disguised elevators!

You'll also see the seedy, steamy, seamy truth (and misconceptions!) about Roman games and bloodlust unveiled. By the time we finish, you'll understand the psychology of the people who attended the "ludi". The truth is not as simple as piles of dead gladiators and martyred Christians. We will separate the gruesome facts from the gory fiction, and explain the motivation behind some of the Roman's more perplexing and cruel behavior.

Entrance fee -- Colosseum € 12.  The ticket automatically includes the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.  Children access the site for free.  Tickets can be pre-purchased to avoid the risk of standing in line (for more information, please see "the costs" section of this webpage).  If entrance times for private visits to the Hypogeum and Third Tier are available, they can be reserved as well.  (Again, please se "the costs" section of this webpage.)

This visit lasts approximately two hours.  It can be conveniently coupled up with a visit to the Roman Forum and other nearby archeological sites (like the Palatine hill or San Clemente from "Underground Rome.")