The Stadium of Domitian is hidden beneath Piazza Navona like some sort of buried treasure. Which it is. This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site was Rome's first permanent venue for gladiator games and competitive athletics. With this Priority Entrance ticket you'll get to explore this subterranean space along with an audio guide. This is one for sports fans and history buffs.
It's hard to believe that just underneath Rome's bustling Piazza Navona lies an Ancient Roman building packed with thrilling history. The Stadium of Domitian (also called Circus Agonalis) could seat up to 20,000 spectators, hungry for fights and ... gymnastics. Events held here featured professional gymnasts (often from Greece), running races (usually with female competitors), and more.
Competing was considered so important, in fact, that names of the victors have been discovered inscribed on tombs. Names etched in stone beats the prize winners got while they were alive: they received a crown of oak and olive leaves. I guess they were in it for the love of the games?
Emperor Titus commissioned the building of The Stadium of Domitian in roughly 80 AD (the same year the Colosseum was finished). And, when the Colosseum was damaged by fire in 217 AD, some of the gladiator games were held here.
This stadium, once the height of Roman entertainment, now lies beneath the modern city. It's well worth your time to escape the chaos and crowds and see some stadium's ruins.