The first part of this day-long tour takes you to the heart of the Roman Empire. Marvel at the imposing Colosseum, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian. The stadium accommodated up to 50,000 spectators who came to view the gladiatorial tournaments that sometimes lasted up to 100 days. Adjacent is the Arc of Constantine, dating from 315 AD. Next, discover the excavations of the vast Forum, where remains of temples, streetscapes, and palaces can be appreciated up close. Your guide helps brings to life the atmosphere of Rome’s pulsating heart at the other nearby forums of Trajan, Augustus, and Caesar. Then explore the Palatine Hill, inhabited since the ninth century BC; archaeologists believe this to be the place where Romulus, founder of Rome, lived. In the afternoon, see the other side of Rome’s history. Established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929, the Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. Cross the Tiber River into this awe-inspiring place and discover the Vatican Museums, containing 1,400 rooms, chapels, and galleries. Witness the extraordinarily rich collection of precious artworks, maps, sculptures, and antiquities, and marvel at its most breath-taking masterpiece, Michelangelo’s frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, head to the centre of the Vatican, to the vast Basilica of St Peter, a beautiful mix of Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Please note: the Vatican requires visitors to cover upper arms and legs to below the knee.