Explore the art history collection in the Vatican Museums and gain exclusive access to the Raphael Rooms, restricted to the general public. See the Sistine Chapel, Hall of Tapestries, and more.
An Entire Day of Rome & Vatican Tours!
About the Colosseum & the Best of Rome: Morning Tour
Walk in the shoes of the famous gladiators, Commodus and Spartacus, and prominent leaders, Julius Caesar and Augustus, in this first skip-the-line tour.
Place yourself in the centre of a large arena with over 60,000 chanting spectators ready to watch you in all your glory – welcome to the Colosseum. This iconic symbol of Imperial Rome was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on classical mythology.
Built nearly 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum is one of the must-sees in the city, and Once in Rome is determined to reveal the last remaining secrets of this monumental piece of architecture, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
After reliving the accounts of a gladiator, walk among great rulers as you make your way to the Roman Forum. Julius Caesar, Augustus and Marc Anthony are only a taste of many famous people who stood at this ground.
Visit the Senate House, the place where Julius Caesar’s ashes were buried, and where Marc Anthony held his renowned speech directed to “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” calling out the assassins of Caesar.
Next, you will walk along the Imperial Fora, a series of public squares constructed between 46 B.C. and 113 A.D, getting to Venice Square that still celebrates the Unification of Italy with its imposing national monument, the Vittoriano. In the same square, you will recognize the famous balcony from which Mussolini spoke to his people before and during the Second World War.
Continuing, you will discover that the current city was built on the ruins of the ancient one. With your local guide, you will stop in Torre di Largo Argentina to meditate on the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated.
From here, move to Piazza della Rotonda where you will find in front of you one of the most beautiful and best-preserved buildings from ancient times, the Pantheon. Its story begins nearly 2,000 years ago when Agrippa, faithful friend of Augustus, had a temple which was dedicated to all gods in heaven.
In those days it looked very different. It was Hadrian who rebuilt the Pantheon as you see it now. Nearby this huge structure there is one of the most famous gelaterias and cafés, so what better way to enjoy an ice cream or a lovely espresso?
Finish the tour in Navona Square, one of the most elegant squares in the world, the symbol of the Roman Baroque. See what a strange, long, narrow shape it is. Well, the square traces the same lines of the ancient stadium built by the emperor Domitian. So the buildings you can admire along its sides have their foundations on top of the spectators’ steps around the stadium and the surface of the square itself on top of the arena where Romans held the athletics games.
About the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter: Evening Tour
A visit to a museum is also an adventure and a game. This is a special tour with curiosities, legends, and games. You will discover many things while having fun, such as that when you enter the Vatican Museums, you’re entering the Vatican City State. It’s the smallest but probably the most famous city-state in the world.
In centuries gone by, the popes governed a state which was spread over a much wider area, but it ceased to exist in 1870 when Italian troops entered Rome. Like all independent states, the Vatican City has its own coins, stamps, and radio station, but it also has its own laws, together with the police force and law court to enforce them.
The Head of the state is the pope, at the moment Pope Francis, who is chosen from among cardinals the world over. The personal guards of the pope are the famous Swiss Guards; you will see them in front of the main entrances of the Vatican. The private collection of the pope is packed with artwork: ancient statues from Egypt, Greece and Rome, sarcophaguses, busts, frescoes, and tapestries, but also paintings made in any period of the history.
Thanks to this collection, historians could write the history of humanity. You mustn’t miss the Sistine Chapel, which was frescoed by Michelangelo. Follow your tour guide into St Peter’s Basilica. This church is rich in works of art and monuments. Here are some of them that you can’t miss: the Canopy by Bernini, the bronze statue of St. Peter, the Pietà by Michelangelo.
Leave the church and look at the center where there is the obelisk brought from Egypt. At the end turn around St. Peter Square to enjoy the magnificent colonnade by Bernini; it seems almost to wrap you in an embrace.
- Colosseum in depth
- Palatine Hill tour
- Imperial Fora
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter Basilica
- What to Bring
- Passport for proof of age
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A bottle of water
- Protection for your head, especially in the hottest months from June to September
- A camera, for the incredible photo-ops along the way
- An appetite for fun and a thirst for knowledge!