Duration: 3 Hours (approx.)
The Colosseum. The icon. The symbol of ancient Rome. There is nothing like it in the world, and nothing can prepare you for how it takes your breath away the first time you see it.
But few of the people who visit the Colosseum get to stand on the most emotionally significant part of the building: the arena floor, where gladiators fought to the death, and wild animals chased Christians and other non-pagans alike.
This extraordinary tour has special access to the famous arena, and your friendly and professional English-speaking guide will be able to lead you onto that privileged position, the place where the Vestal Virgins paraded before the games, and emperors decided whether the participants may live or die.
Another bonus of this position in the stadium is that there are extensive excavacations that reveal the ‘hypogeum’ beneath: the underfloor mechanics of the stadium. Standing on the arena you have a bird’s-eye view of the complex structures, and your guide will vividly tell how the mechanisms produced things as unexpected as elephants and trees through trap doors, making them appear seemingly out of nowhere. After approximately 3/4 of an hour being guided through the stadium you will then have a further half-hour to explore on your own.
The second part of the tour is just next to the Colosseum, ascending a gentle slope to the palace of the emperors atop the Palatine Hill. Before the city existed the area was just a cluster of villages built on the famous seven hills, this centremost hill, rising as it does in a strategic position next to the Tiber, was always the most prized, and was eventually where Romulus founded Rome. Your guide will explain that this valuable spot is literally ground zero Rome, and they will lead you to some of the oldest excavacations in the city, as well as the famous palace and even baroque gardens and villa.
After taking in the stunning views over the city and chariot stadium alike, your guide will lead you down to the beating heart of Ancient Rome: the Imperial Forum. Here, you will be able to walk in the footsteps of emperors, senators, and plebes. Your guide will help you interpret the plethora of structures that you see there, and soon you will feel yourself within the chaos and noise of the ancient city.
After marveling at the astonishing sophistication of ancient Roman life, we will wrap up the tour, after which you’re welcome to roam freely through the Forum until it closes, or head off for some local food and drink – we recommend nearby Monti as a happening spot for food and drinks that isn’t overrun by tourists. Your guide will be sure to recommend somewhere amazing.
This route covers about 1.5 miles (2 kilometres) in total and is conducted at a very leisurely pace suitable for all. The tour is around 3 hours long, including a break inside the Colosseum.
Skip the line Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill tickets are included.
When we recommend specific tours, we use our considerable expertise about visiting Rome to select nothing but the absolute best tours and providers for you.
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Photo credit: AFP
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