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There are certain experiences that stay with you forever. The discovery of Ancient Rome is one of these pinnacle moments. From the stunning array of temples and squares, columns and streets marked by the wheels from wagons of two thousand years ago, you feel as though you have been catapulted into a distant world, revealing the stories of heroes and emperors and the development of political institutions which are rooted even into today’s society. In addition to exploring extraordinary archaeological sites, our Roman Forum tour by night offers you so much more; heading down the ramp from today's street level of Via dei Fori Imperiali, you are lead straight into the Roman Forum. From here you find yourself at what was the valley level in the time of Emperor Augustus to experience the political, religious and economic heart of Ancient Rome in the magical atmosphere of a Roman night.
There are few places that offer such a strong combination of monumental power and beauty at the same time. On this tour, you will see that the night itself is a character, representing an apt sense of abandonment. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the valley suffered, returning to the hands of shepherds and their flocks – thus the name that followed Campo Vaccino (Cow Pasture), it is the same landscape painted by artist William Turner in 1839. From the Renaissance onwards, the ancient Roman Forum attracted many artists looking for classical buildings, before the excavations of the last century revealed its ancient splendor: what these artists saw was a field in which, between trees and bushes, huge ruins emerged, largely submerged, though striking in their beauty.
Immersed in the dark silence of the valley illuminated only by expertly placed tenuous LED’s, you will see the modern city pulsating around you, experiencing the indescribable emotion of finding yourself at the center of Rome’s history.
Free of the crowds, you will walk The Via Sacra, seeing for yourself the great value it had in that it linked the Senate, seat of the aristocracy, directly to the Commission, home of the people's representatives. It is among the great temples inhabited by the gods, where Ancient Rome entrusted its protection, and basilicas, within which the Romans carried out justice and carried out their business.
Here our guide will bring you to see how the agreement between the people and the Roman aristocracy was signed in the famous S.P.Q.R where there was a spatial consideration where the two sides met and discussed political issues. Then, in front of the remains of the temple at Divus Julius, you will discover what happened to the conspirators responsible for murdering Caesar, after they carried his body into the Great Square of the Roman Forum and the reaction of the public was far from what they expected.
Walking amongst the remains of the Julia Basilica, you will discover how passionately the Romans took part in the political processes and how the great speakers of the time emerged, such as Cicero. In front of the imposing columns of the Temple of Saturn we will immerse you in the traditions of pagan worship and rituality, highlighting the affinities and differences with those of Christian worship.
This tour is very special also because explores the church of Santa Maria Antiqua which is only open during these night-time visits. It was built within pre-existing structures dating back to the end of the 1st century. Right next to the ramp where the emperors reached the Roman Forum from their palaces on the Palatine Hill, the church boasts densely decorated walls and a charming collection of unique frescoes, dating back to the middle of the sixth century AD. The stunning frescoes reveal the lifestyle of Rome in those years and connect us directly with the aesthetics of the time. In 847 an earthquake caused the partial collapse of the church of Santa Maria Antiqua and its abandonment, preserving it for centuries from any kind of alteration, until archeologists rediscovered it.
Our night visit also includes the Temple of Vesta, symbol of the home, and the imposing Temple dedicated to Emperor Antoninus and his wife Faustina, within which a church was surprisingly placed a few centuries ago, creating a very unique and enigmatic site.
Once outside the Roman Forum you will admire the adjacent Caesar's Forum and the majestic temple ruins dedicated to Venus Genitrix. The temple reveals that Julius Caesar tried to yield his political motives by tying the figure of the goddess to his family and to the origins of Rome. Our expert will help you understand how Caesar reorganized the Roman Forum, restructuring the old Senate he promoted, the last fragments of Caesar’s policy that tried to weaken the Republic by elevating its role to that of a monarch, which only accentuated the political imperfections in the republican state. It was a historical moment characterized by great social and economic changes due to the immense extent of the conquests of Rome.
After a last unforgettable panoramic view of the whole Roman valley from near the Capitol Hill, you will reach the wonderful square of today in the design created by Michelangelo in the middle of the 1500s, where there is an accurate architectural remake of the pre-existing palaces and the addition of Palazzo Nuovo. This is where the ancient temple of Jupiter sits, one of the most revered gods of ancient Rome, and where today you can admire one of the most beautiful squares of the Italian Renaissance. It is a treasure chest of classical elements, harmony and intelligent details, put together by the genius, Michelangelo.
Our spectacular Rome tour by night ends at largo Torre Argentina, in the heart of Campo Marzio, a square where the excavations of the last century have brought to light no less than three ancient Roman temples buried for centuries under other buildings. The square highlights the few visible ruins of the Curia of Pompeii where the senators' assembly was held on the fateful day of the Ides of March 15, 44 BC when the Senate of the Roman Forum was undergoing renovation. Here our expert guide will take you back in time to Julius Caesar’s last day on earth. Thanks to the fascinating narratives handed down by ancient authors and witnesses, we know how J. Caesar's death occurred and indeed who the conspirators were, leaving their mark forever on the future of Rome.
Near the entrance to the Ancient Roman Forum. Full details, including a map and photo, will be provided on booking.
This is a walking tour by night through archaeological sites in Ancient Rome with uneven surfaces. Comfortable shoes are strongly recommended.
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!