4. Rome: Private Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Tour
Explore the dramatic history and spectacular archaeology of Ancient Rome on our private tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Uncover the shocking stories of the people who lived here: emperors and gladiators, senators and slaves. Learn about the bloody spectacles of the arena, and walk in the footsteps of Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra. You'll begin by exploring the Colosseum, one of the wonders of the world and an incredible feat of engineering that hosted some of the cruelest yet spectacular shows in the ancient world. Your guide will help you understand the complex history of this magnificent monument, telling you stories about the incredible spectacles that took place there throughout time. You'll hear of bloody gladiatorial combat, wild animal hunts, and even naval battles, as you follow your guide through the tunnels of the Colosseum and walk in the footsteps of gladiators and slaves. Next to the Colosseum is the massive Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch that vividly narrates the stories of Roman military victories. Its marble friezes can be read like a graphic novel, or could even be said to resemble scenes from a film. They offer a fascinating insight into 4th-century Rome, as the empire turned towards Christianity. The Roman Forum, which lies beneath the Palatine Hill, was the political heart of Ancient Rome. Your tour of the Roman Forum begins at the Senate, the huge hall that once echoed with the fierce debates of the senators and the rousing speeches of the great orators, such as Cicero, determining the future of Rome. As you stand in front of the Temple of Caesar you’ll find out more about the extraordinary life and brutal death of Julius Caesar, whose funeral and cremation took place in the Forum. A walk through the cobbled streets of the Forum also allows us to understand the mysterious rituals and beliefs of Roman religion. In the company of your expert guide, you’ll visit the iconic Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, and learn about the worship of the Roman gods. When you explore the House of the Vestal Virgins, where the evocative statues of the priestesses still line the hallways, you’ll hear moving stories of their lives and sometimes premature deaths, which represent the contradictory role of women in Roman society. We will then cross the ancient stones of the Via Sacra, where the marks of the Roman carriage wheels are still visible, which leads to the Arch of Titus, another impressive triumphal arch. This arch was constructed to commemorate the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, and the explanations of your private guide will provide further illumination, bringing the dramatic history of Rome to life. Your Ancient Rome tour ends on the shady Palatine Hill, once the most desirable neighbourhood in Rome. When you see the spectacular views of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in its entirety, you’ll understand why.