Colosseum Underground Tours Extend Opening Dates & Allows Independent Visits

When the underground of the Colosseum opened to the public for the first time in 2011, there was lots of press and excitement. Then the hypogeum—the subterranean area where gladiators and animals would have waited for their turns to fight—closed. And reopened again in the spring. (The third level did, too).

As of this week, though, we’ve got two big pieces of news that change all that.

LATEST NEWS: June 10, 2015: Colosseum underground tours are still running through the summer. As is to be expected, tickets are getting harder to come by as demand is off the charts. To help accommodate this, Walks has launched a new VIP Ancient Rome tour, which includes newly-opened, special access sites in the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill archaeological area just outside the Colosseum. This visit includes exclusive access to Caesar’s Palace, aka the house of first Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. You’ll see ancient frescoes, grand salons, and an ancient staircase. For more information and booking, visit the following links:

LATEST NEWS: August 5, 2014: After being closed for most of July, the Colosseum is now reopened. That means that all tours currently will access: the Arena Floor, the Underground (hypogeum), and the Third Tier (top level). Keep in mind, there are still ongoing restorations happening so closures to certain areas are to be expected.

UPDATED NEWS April 5, 2012: Colosseum officials announced today that the underground will reopen this Saturday, April 7th! See our post on the reopening for more.

UPDATED NEWS December 30, 2011: Since October, because of flooding from heavy rains, the Colosseum underground has remained closed. However, the top level with its fantastic views is still open (to those on tours only). The Colosseum plans to keep the top level open through at least the end of August 2012, so the tour remains an excellent way to get an exclusive experience and a different view—literally!—of the Colosseum. We’ll let you know, though, as soon as the underground itself reopens! We’re crossing our fingers that it will happen soon. And when it does, all tours booked to the top level will automatically include the underground section as well, with no extra cost to you.

The Colosseum underground, now re-opened

Now, you can get special access through August

UPDATED NEWS July 5, 2011: We’ve now got confirmation that the Colosseum’s underground and third tier will remain open through the end of SEPTEMBER. And they might not be open after that since September is when they’re planning on starting the restoration work on the Colosseum — so make sure you book now for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

UPDATED NEWS June 8th, 2011: Colosseum officials at Pierreci have announced underground and third tier areas will remain open through the end of July AUGUST (Yay!). (What hasn’t been officially confirmed is whether the Colosseum’s hypogeum and third level will be open past that date, much less to October, as some sites and agencies are claiming).

Secondly, here at Walks of Italy, we’re both offering tours of the Colosseum underground — and we’ve gotten permission to use our own guides. As far as we know, that makes us the only tour agency that’s actually using its own guides to lead tours into the hypogeum and third level. That also means that our tours of the hypogeum will be capped at 12 people, just like all our walking tours. The tour also visits the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

We don’t really like tooting our own horns, especially on our blog. After all, it’s a travel resource for readers — not a marketing tool. But you know what? At the end of the day, we think this is pretty helpful news. Especially because it means that for the first time, when it comes to visiting Colosseum underground tours, you have options.

You might also like:

Pope John Paul II: The Man, the Pope, the Road to Sainthood

Seeing a Soccer Game in Italy

Beat the Heat: Escape to the Top City Parks in Florence, Rome, and Milan


  • Gregory Gunter says:

    I will be in Roma, for 4 nights, arriving Sept 5,
    Can I book a tour for the Colosseum’s underground and third tier with you ?
    Please advise, if available, pricing, etc.

    Thank you.

  • Nancy says:

    Is there any update on how long the colosseum underground and 3rd tier will remain open? I am going to be vacationing in Rome the first week of October.

  • Janice says:

    Did you ever hear back on this? We are also going the 1st week of October and wanted to go on this tour but have heard nothing about them extending into October.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Janice,
      The Colosseum has hinted that they should be telling us “any day now.” We know it’s frustrating (it is for us too!), but keep checking in. As soon as we find out, either way, we’ll be posting what we’ve found out on the blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Thanks for your interest!

  • walksofitaly says:

    Colosseum Underground October tour dates are on sale now! The Colosseum Management has confirmed our tours and we have released them for public sale. If you are looking to visit the Hypogeum and Third Level, this may be the last month it remains open for quite some time!

  • Diane says:

    Does your a.m. VIP access to the Colosseum top tier, arena, & ancient Rome include a guided tour of Palatine Hill and the Forum or just passes to these sites?


    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Diane,
      Yes, our VIP Colosseum tour includes in-depth guided visits both to the Palatine Hill and the Forum, as well as the Colosseum. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Sunny says:

    Can I book a tour for the Colosseum’s underground and third tier with you ?
    could you please email more details about tour and how it cost.

  • Isabela says:

    I have booked the tickets for colosseum and this doesn’t including to see the hypogeum. How can I get the ticket and pay separately to see hypogeum?
    Can you help, please?

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Isabela,
      Do you mean you booked directly with the Colosseum? If so, we’d recommend calling Pierreci directly at +39 0639967700. (Someone will be able to speak English). If it’s possible to change your ticket, they’ll be the ones who can do it :-). Let us know how it goes!

      If you mean you booked the wrong tour with us, then just email us at and someone will help you.

  • Lilian says:

    Hello Walks of Italy!~

    I am going to Rome in this coming April, 23rd-25th (to be exact).. I am very interested in this “A.M. VIP Access – Colosseum Underground, Arena & Forum” by you guys! Hence, may I check if the “Underground, Arena” or the so call “hypogeum tours” (or are they different? Pardon me for that..) is available in April 13? As in the Colosseum’s underground is open for the period?


    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi there Lilian,
      Thanks for your interest! The hypogeum is the same as the underground, so you’re good there. And yes, the tour is available April 13. You have the morning or afternoon options for this tour; you can read more about it here.

      Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any other questions!

  • Carol says:

    How many stairs are to the top of the third tier? Can it be done with 2 knee replacements?

    • Hi Carol,
      It’s a couple of unavoidable staircases to the top of the 3rd tier, and they’re pretty steep—so if you’re not comfortable climbing stairs, it’s not a tour we’d recommend. Let us know if we can answer anything else!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *