Palatine Hill Virtual Tour: Walk in the Footsteps of Emperors

Trace the rise of an empire and discover the splendours of Imperial Rome on our virtual Palatine hill tour

Palatine Hill Virtual Tour: Walk in the Footsteps of Emperors

duration 1,5 hours

Tour Overview

Take a virtual stroll over Rome’s Palatine Hill and piece together the fascinating jigsaw of the ancient city with expert guide Gracelyn. The Palatine Hill is where the long history of Roman civilization began, and where the powerful emperors of the Imperial age ruled over one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. Unravel the legend of Romulus and Remus, and take a walk through the splendid palaces of Rome’s all-powerful emperors, who lived pampered lives of extraordinary luxury. Learn about the insane excesses of Nero and Domitian on this leafy enclave far from the dust and chaos of the metropolis below, and discover why an address up here in antiquity meant you’d really made it. With the aid of high quality photos and virtual reconstructions, our immersive online webinar provides an enthralling window into the splendours of the ancient world - join Gracelyn live from Rome today!

If the day of the week or start time of this group tour doesn't work for you, please email us at to arrange a suitable alternative date.

Tour includes:

  • Recreate the splendours of the Palatine Hill
  • Live broadcast from Rome with expert guide Gracelyn
  • Videos, photos and interactive content make the Palatine Hill come alive
  • Have your questions answered by Gracelyn in a live Q and A session


  • Learn the fascinating story of ancient Rome
  • Discover the opulent palaces of the emperors
  • Explore the beautiful houses of Augustus and Livia
  • Learn about the excesses of Nero and Domitian
  • Find out what happened to the Palatine Hill after the fall of the empire

Tour Description

Meet your Guide: Gracelyn

Hi I’m Gracelyn! A native New Yorker with qualifications in Speech Communications Studies, classical theater, voice and drama, I’ve been living and working in Rome since 2006. After 13(!) trips to Rome over the years during which I couldn’t get enough of the city’s history, beauty, art and architecture, I decided to follow my heart, quitting my job in New York and pitching up in the Eternal City with 3 suitcases. I began my life in Rome by volunteering with the Pantheon choir and at Rome’s famous cat sanctuary (the site of Julius Caesar’s assassination!), where I gave tours showcasing the sanctuary’s mission. A licensed tour guide of Rome, I was introduced to Through Eternity in 2007 and have been happily collaborating and guiding with them ever since.

What Exactly is a Through Eternity Virtual Tour?  

The world of travel might be on hold right now, but just because we're all staying at home to help the world overcome a common enemy doesn't mean we have to put our wanderlust on the back burner. Frustrated with not being able to get our travel fix, we decided to transform our award-winning tours into immersive virtual experiences, meaning you can still explore Italy’s spectacular archaeological sites and jaw-dropping museums from the comfort of your own home. 

* Please note that the booking times are in US Eastern Standard Time and Rome, Italy CET is 6 hours ahead *

Fun and informative, our virtual tours take the form of online real-time presentations led by our expert guides. Combining videos, high-definition photos and more, our guides will be sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with you on these interactive walkthroughs of Italy’s most fascinating sites. The live format of our virtual tours means you’ll be able to ask your guide anything you wish, just like on a normal tour. We really believe it's the next best thing to being here!

As a sign of our gratitude to those who are on the front line fighting the Coronavirus, we would be more than happy to invite all first responders, health workers and NHS workers to join our Virtual Tours for free. Please message our office staff directly!

Please note that the proceeds from our online tours go directly to our guides, providing them with a valuable lifeline in these tough times for the world of travel. Thank you for your support! 

Explore the palaces of the emperors on our virtual Palatine Hill tour.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to live like an emperor? You'll find out on our virtual tour of Palatine Hill. A leafy enclave far from the dust and chaos of the metropolis below, the Palatine enjoyed an enviable position in the ancient city. Overlooking the Forum and Colosseum on one side and with a spectacular view of the Circus Maximus on the other, this was the Beverly Hills of the ancient world - a post-code up here meant that you’d really made it.

Once home to the villas of well-heeled Roman aristocrats during the Republican era, it was here that the emperors of Imperial Rome constructed their mega-palaces (complete with private box from which they could watch the chariot games in the Circus far below). The Palatine hill is in fact where we get our word palace from, and the excessive splendours of these massive structures make it easy to see why. It was also central to the cultural imagination of Ancient Romans, the space where the Roman world was conjured into being in 753BC.

Disover the legend of Romulus and Remus and the founding of Rome

On our virtual exploration of the Palatine hill you'll find out how, according to ancient myth, the history of Rome begin right here with a dark tale of fratricide. The story goes that an evil king ordered his infant nephews drowned, but the servant tasked with the job couldn’t bring himself to carry out the heinous deed. Instead he placed the young Romulus and Remus in a reed basket and floated it downstream, leaving their fate to the gods. Buffeted back to shore, a she-wolf happened across them and suckled them as her own cubs in her cave on the Palatine hill.

Rescued finally by the shepherd Faustulus, the humble man and his wife raised the boys, who determined to found their own city on the banks of the Tiber. But whom did the gods favour to be its founder, and father of a dynasty? Romulus would be the victor, but he had to kill his brother to found the city. Discover the full story with Gracelyn!

Chart the dramatic rise of the Roman empire with Gracelyn

With the dawning of the Imperial age and the rise of Rome's first emperor Augustus, the Palatine Hill would become the preserve of emperors. Augustus himself had a fairly modest house here which still stands to this day complete with fabulous frescoes. Thanks to reconstructions, we'll get to admire the full splendour of Augustus' residence in vivid colour.

But the modest scale of Augustus’ relatively humble house is a startling contrast to the gargantuan pleasure-palaces his successors would build on the same site, financed by the spoils of war and the plunder of Jerusalem in 70AD. Nero, Tiberius and Septimius Severus all made their mark here, but the majority of the ruins still standing on the Palatine today are largely testament to the boundless ego of one man: Domitian. Take a virtual stroll through his incredible palace, ‘awesome and vast’ to the eyes of the Emperor’s contemporaries, thanks to high-resolution photos, reconstructions, and Gracelyn's immersive stortyelling! 

Find out what happened to the Palatine Hill after the fall of the empire

On your virtual tour with Gracelyn, you'll also find out what happened to the Palatine hill after the fall of the Roman empire. Discover how when the Renaissance rolled around and the richest families of the resurgent city were looking for ways to exalt their status, some of them decided to build their own palaces right on top of the by now antique ruins. That's what the Farnese did, layong out opulent gardens, the 'horti farnesiani,' all along the ancient slopes. Discover the full story on our virtual tour!

Tour Reviews

4.9 (17 reviews)

A very engaging presentation and tour with Gracelyn as our enthusiastic guide - she brought different time periods to life and had beautiful pictures of the sights to see on Palatine Hill!

Anne-Marie - Mar 08, 2021

This is our first ever online experience. Our host Gracelyn was so knowledgeable and engaging. We can’t wait to do the next one. Thank you so much, Tony and Judy

Judy - Feb 07, 2021

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