This was a hosted experience from Viator and is part of our “Traveling to Europe with Kids” series. As always, all opinions are honest and our own.
Roman Gladiator School
One of the must-see sites while in Rome is the Colosseum. It is a magnificent building to look at, and the history it holds is amazing. To further enrich our kids in the experience of Rome, we had them do Gladiator school. The school is a fun and interactive way to learn the history of the Roman Gladiator. It starts out with about a ½ hour history lesson about the Romans and their military, and ends with the history of the Gladiators. We were given information that was not included in any of our tours, and the room was filled with replicas of Gladiator armor, helmets, and weapons. We were all given the opportunity to try things on.
After the history lesson, we walked outside to a replica Gladiator training ground. Everybody warmed up Gladiator style, then we were given a wooden sword to start our training. The instructor went through various moves, both defensive and offensive, and explained everything along the way. After the training was over, each participant was then paired up to fight 1 on 1 inside a circle in the middle of training ground. Each was given a sword and shield, and the instructor kept score up to 3. The swords used were soft, similar to a Nerf sword, so no one was hurt, and no one was allowed to hit above the neck. Once the round was over, participants shook hands and exited the arena.
The pros: I learned more about the Gladiators in the ½ hour history lesson than I had my entire life in school and through Hollywood movies. Learning the history was half the fun. Both of my girls, 7 and 9 years old, loved battling each other in training and learning actual tactics used by the Gladiators. They couldn’t stop smiling after the training started. The gentleman hosting the tour was extremely nice and accommodating, and it was a very fun and interactive experience for the kids.
The cons: The history lesson at the beginning was a little long for my kids probably because of their ages. It is recommended for kids 12 and older, and it is not for anyone that isn’t willing to get dirty and sweat a bit.