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Special Access Visit of the largest gladiator barrack two steps away from the Colosseum

Explore what remains of the great rooms and arena connected to the Colosseum where gladiators prepared to stage battles under the eyes of the emperor

Explore the Ludus Magnus, the largest of Rome's gladiatorial gyms! Discover the compelling history of this site, from its origins during the Domitian Empire (I century AD) to its transformation under Emperor Trajan (II century AD).

Accompanied by an expert guide, you'll discover why the Ludus Magnus is so strategically located near the Colosseum and how the two buildings are connected by an underground tunnel, creating a unique setting for epic gladiator shows and fights.

Delving into history with this group tour you will find yourself at the center of the Ludus Magnus facility where you will get a firsthand look at the arena in which gladiators practiced, their living quarters, and the areas set aside for entertainment.

You will be transported back in time to understand the life and training of those men from different sections of Roman society who engaged in harsh physical and mental discipline, preparing to fight in the arena in front of thousands of spectators.

You will learn about their different classes, combat tactics, and even the rituals associated with their profession, giving you a comprehensive and engaging insight into the lives of these legendary ancient Roman fighters.

Group tour
Group tour
20 max.

1 ora

Discovering the Ludus Magnus: the center of Rome's epic stories

Explore the Ludus Magnus, the largest gladiatorial gymnasium in imperial Rome, erected at the hands of Emperor Domitian in the first century AD in the heart of the Valley between the Esquiline and the Caelian. This majestic complex, one of four prestigious barracks built during the Domitian reign, was the place where the legends of ancient Rome's fighters were forged.

The Ludus Magnus, a training and entertainment center, dominated the area with its grandeur and magnificence, quickly becoming the centerpiece of gladiatorial competitions and imperial ceremonies and distinguished from the other four Ludi: the Dacicus, Gallicus and Matutinus, each having its own purpose and fame.

On this tour we will reveal to you the different construction phases of this great arena, from the reconstruction commissioned by Emperor Trajan in the early second century AD, who wanted to raise the structure by five feet, transforming it into an even more majestic icon on Rome's skyline, to the remains still visible today that reveal only a part of its past grandeur, but still exude the charm and grandeur of a golden age.

Discover the secrets of this legendary monument, from its role in glorious gladiatorial contests to its involvement in the plots of imperial power. From Commodus, the emperor-gladiator, to its closing with the Flavian Amphitheater, the Ludus Magnus has been the stage for many epic stories, and now it's your turn to discover them. Prepare to plunge into the center of this imposing complex, a structure that spanned at least two floors, where you can see for yourself the ellipsoidal arena where gladiators performed before thousands of spectators, ready to cheer or condemn them.

At the heart of training: The cells and secrets of the Ludus Magnus

The Ludus Magnus was not the only gymnasium in the vicinity of the Colosseum: one had to find near the great amphitheater also the gymnasium for the venatores: the gladiators used for the great "hunts" that took place inside the Colosseum. All around then, service rooms connected to the Colosseum: warehouses for the machinery and weapons used during the games, shelters for the care of injured gladiators and places to lay the bodies of those who lost their lives during the gladiatorial games.

But the real wonder lies in the 14 cells discovered here, where gladiators once retreated after the hard days of training. Found without evidence of beds, it is assumed that these valiant fighters rested directly on the ground, preparing themselves mentally and physically for the challenges ahead.

As you explore the corridors and stairways that surrounded the building, you can imagine the daily life of the gladiators as they prepared for the battles that would make them legendary.

And as you immerse yourself in this world of glory and tragedy, you'll also discover the underground passageway that connected the Ludus Magnus to the Colosseum, a secret route through which the stories of both buildings intertwined, revealing the secrets and wonders of ancient Rome.

Gladiators: Immortal Heroes of the Roman Arena

Relive for a day what life might have been like for these ancient Roman fighters, whose fate was often sealed. With our guide, you will discover that gladiators were not only men of the sword(gladius in Latin), but often slaves, prisoners of war or convicted of crimes, while others voluntarily embraced the life of the arena for glory and honor.

Originating in ancient Etruria and adopted by the Romans, gladiatorial duels represented one of the most beloved spectacles of the Roman people. Trained hard in gladiatorial schools, or ludus, these fighting heroes were ready to challenge fate in the arena where they were tested in front of thousands of spectators.

Fame and fortune awaited the victor, while the defeated gladiator had to accept his fate with dignity. With the rise of the Roman Empire, gladiatorial games became a public spectacle beloved by all and the Colosseum became the stage for the most epic and spectacular battles.

As the centuries passed, the practice of gladiatorial combat was banned, marking the end of an era of glory and tragedy. Today, the stories of gladiators continue to inspire and fascinate, reminding us of the courage and determination of those who defied fate in the arena of Ancient Rome.

Get ready for a unique experience where, thanks to this exclusive tour, the past comes to life and transports you to an era of heroes and conquests.

Likely to sell out

From € 24

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