Full Day – Vatican and Colosseum Tour
If you love art and history but don’t have much time to spend in Rome, then this is the tour for you. During this full day tour, you’ll explore two of the Eternal City’s most popular sights. In the morning we’ll step back in time at the iconic Colosseum, while in the afternoon we’ll walk among the richest artistic heritage on the planet in the Vatican Museums.
An everlasting icon
We’ll first start by heading to the Colosseum, the site of gladiatorial combat, animal hunts and a whole lot of bloodshed. Built between 70-80AD, the largest amphitheater ever built has changed appearance since the heyday of the Roman Empire – marble and other stone was removed and repurposed in other buildings around the city – but it’s no less compelling for it. While exploring the first and second tiers, your passionate guide will reveal more about the public spectacles that took place here. You might not be surprised to know that it wasn’t always a fair fight either – in a form of capital punishment known as damnatio ad bestias, condemned individuals were sent out on to the arena floor, naked and unarmed, to be killed by wild animals such as lions and tigers.
Italy’s cultural riches
The afternoon will be taken over by the holy Vatican City State. There are 20,000 works on display in the Vatican Museums and exploring the 54 galleries alone can be overwhelming. So why not let our guide show you exactly where the masterpieces are? Together, we’ll see the statue of Laocoön and His Sons, which was rediscovered on Rome’s Esquiline Hill in 1506. It depicts a scene from Virgil’s Aeneid in which Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus are attacked by sea serpents. In the same section of the museum stands the Apollo Belvedere, a portrayal of the ‘perfect male form’, according to the Romans.
As well as seeing sculpture, we’ll wander through both the Gallery of Tapestries and the 323-foot-long Gallery of Maps. Not forgetting the architecture of the buildings themselves, of course, we’ll see the Cortile della Pigna, or the Pinecone Courtyard, famous for the gigantic bronze pine cone that sits at one end of the square. Have your camera ready.
Touched by God
Next up, the renowned Sistine Chapel and the most famous ceiling the world. Michelangelo spent four years painting over 5,000 square feet of frescos on the ceiling, but the central panels, which depict the Book of Genesis, are the most famous. The almost touching fingertips of The Creation of Adam have been reproduced and replicated countless times and the image is now a true icon around the globe. After spending some time looking up, don’t forget to look around elsewhere in the chapel, particularly at Michelangelo’s other masterpiece, The Last Judgment on the altar wall.
Our final stop on this side of the river will be St. Peter’s Basilica. Designed by Bramanate, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the church is considered the finest example of Renaissance architecture in the world. Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s baldacchino are just two of the treasures to be found under its roof. Our guide will end the tour by the entrance to the Basilica for you to take your own space admiring all that this holy place has to offer.
During the first part of the tour, you’ll visit Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum.
During the second part of the tour, you’ll visit the Vatican Museums, followed by the Sistine Chapel and ending St. Peter’s Basilica.
20 minutes before the tour time
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