An Afternoon at Gladiator School in Rome

If you’re looking for a memorable kid-friendly activity in Rome, Gladiator School is an event your children will never forgot. Nancy has raved about her experience at for years and my 9-year-old Devon was thrilled to finally give it a go over our spring family vacation in Italy.

Gladiator School Rome

Although the swords are fake, the skills learned in class are real. Scantily clad men of yesteryear lead the troops through vigorous training.

Gladiator School Dress Up Rome

The two-hour class begins with a Gladiator history lesson in the Gruppo Storico Romano Museum with artifacts, models, weapons, and costumes from Ancient Rome. Our instructor was extremely entertaining and great with the kids. The session includes an opportunity to try on Gladiator paraphernalia. Giggle-producing for all!

The core class activity is learning to duel. But first, there’s a Gladiator-style warm up. If you are worried the class will not engage your children, watch this video. Non-participation is – literally – not an option.

Gladiator School Maximus

The class ends with certificate and Gladiator name distribution. Meet Maximus!

The Gruppo Storico Romano website has quite a bit going on. It’s easiest to book the two-hour class through Viator. Pricing starts at $72.44 per person. If you have a big group, it may be worth reaching out to Gruppo Storico Romano directly and asking for a special group rate. The minimum age to participate is 6. Given the fight-focused subject matter and complex moves required to participate, I recommend Gladiator School for ages 8 and up.

The class takes place at Via Appia Antica 18, a 15-minute cab ride from the Coliseum. A perfect day pairs a visit to the Coliseum followed by Gladiator School so the context is fresh and exciting.

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Editorial Note: Gruppo Storico Romano provided us with a free session to review the class on Ciao Bambino. As usual, all opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy. Video by the Brown family.

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9 Comments

  1. Gladiator school looks like so much fun! I tried to talk my daughters into it when we were in Rome last summer and they were not at all interested.

  2. Oh!!! My nine year old son would LOVE this….now you have me wondering if we can squeeze in a weekend to Rome before leaving Italy this summer. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Thanks – super helpful. Is it possible for a child close to age 6 to participate? He and his 8 year old brother saw the video and are very excited about it.

  4. We had a terrible experience at the Gladiator school. It is definitely not worth 100 Euros. You pay 20 euros to drive to the outskirts of the city outside of Rome to be dropped off on a dirt road. We had to walk about 1/4 mile with a stroller and 2 children. The tutoring was not worth the 122 euros (unlike every other vendor in Europe they insisted the 100 euro price did not include VAT if you used credit card. Note – every single other vendor includes VAT in there prices). A bit of a rip off but after spending the time and effort to get out to this remote location you feel obligated to comply or fork over cash. In addition during the instruction we were attacked by Mosquitos. It was the middle of the day and 90 degrees out but bitten by at least 3 Mosquitos at a time. The instructor brought you into what was a so called “museum” which was basically a hot room without AC that had small structures that your child can put together along with fake gladiator armor. We were in the museum for an hour. We were then brought into a small make shift ring that was also mosquito infested and my son was taught a few amateur gladiator moves. The cherry on top was someone working at the place stealing our expensive SLR camera from our kids stroller. We were the only people at the school and on our way back to the hotel from the school we realized that our camera was missing. It was obvious someone at the school stole our camera from our babies stroller. Of course when we called the school no one knew anything. We called the president of the school, Nero, who had nothing to offer. The cost of the camera was a loss but the loss memories that we had on the memory chip was priceless. Better use of money and time and not worth having to look over shoulder to avoid loss of you valuables. Honestly could have saved the 122 euros and had that same experience of being robbed at any of the popular tourist piazzas. The experience outside of the camera being stolen, was definitely a scam to attract tourist trying to provide entertainment for their children.

    • Hi Jamie – We get mostly great feedback about the Gladiator School … but you are absolutely correct, the location is definitely out there and I can imagine that it was very uncomfortable on a hot day! Sorry to hear about your camera. Very frustrating! -Amie

    • Hi Jamie – Indeed, it is far out and I can definitely see how it could be miserable on a really hot day. Many of our clients have a great experience with their set up and my son loved it too, but your story is not a good one. Losing your camera must have been so frustrating and infuriating!! -Amie

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