10. Rome: Private Day-Tour with Colosseum & Sistine Chapel
Your voyage begins at the Colosseum, the most magnificent monument in Rome. The bloody spectacles of the Colosseum are legendary, as slaves, gladiators and wild animals were killed for the entertainment of Rome, on a scale that had never been seen before. You’ll be amazed by stories of violent gladiatorial combat and awe-inspiring naval battles that were staged in the arena, but you’ll also learn about what went on behind the scenes. Your personal guide will help you to separate fact from fiction as you walk through the Colosseum, allowing you to discover what it was like to be a gladiator and how the shows were staged, thanks to ingenious engineering and the labor of the slaves beneath the arena floor. Looking up at the Colosseum from the inside is an unforgettable experience, as the sheer size of the amphitheater never fails to astound. It is only on a private Rome day tour that you can appreciate the Colosseum as an immense architectural achievement, an iconic monument that has endured for 2,000 years.
On your tour, you will see another side of Roman history, learning about religious rituals and political power struggles in the buildings where they happened. The mysteries of Roman religion will be revealed when you visit iconic temples such as the Temple of Saturn, or walk through the gardens of the House of the Vestal Virgins, while a tour of the famous courthouses is an opportunity to find out more about the great debates and speeches of Ancient Rome. The Roman Forum is a microcosm of Roman society. A walk across the cobblestones of the Via Sacra, where you can still see the wheel-ruts of ancient carts, takes you to the Arch of Titus, which was built to commemorate the emperor’s military victories. Enjoy a walk through the Roman Forum which offers a fascinating insight into the daily life of the city, covering all levels of Roman society, and bringing you closer to the people of the past.
No trip to Rome is complete until you’ve visited the Vatican, the Catholic capital and the location of one of the greatest collections of art in the world. Your day in Rome continues with a visit to the Vatican Museums, where masterpieces include the moving Laocoon - perhaps the most important and influential classical statue of all time - and the breathtaking frescoes of the Raphael Rooms. On this tour, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgement was initially one of Michelangelo’s most controversial works, but it has since been considered one of the greatest works of art of all time. Witness the splendor and grandeur of St Peter’s Basilica as you become acquainted with this awe-inspiring building. As well as showing you the highlights of the basilica, such as the poignant beauty of Michelangelo’s Pietà, your guide will tell you stories of the popes, artists and, architects who transformed the Vatican over the centuries.
The beauty and history of Rome are best appreciated in its streets, as you wander through the charming back streets and elegant piazzas of the city center. At the end of your relaxed day in Rome, you will stroll through the oldest and most characteristic neighborhoods, where artistic treasures and captivating stories of the past can be found on every street. The Baroque splendor of the Trevi Fountain has to be seen to be believed, while the Pantheon is another highlight, due to its architectural beauty, atmosphere, and history of transformation and survival against the odds. As the sun sets in the enchanting Piazza Navona, gaze into the waters of Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain and savor the atmosphere of the Eternal City at twilight. You will end your tour with a completely new perspective of Rome and its history, having heard stories of emperors, popes, and artists in the places where they lived and worked, transforming Rome over the centuries.