"The time passed quickly as we walked through the sites. Having Ettore as our guide felt like we had with us a very engaging, knowledgeable and animated Italian friend; the tour felt less like a lecture and more like having a conversation with a long-winded and funny mate. From time to time, as he told us of the history and significance of the sites, he would throw in bits and pieces concerning information gleaned from geology, recent findings, present-day politics, and movies. The three hours flew by and we said good-bye to our guide with great satisfaction and contentment that we had made a right decision to not only take a guided tour of the Colosseum and Forum but that we had chosen well with Presto tours. Highly recommended!" AMN K Seattle, Washington
Welcome to Ancient Rome! Imagine a time and place when renderings of revered gladiators are posted in local advertisements to draw the public to the city's local stadium to see "the fight." The public is intrigued by new and exotic animals shipped in from all over the Roman Empire--from places as far away as Africa--and in line to be set loose in the arena stage of what used to be known as "The Flavian Ampitheater."
It is a time when the locals conversed in Latin, dressed in linen cloths, and bathed in the city's public Caracalla outdoor baths. One of the strongest empires in history was in its hey day. The Vestal Virgins kept the undwindling fire, and society revolved around mostly Pagan practices. This is Ancient Rome. And they are the Populus Romanus--the people of Rome. Amazingly, this ancient city, and capital of the once undeniably powerful Roman Empire, is still visible in its material form. At least some of it. Long ago, the empire succumbed to other forces be them politically-motivated invasions and looting, or environmental factors such as earthquakes and fires. However, the Colosseum itself, a symbol of the empire, still stands-- for the most part-- in its original form.
We explore politicians of this era, Cicero, Julius Caeser, Nero, Constantine and more. We marvel at the revolutionary architecture and vivacious culture of this time period as we retrace the footsteps of once-locals strolling down the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) and stepping into the once-bustling hub of city, the Roman Forum. Surrounded by temples and arches from approximately 2000 years ago, we ponder ancient rituals and traditions surrounding daily life, gladiatorial games, Roman food, family structure, and the Senate. We'll learn about the beginnings of the city, Rome's geographica layout and its seven hills, and walk up to the Palatine Hill which was much like Ancient Rome's Beverly Hills. We'll take a peek at the area where an underground grotto believed to have been worshipped by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus was unearthed just a few years ago in 2007.
Optional Underground Add-On As a new treat, the underground level of the Colosseum and the Upper Tier are visitable with a tour guide appointed by the Colosseum itself. These areas have just opened recently to the public and we will have the thrilling opportunity to get even more up close and personal to the energies that this seemingly eternal stadium holds within its walls. If you would like to add this option, please make a note of your available times (the more time slots you are available during your trip, the better the chance there will be availability.
Semi-Private Tour Insider Notes By limiting each of our semi-private tours to 10 guests, our guests are able to pose questions with ease and our guides are able respond with care to each individual guest. Not only do our small groups provide an excellent learning platform for travelers, but they also become a meeting ground where guests form friendships with like-minded, intellectually curious, and culturally conscious travelers.
Colosseum Underground Insider Notes While a Presto Guide leads the 3 hour tour of the Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, and Colosseum main levels, the 1.5 hour tour of Colosseum Underground and Upper Tier is separate and led by a tour guide provided by the Colosseum itself. Please note that this tour is not led by a Presto Guide. The Underground and Upper Tier portion of the tour led by a Colosseum guide will have a maximum group size of 25 guests.
Private Tour Insider Notes We welcome you to reserve your tour for your preferred start time. We recommend an early morning start especially in the summer when the sun gets very hot in the afternoon.