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Rome: A Historical Tour

14th Jan 2014
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 1/9 by Robert Coghlan
Arch of Septimius Severus in Roman Forum
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 2/9 by Robert Coghlan
In the realm of the dead: Catacombs
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 3/9 by Robert Coghlan
Magnificient architecture: Colosseum
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 4/9 by Robert Coghlan
Largest amphitheater in the world: Colosseum
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 5/9 by Robert Coghlan
Piazza Venezia
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 6/9 by Robert Coghlan
Ruins of the Roman Forum
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 7/9 by Robert Coghlan
St. Peter's Square
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 8/9 by Robert Coghlan
World famous Trevi fountain
Photo of Rome: A Historical Tour 9/9 by Robert Coghlan
Inside the Vatican Palace

In spite of stepping into the “Eternal city” in the 21st century, you’ll feel as if you have been transferred to an ancient world of Raphael, Bernini and Michelangelo. The modern city of Rome impeccably blends with the art from the empire long-lost in time. The entire Renaissance that you have heard and mugged up in history exams comes alive before your eyes.  Whichever road you choose, whichever turn you skip, you won’t miss the classic touch that this wide canvas is repeatedly stroked with. Rome is simply unique. Its unmatched beauty clubbed with the intriguing history makes it for one of the finest cities in the world.

Rome is the capital city of Italy. Rome’s history can be traced back to 753 BC and is the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. It is also the largest city in Italy and when you visit, you would want to leave some part of it undiscovered so you can return to this historical wonder. A trip to Rome will ensure that you are not left with any unoccupied slots in your itinerary. And yet somehow you would desire more of it. You want to embrace every detail, every fact, every story that this city proffers. You would want to believe you are inside a gigantic painting resting next to a glorious sculpture. The scenery quickly moves from majestic architecture to small churches to massive basilicas again. Rome will never cease to surprise you. The city has many archaeological sites that preserve the relics of the ancient Roman empires.

Renaissance has made Rome what it stands for today. The philosophers, painters, artists and sculptors whose works have been well-preserved and showcased till date will ensure that you revisit this city to explore it more. There is a reason why millions of tourists come here each year. And it’s for the same reason I would ask you to visit these magical places that must have seen in every brochure and postcards. But it won’t be Rome if you don’t see them. In these 3 days you will cover the ancient Rome, underground history and the Vatican City with a private tour guide.

The price of Euro 1325 is for a group between 1-5 people

Price Includes:

  • Priority skip of the Vatican ticket line
  • Licensed private Vatican tour guide
  • Private Vatican City tour
  • Private extended Vatican Museums tour
  • Private Sistine Chapel tour
  • Private Vatacombs tour
  • Private St. Peter's Basilica tour
  • Priority skip the line Colosseum tickets
  • Licensed private Rome tour guide
  • Private Colosseum inside tour
  • Private Roman Forum tour
  • Private ancient Rome tour
  • Private Rome city center tour
  • Entrance admission tickets to catacombs
  • Licensed private Rome tour guide
  • Christian catacombs guide
  • Catacombs of St. Callixtus
  • Ancient Mithraeum
  • Basilica of San Clemente
  • Capuchin Crypt

Price Excludes:

  • Short taxi rides

Dress Code:

Inside the Vatican City, for both ladies and men, knees and shoulders must be covered. For men, no shorts of any kind are allowed. No exceptions are made.

