Wander Where the Gladiators Roamed
Study Ancient Rome in Italy
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You’ll be greeted by your guides at the airport and taken via shuttle to your hotel. After freshening up, your Roman adventure begins right away with an evening stroll to the elegant Piazza Navona for dinner on an outdoor terrazza where you can discuss your upcoming adventures in full view of the gorgeous fountains. An after dinner stroll to the nearby Pantheon, the amazingly well-preserved 1900 year-old temple to all the Roman gods is well worth it, as the crowds are less dense at night.
After breakfast, put on your walking shoes, because we’re diving right in! You’ll head off to the iconic Colosseum, marveling at the architectural know-how of the ancient Romans. A thorough tour of the grounds includes lurid tales of ancient entertainment, gladiator-style. Afterwards, it’s time for a tour of the nearby Basilica of San Clemente. It was originally a Roman temple, on top of which was built a 4th-century basilica, and finally the 12th century church.
After a break for lunch, take a stroll through the park to the remains of the Emperor Nero’s grand villa, the Domus Aurea, or “Golden House.” The area is home to a number of other churches and ancient sites including the Palatine ruins and St. Peter-in-Chains Church, home to Michelango’s Moses, well worth wandering through before returning to the hotel for a well-deserved rest!
It’s no exaggeration to suggest that the Trevi Fountain is probably the most famous fountain in the world. It’s been featured in countless movies, and legend has it that if a visitor tosses a coin into it over his or her shoulder, a return trip to Rome is guaranteed. After tossing in your coins and taking in the incredible detail work on the fountain, you’ll walk up to the base of the Spanish Steps, home to the Fontana della Barcaccia, or Fountain of the Longboat, a 17th century creation commemorating a flooding of the Tiber River.
After lunch, you’ll walk up the 174 Spanish Steps to the imposing church Trinita dei Monti. You can relax in the sun for a bit and enjoy the spectacular view, then you’ll head over to the nearby Villa Medici, a 16th century cardinal’s villa with gorgeous landscaped gardens and art exhibitions.
Just a short ride outside of Rome along the Via Appia, known as “The Queen of Roads” lie the ruins of the first Roman colony, Ostia Antica. Whereas most of the villas and palaces inside the city hearken back to the lives of the wealthy and powerful, this former seaport will help you envision the lives of ordinary fishermen and merchants of this important shipping port.
Following lunch, on the return trip to the city you’ll stop off at the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, ancient tunnels that house the remains of the martyr Saint Sebastian. The church built above is also a must-see, before returning to the city for dinner and a catch-up conversation on all the ancient wonders you’ve absorbed in such a short time!
Today you’ll jump forward in time a thousand years or so and head first to the Vatican Museums, home to more than 20,000 pieces of art and a breathtaking array of the later history of Rome as told through the eyes of the Catholic Church. It’s also home to the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s and some of the world’s most famous artwork. This group of museums can take the better part of the day to fully appreciate, but afterward head over to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest in the Christian world. After taking some time to explore this magnificent building, spend the rest of the day wandering Vatican City before heading back to the hotel.
Today we head back in time to the ancient world, starting off at the glorious Venice Square or Piazza Venezia. From here it’s a short walk to the Teatro di Marcello, a theater predating the Colosseum that was built by Julius Caesar, amazingly still hosting concerts to this day. From here you’ll walk along the Tiber to reach two of ancient Rome’s most famous sites, the Temple of Hercules and the Mouth of Truth, a carving of a man’s face with an open mouth that legend says will take the hand of a liar who dares to touch it.
After lunch relax among the ruins of the Circus Maximus, a former arena that once could house some 250,000 spectators for grand chariot races. Finally, head up to Palatine Hill, an incredible site housing Caligula’s palace and a plethora of other awe-inspiring ruins. Be sure to pass through the Forum, the birthplace of Rome on your way back to the hotel!
As you prepare to say “Arrivederci, Roma,” start the day with a cappuccino at a nearby cafe and discuss what you’ve learned about the ancient world and how those lessons still resonate today. Luckily your coin toss in the Trevi Fountain guarantees your return to Rome!
This ancient city has fascinated poets, politicians, writers and romantics for centuries, with its reminders of the past glory of the Roman Empire. Tour the Colosseum where gladiators fought, walk through the Forum, where Rome was born, and visit the Pantheon, a temple to all the Roman gods that was completed in 126 AD. But Rome’s history didn’t stop with the ancients – it’s also home to tremendous churches of the Renaissance, as well as a myriad of museums and breathtaking collections of art.
Journey back in time and marvel at the creation of the ancients, medieval churches, and the art of the Renaissance!
Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!
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