Type: Art, Historic Buildings, Roman Antiquity, Sistine Chapel, Walking
Length: 8 Hours
Walking: Difficult (a lot of walking and stairs)
Mobility: NO wheelchairs
Guide: Licensed Guide
Rome, Italy - This extensive tour of Rome includes a walking tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum as well as a detailed tour of Vatican City with the Sistine Chapel.
You are met at your hotel and you immediately drive to Vatican City. We have VIP tickets reserved for you so you can avoid the long lines and get started with your tour.
The Vatican's museum complex houses one of the most impressive collections of art and treasures from antiquity through the present day. Of course the Renaissance treasures of the Raphael rooms and the Sistine Chapel are the highlights of any visit. In the Sistine Chapel you will marvel at the masterpieces by Michelangelo, including his frescoes of the "Creation" on the ceiling (completed in his 30's) and the "Last Judgment" filling the altar wall (completed in his 60's).
Next you will walk to St. Peter's Basilica. Gaze in awe at the symmetry of the Piazza San Pietro and the enormity of St. Peter's Basilica, whose massive scale is almost too much to take in. The church, decorated in High Renaissance and Baroque style, is overwhelming with its grandeur of art in gold, marble and mosaics. Your guide will show you Michelangelo's exquisite Pieta which was completed when the young master was just in his 20's. You might also be interested in visiting the Vatican grottoes with the tombs of the popes, both ancient and modern. Behind a wall of glass is what is presumed to be the tomb of St. Peter himself.
After visiting the Vatican you enjoy a lunch (meal not included) stop in Piazza Navona, a popular square which is beautifully designed with several baroque masterpieces including Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers. The square is also lined with caf̩s and popular pizzerias.
The focus of the tour shifts to Ancient Roman history now. You start at the Coliseum which dates back to 80 AD and is perhaps the grandest and most famous of the city's monuments. This enormous arena once featured 76 numbered entrances, marble seats for 50,000 spectators, retractable shade awnings and subterranean passages. Gladiatorial combats against wild beasts and some say even mock naval battles were staged here. Your guide accompanies you inside the Coliseum to explore and explain its illustrious history.
Leaving the Coliseum, you will see the immense Arch of Constantine, built as a memorial to honor Constantine's defeat of the pagan Maxentius in 306 AD. Your guide will lead you through the ruins of one of the world's most important historical sites, the Roman Forum. In Ancient Roman times this was the center of political, religious and commercial life. The grand foundations, columns and arches have survived the thousands of years since Rome controlled most of the known world in its empire.
You end your walking tour of the Roman Forum at Capitol Hill, the most sacred of Rome's seven hills. This is the site where an Etruscan temple to Jupiter once stood. You can climb the long, sloping steps designed by Michelangelo surmounting the hill at the Piazza del Campidoglio. In the center of the piazza is a bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. To one side is the Capitol Hill Museum and at the back of the square is a view over the famous Roman Forum with the Coliseum rising in the distance.
At the end of the tour, you are taken back to your hotel.
Special Vatican Tour Notes- The Sistine Chapel is not available separately, it is only able to be seen as part of the museum complex visit. The Vatican has a dress code so please come prepared. No bare shoulders, no shorts, no dresses above the knee, and no bare feet or exposed midriffs are allowed.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, our Rome tours and Rome Shore Excursions can also be customized to fit your needs. If you have a larger group, we can offer you a private Rome tour using a mid-size bus or full size coach. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a customized quote.