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Discover the highlights of Ancient Rome in this private tour designed specifically for visitors with limited time in the city. Explore the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
Bringing the past to life: a journey through 2,500 years of Roman history
Nothing compares to the experience of climbing the steps of the Colosseum, exploring the cobbled streets of the Roman Forum, or admiring the stunning views of Rome from the top of the Palatine Hill. For anyone interested in history or culture, a private walk through the archaeological sites of Ancient Rome is an unforgettable experience. Look up and you’ll see the towering columns of the Temple of Saturn; look down and you’ll see the marks of ancient carriage wheels still imprinted in the stone.
There’s so much to see and discover that it can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first trip to Rome, which is why the Ancient City is best experienced with a personal guide. A guided tour of the Colosseum allows you to understand this amazing monument in context, while a discussion with your guide as you walk through the Roman Forum will help you to make sense of this labyrinth of arches, columns and temples. As you explore the most important sites of the ancient city with your expert guide - usually an archaeologist - the pieces of the puzzle will come together, allowing you to see Rome through the eyes of the Romans.
Whilst we recommend our 5 hour Private Colosseum Tour for those keen to fully experience the rich history of these sites, this alternative private itinerary of 4 hours has been specially designed for visitors with limited time in Rome, and aims to showcase as much as possible in a reduced time-frame.
Explore the Colosseum and admire the Arch of Constantine
The Colosseum is one of the wonders of the world, an incredible feat of engineering that hosted some of the most cruel yet spectacular shows in the ancient world. To understand the complex history of this magnificent monument, and to hear stories about the incredible spectacles that took place here - bloody gladiatorial combat, wild animal hunts, and even naval battles - follow your guide through the tunnels of the Colosseum, and walk in the footsteps of gladiators and slaves. On a Colosseum tour you’ll discover that truth is stranger than fiction, as you learn about what went on behind the scenes. You’ll hear about the lives and deaths of the gladiators - many of whom became celebrities - and find out how the games were staged, using complex machinery and the labour of 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, offering us a fascinating insight into fourth century Rome, as the empire turned towards Christianity.
Discover the daily life of the Romans and learn about politics and religion in the Roman Forum
This great valley, 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.
Visit the palaces of the emperors and enjoy the views from the Palatine Hill
There’s no better place to get a real sense of the magnitude of the ancient city. 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.
The Palatine Hill plays an important part in the founding myth of Rome, as it was here that Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf. Roman aristocracy and emperors built their luxurious villas on the hill, and awe-inspiring palaces and gardens can still be visited today, such as the Flavian Palace and the Stadium of Domitian. You’ll also see the panoramic view of the Circus Maximus that the emperors once enjoyed from their palace, and see the ruins of the Hut of Romulus, which dates back to the 8th century BC.
Experience the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with a knowledgeable guide to understand the majestic ruins of the ancient Rome.