I decided to start my journey in the Old Rome and undoubtedly my first stop was the Colosseum (aka Flavian Amphitheatre) which is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture. But honestly, this concrete and stone largest amphitheatre on this planet is one the best architectures this world has seen. Colosseum’s construction began in the 70 AD, but ended not before 80 AD. It housed a lot of dramas on classical mythology and re-enactments of famous battles with 50,000 to 80,000 spectators capable of being present here. This partially ruined marvel still has the capability of casting its spell on you, especially on a full moon night. Make sure you are in this area again at night. It is not without reason that it is listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site. The surviving part of the outer wall is comprised of three stories of superimposed arcades. The Capitoline side of Piazza Venezia offers a scenic view. Piazza Venezia is the site of the Victor Emmanuelle II monument and Mussolini's Palazzo. From here, you can move to The Imperial forums, which are not part of Roman Forum but are located close to each other. These forums were the centers of politics, religion and economy in the ancient Roman Empire. The ruins of this place still have so much finery. One of the famous Seven Hills of Rome is the Oppian Hill. A quick stroll around the Trajan's Baths, which is an enormous bathing and leisure complex, built in ancient Rome starting from 104 AD is recommended. The large “Golden House” villa built by Emperor Nero is in the heart of ancient Rome. It still lies under the ruins of Trajan’s Baths. You can also get a glimpse of the triumphal arch of Constantine and the 30 m bronze statue of Emperor Nero better known as “Colossus of Nero”. Via Sacra that is “Sacred Road” leads up to this place and further to Capitoline Hill.
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Italy by Robert Coghlan
Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, stands a structure of great historical importance called the Forum. Originally a marketplace, this site was then used for elections, criminal trials and gladiatorial matches. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located here and hence proved to be an excellent excavation ground. Many temples and shrines were based here. The Senate and the Republic government began on the same grounds. You can see the ruins of Basilica Julia which was built by Julius Caesar some 130 years ago. Within Roman Forum, three out of the forty triumphal arches are still holding on to their roots. These are Arch of Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus, and the foundations of the arches of Augustus. The survival of these arches has inspired many Roman rulers to erect their own arches. The first recorded Roman triumphal arches were set up at the time of the Roman Republic. One must see these arches for their intricate carvings and sculpted aids. You can discover the Etruscan monarchy, law and order in Republican Rome. Just 40 m away is Palatine Hill, where according to Roman mythology, was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. It is also the center most of the Seven Hills of Rome. In its time, the Hill was also the site of the festival of the Lupercalia.
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Italy by Robert Coghlan
The last part of the day would be best suited to roam in Centro Storico. The so-called historical center is quite small and constitutes only around 4% of the city area. In the closing years of the Roman Republic, an open-aired theatre was built. Named after Emperor Augustus's nephew Marcus Marcellus, it is called the Theatre of Marcellus. This ancient edifice was one of the most important theatres in its times. You can ask your guide to give details about the formation of the Gate of Ottavia. One of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings is the Pantheon, which was built 1800 years ago. The name Pantheon refers to the building's original function as a temple for all the gods. The forty-three meter high dome is the remarkable feature of this structure. You can then walk to Piazza Navona to cover the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. Trevi fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Baroque is the most artistic period of Rome, which was embellished with sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music around 1600. Taking Carlo Maderno's lead, Da Cortona, Bernini and Borromini created outstanding, major works of art. Try to cover as many of these great architectural world as you can. Most of it includes churches as during the Baroque period the Roman Catholic Church took artistic control in almost every respect. Besides churches there are numerous palaces, piazzas, and fountains that you can see. Make sure you have a guide and have some material with you with information on the many artists and their display of art here.
Photo of Centro Storico, Piazza Sforza Cesarini, Rome, Italy by Robert Coghlan
The Vatican City is the most important place if you please to see the most valued art from the Renaissance period. The Vatican Museums exhibit enormous compilation built up by Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries. Most prominent sculptures and masterpieces from the Renaissance period are collected here. One walk and you will cover small mausoleums, finely sculpted coffin, statues, moldings, mosaics and amusing frescoes. Pope Pius VII hired the Raffaele Stern to build what is now called the Braccio Nuovo Wing (New Wing) of the Chiaramonti Museum. The Sistine Chapel is a large and well-known chapel of the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. The true attraction of this place arises from the priceless work of art by Michelangelo. His frescoes adorn the interior and the chapel’s ceiling, along with The Last Judgment. Central to the ceiling decoration is the very famous The Creation of Adam with a total of nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. Among all I would highly recommend that you don’t miss St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City. It was built so that a large number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace. Pio-Clementine Museum, Pinacoteca and Papal sarcophagi beneath St. Peter's Church are all part of the crucial points of this trip. Please note that the Entire Vatican City segment cannot be taken on Sundays.
Photo of Vatican City by Robert Coghlan
A major portion of ancient Rome lies in deep slumber about 9 and 15 meters underground. With less scope of excavation in the deeper sections we have to rely on the catacombs, scavi, and crypts on religious sites to decipher the life in classical times. The famous Catacombs of Rome are the ancient burial places which are made of underground passages. The original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot. But around the 2nd century AD, burial of unbound was being practiced. Christians also preferred burials. Wall graves were dug and were usually laid out vertically as it could contain one or more bodies. Another way was to have burial rooms containing graves all for one family. It gives you a chill when you descend into the realm of those dead and still dwelling here. Capuchin Crypt behind Piazza Barberini is where you can see the bones of thousand Capuchin monks. You’ll find skeletal remains of 3,700 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their order. There are six total rooms in the crypt. These would be the spooky highlights of your tour. The interesting history of the Basilica of Saint Clement makes it a key point to visit. Travel Trip- The Catacombs of St. Callixtus are closed on Wednesdays.
Photo of Underground, Rome, Italy by Robert Coghlan