As you follow the various stages of entertainment, you will come to understand the processions and the salutes, the battles between beasts and gladiators with secret trap doors, the fight to the death amidst cheering audiences. To help you understand this period of time and the loyalty it commanded, your excellent guide will explain about the manner of combat, the weapons, and the background of the men who came from remote locations to test their strength. Gladiators' daily training took place in the barracks of the Colosseum, which is also where the gladiators lived, and you can see the small arena where they honed their skills in daily practice.
Moving up to the Third Tier, you'll have a view that can only be appreciated from this elevation. All of the arcades and marbles are in front of you in a dramatic form. It took 10 years to complete the Colosseum, which was built on the site of Nero's Golden House. From this spot, you will have scenes before you that you would not expect as Rome sits at your feet.
You will learn about daily life and politics as you begin your tour of the rooms and the beautiful garden of the House of the Vestal Virgins. So much of the past is there for you to see and will help you set the stage as you hear the history that has taken place where you are standing. Included are the basilicas of Julia and Maxentius, where seats of the courthouses bring you into the spaces where the great public trials were held in the time of Cicero and Caesar. Meet the Roman gods as you visit the temples of Saturn, Castor and Pollux, Antoninus and Faustina, and listen to how the Christian church was built into a pagan temple. Stories and tales and the spirit of mythology surround you as you pass through these areas.
Next, you'll make your way to the luxurious villas of the emperors on Palatine Hill, a special stop that most do not include. This wonderfully preserved part of the old city once hosted the exclusive residences of Roman aristocracy until appropriated by the emperors for their own villas. From here you can view the Forum, the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, and the entire city to make sense of how all of these parts worked as a whole. You'll also tour the origins of Rome near the Huts of Romulus from 8th century BC.
Explore the excesses of the Imperial residences with their glory and power funneled into their gigantic colonnades. The House of Augustus, the Flavian Palace, the Severian Baths, and the great Stadium are included; original furnishings and statues are still there, created from precious stones and marbles, a symbol of the extravagance of the rulers of this time.
Some of the sites you will not expect to see are the Cryptoportico, or long underground tunnel, of Nero; the luxury villas of the emperors on Palatine Hill; Severian Baths; wonderful views of the Circus Maximus, the Stadium of Domitian, the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the original mosaic floors of Imperial Rome in the Curia Julia. Who knew these things still existed until now?
The depth of this experience will enhance your entire stay in Rome and explain so much about the development of all of Europe.
Departures: 11:30 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - The Colosseum Underground and Third Tier are reserved exclusively for this operator and you may be joined by other small or private groups, but no more than 13 visitors for this portion only.
- The Underground Colosseum visit is approximately one hour.
- Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. This is a walking tour through archaeological sites of ancient Rome, which has steps and uneven surfaces.
- This tour has a meeting point that is near the start of the tour; the address will be on your voucher.