Discover the legends of Rome and the Vatican on a comprehensive Rome Full Day Tour, in groups of only 13 or less. Walk in the footsteps of popes, poets, artists, Roman emperors and citizens, seeing Renaissance and Baroque buildings, as you experience the Eternal City in a single day!
Rome Full Day Tour
Our Rome in a Day tour begins at the Colosseum. We take advantage of the early morning shade provided by the Colosseum, as there will be none later on in the day, so this is the best time to visit!
We also start early so that we are among the first to enter the Colosseum. This saves you a lot of time, as you will see when you exit the tour, as we only have to go through a quick security check and we are in. We have your tickets pre-booked, so no ticket lines for us! When you exit the Colosseum, you will see the hundreds of people standing in line, and you will be glad of the early start!
In the Colosseum, your guide will take you to the upper tier, from where you can look down at the arena where gladiators and animals fought to the death for the entertainment of bloodthirsty Romans citizens and their megalomaniacal emperors! Your guide will tell you fascinating stories about these events, and dispel some popular mistruths along the way!
From there we take you to the centre of Roman life in Ancient times – the Roman Forum! Here politics, business, state funerals and military parades all took centre stage, and today you can still see the wall on which famous orators such as Cicero and Marc Antony made their greatest speeches to the Roman public. Friends, Romans, Countrymen – lend me your ears!
After explaining the ruins of the temples, triumphal arches and other monuments that are still visible today in the Roman Forum, your guide will take you outside for a coffee and toilet break, before embarking on the next stage of your tour.
Next stop is the Victor Emmanuel Monument, an enormous museum/monument built to commemorate and honour the birth of the new Italian kingdom, which was united in 1870, and later to honour soldiers who died for Italy during World War II. See the everlasting flame which is guarded 24/7 by soldiers, next to the tomb of the unknown soldier.
We then take you back in time once again, to the scene of the murder of Julius Caesar – the recently excavated Area Sacra (Sacred Area). This is a fascinating sight that many tourists pass by without noticing – an excavated area in the centre of a bustling city piazza, surrounded by traffic, with cars and motorcyclists buzzing past 2000 year old Roman temples!
Everything that symbolises how Rome past and present live side by side today is captured perfectly by Area Sacra, plus your next two stops on our Rome in a Day tour …
Piazza Navona and the Pantheon
Piazza Navona, as you will see and your guide will explain, was once a stadium built for public entertainment in Ancient times, and still today retains its original elongated shape. Among the residential buildings and modern restaurants and coffee shops, it also hosts a Baroque-era churches and three fountains, all designed by two of the greatest architects from the 1600s – Bernini and Borromini. Discover some of the truths and mistruths of Dan Brown’s novel Angels and Demons while in this square!
The Pantheon is another wonderful example of how the Romans liked to recycle ancient buildings, to ensure no structure would be left to waste and ruin! Originally a pagan temple, built 1900 years ago, it survived in its original state throughout several earthquakes and fires in Rome during the Middle Ages, and today is a venerated Catholic Church. This mystical building hides some architectural marvels which your guide will explain to you.
Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps
Bringing you to a more “recently” constructed iconic Roman structure – no Rome full day tour is complete without a visit to the Trevi Fountain! You have seen this beautiful and romantic fountain in so many movies – now throw a coin in to ensure you will return to see the Eternal City again!
From here we will take you to the Spanish Steps (but we will not climb them, don’t worry!). This area – Piazza di Spagna – was associated with the Spanish contingent in Rome during Medieval times, and is home to a Bernini fountain and a Baroque church in addition to the Spanish Steps.
We take you on the metro from the Spanish Steps to the Vatican area, where we will break for lunch.
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
At the Vatican, we will take you on a highlights tour of the Vatican Museums, picking out some of the most interesting artefacts, galleries and artwork that have great stories behind them!
Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti! Your tour guide will give you an explanation of the amazing history of this chapel, how it is used today, and of course explain exactly what Michelangelo painted during his arduous 9 years spent in the chapel. You will enjoy 20 minutes to relax and look around the chapel while inside, before exiting to
St Peter’s Basilica
The final stop of your Rome Full Day Tour is the Basilica of St Peter – the greatest architectural masterpiece in Rome, which took over a century to complete! Your guide will tell you the story of the nine master architects who each carried the project forward until their deaths, and how that genius Michelangelo – again! – would be the one to finally complete the design for the most challenging aspect of the ambitious design, the great dome which is one of the most iconic images of Rome today.
Inside St Peter’s you will visit a selection of the many ornate monuments, statues and mosaics (no paintings in the Basilica – find out why!), and stand in front of the sacred altar of St Peter, from where the Pope says mass on very special occasions.
This is a long day, but we carefully plan our coffee and lunch breaks, and we ensure that there is no uphill walking in the city – only a few staircases in the Vatican Museums.
This Rome Full Day Tour is one of the most popular day trips in Rome, so don’t delay … book today!