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Walking tours

Navona Square and the underground of Dominitian Stadium tour

Availability: Depending on the season
Duration: 2 hours
Language: English, Spanish
Mobile voucher accepted
Do this because
  • Discover Rome's hidden sites, some not usually open to the general public
  • Learn about Rome's history from an expert guide
  • Explore the underground ruins beneath the Navona Square
What to expect

Navona Square sits over the area of the Stadium, which was built by Domitian before 86 d.C., for athletics competitions of Greek origin.

Some scholars believe it was the most elegant place for shows of the ancient world. The stadium measured 275 meters long by 106 wide. Chariot races, similar to those at Circus Maximus, were held utilizing its oval design. The difference between Stadium and Circus is that the track of a Circus, to allow chariot races, was divided in two by a "spina" a central up level path decorated with obelisks, and needed at least 500m in length; the Stadium, in contrast, was a large arena without any division (Piazza Navona).

The square was sometimes flooded in the summer and used for aquatic games and staged naval battles. In the 15th century, over the ruins of the then-decrepit stadium, it was paved over to create Piazza Navona. The stadium remained in operation until the 5th century.

With this tour, you'll learn how after the renovation of a building located at number 62, the ancient stadium was discovered. During the works, an ambulatory of the Stadium was found: underground rooms of 350 square meters, whose spaces were reused at the beginning of the dark ages. Two main entrances are located in the middle of the long sides. The one used for your tour is in the middle of the curved side, with a colonnade of portasanta marble in front of it. This area, discovered in the years 1936-1938 and visited only with special permission, is the best-preserved part of the stadium. The cavea of the stadium included two lines of steps superimposed: according to a calculation made on the basis of the length of the lines of steps, the seats for the spectators are 30.000. Explore the Eternal City from a completely different point of view: you'll discover a new Rome, as you’ve never expected!

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What's included
  • Admissions
  • Archaeologically-literate guide
What's not included
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Transportation from hotel
Reduced price
  • Child (0-13): free

Piazza della Rotonda, 74, 00186 Roma RM, Італія

Meeting point:

Pantheon, in front of the Hotel del Senato

What to remember
  • This tour is not suitable for people in wheelchairs or with walking disabilities
  • This tour requires a minimum of 2 people
  • Please wear comfortable shoes
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  • November-March: Friday and Saturday at 10.30am
  • April-October: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday at 10.30am and Sunday at 3.00pm
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Destination Italia | Gartour
Booking fee
Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.

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