COLOSSEUM AND VATICAN COMBINED PACKAGE
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What is included
What You Will See
Colosseum and Vatican combined package
This tour option is designed for those with limited time, covering almost 3,000 years of history and two cities in one convenient package. As with all our tours, fast-track tickets to all the sites are included.
The first part of your adventure begins in the morning and focuses on Ancient Rome, The Roman Forum, The Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.
Starting with the most recognizable monument in the city, the Colosseum, learn how this mammoth open-air arena was completed in 80 AD and took a mere 8 years to build. It was conceived as a political ploy, borrowing off the ideology of Julius Caesar’s “bread and circuses” (food and entertainment). You’ll discover how it was created by the Flavian Dynasty (Vespasian, Titus and Domitian), to win back the hearts of the people after the brutal reign of Nero. The Colosseum is one of the largest amphitheaters ever built and had the capacity to seat over 50,000 spectators. With a retractable roof, a network of tunnels, built in trapdoors, and its own waste disposal system, there wasn’t much the Romans didn’t think of when they built this incredible structure. Your guide will tell you about the different types of gladiatorial combat, mock naval battles and the other forms of entertainment that took place within its impressive walls. Find out why this architectural wonder eventually fell out of favor (after almost 4 centuries of use), its connection to Mussolini and the church, and how it has survived earthquakes, vandalism and time to secure its place in history.
The Roman Forum
The next stop on your tour is the Roman Forum, a vestige that once incorporated business, politics and religion. Hear the story behind how an insignificant swamp area was drained by the Etruscans, using the Cloaca Maxima (the world’s oldest functioning sewer system), and became one of the most important meeting places in the world as well as the epicenter of Ancient Rome. Walk down the Via Sacra (its main street) into the heart of this former metropolis, as you are met by a breathtaking array of monuments, temples and arches. Learn how ancient leaders used platforms, like the rostra, to gain political favor, how court cases were lost and won and discover what it really meant to be a citizen of Rome.
The Palatine Hill
Your chaperone will then accompany you 40 meters above the Forum to one of Rome’s 7 hills, the Palatine Hill. This highland was home to many of the monarchical and Imperial palaces and is believed to be the root of the English word “Palace”. From this spectacular vantage point you’ll be able to see Rome from a completely different perspective. You’ll hear about the origins of the city and the legend of Romulus and Remus as well as the rise and fall of the empire. Learn about the Lupercal, the Temple of Apollo and many of the key figures of Ancient Rome, who once inhabited this area.
Once this segment of the tour is done, you will have a bit of time by yourselves to relax. Absorb what you have seen, take some photos, and maybe grab a bite to eat before making your way over to the Vatican.
The second leg of your tour incorporates the highlights of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with quick access to St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Vatican Museums
Housing one of the largest and most impressive art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums are comprised of 1,200 rooms, 54 galleries and 7 kilometers of art. You will be navigated through this vast network of courtyards, galleries and rooms, stopping off at some of the most important art works along the way. You will see the pieces that inspired Michelangelo, influenced Raphael and helped to propel the Italian Renaissance.
The Sistine Chapel
The jewel of the Vatican is, of course, the Sistine Chapel and no visit would be complete without it. You will receive an in-depth and well-rounded explanation of this remarkable space. Explore every aspect of this sanctuary, from the sidewalls, to the alter wall and finally the vault, as you uncover the sequence of the frescoed panels and symbolism behind every figure. Hear about the techniques Michelangelo employed, as well as the struggles and obstacles he had to overcome to create the most famous ceiling in the world.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Once your excursion is over, you will be escorted through a priority passageway to the Basilica of St. Peter’s, where you will be free to explore the awe-inspiring landmark at your own leisure.
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