One of the best moments of our trip was entering the arena in the Colosseum, like the gladiators would have.

Our Colosseum tour met at 9:00am near the Colosseum. We actually walked through a metro station to get there. You can purchase different types of entry tickets. We bought tickets that included the arena. We had a guide for the arena part, which was first. That was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting someone to just get us in the door and leave us, but our guide was knowledgeable and interesting. They have to clean the Colosseum regularly due to pollution. By the time they work their way around, it’s time to start again.

We first worked our way around the exterior to the arena entrance. Stadiums haven’t changed much since Roman times. 

arena entrance

Entering the arena, you could imagine walking in when the Colosseum was full of cheering crowds. We learned there were many trap doors in the arena floor where animals or gladiators could be brought up. Initially gladiators were killed but as they became better trained and skilled it wasn’t cost effective to kill them off. And no one knows if the thumbs up / thumbs down things was real or not. 

arena entrance

These views are from the arena. We had plenty of time to walk around; this was where our guide left us.

We were guessing the sun-like device had something to do with a light show? You can also see how the bricks were placed.

New and old stairways.

On an upper level is a small museum. We saw drawings of how the shade canopy worked, mosaics, and a scale model of how the Colosseum looked when there was a church inside it. The Colosseum was left to molder for many years. The church saved it by purchasing it. 

Here are some views of the interior from the stands. You can also purchase a ticket to visit the area under the arena. We did not. You can also see other ancient ruins from the inside. 

We got to watch parrots while waiting for the next part of our tour. We’d heard parrots; this was the first time we’d seen them.