• By: Heather Johnson

    8/6/2015

  • A behind-the-scenes visit to the Roman Colosseum highlights our glorious day in the Eternal City.

     

    Savoring six amazing days of olive, cheese and wine tastings, hilltop picnics, and stunning vineyard-peppered vistas, guests on our Southern Tuscany to Rome Walking Tour receive one spectacular grand finale: a day in the Eternal City.

    After all, how can a walking tour that blends some of Italy’s best food, wine and art not conclude at a cosmopolitan mecca known for its influential art and historic architecture—including one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING ROME & TUSCANY VACATION.

    Originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Roman Colosseum was commissioned around AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian as a gift to the Roman people. Rome’s previous ruler, emperor Nero, built an expansive palace in the city’s center after a fire destroyed some 70 percent of Rome in AD 64. As karma would have it, when Vespasian gained control, he returned the land to the people and built the Colosseum on the site of Nero’s palace.

    Vespasian’s son, Titus, dedicated the Colosseum in AD 80 with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats, wild-animal fights and naval reenactments. The massive stone and concrete structure, which originally accommodated at least 50,000 people, took only 10 years to build—pretty amazing for nearly 2,000 years ago.

    Colosseum
     

    Now, only a third of the impressive structure remains, but it continues to captivate locals and visitors alike, especially in the afternoon sun and after the tour busses depart, when our guests get to see it.

    Staring at the Colosseum’s 80 arches, it’s easy to see why nearly 5 million visitors a year visit the world’s largest amphitheater. Not that you’ll ever feel rushed while visiting The Colosseum in the company of our expert guide.

    After a light breakfast, one of our local friends takes us through the bustling city, past ancient monuments, cultural hot spots and fashion meccas. In the heart of Piazza del Colosseo, we pause to marvel at the beloved Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, built in AD 315. We imagine sitting in one of the marble seats while Russell Crowe lookalikes wage battle below.

    Our guide soon reminds us that Rome is a vibrant, expansive city, and we don’t have time to waste. The guide gives us an insider’s take on the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient Rome’s political, social and commercial life; and Palantine Hill, where Romulus is said to have founded Rome in the eighth Century BC.

    Roman Forum
     

    A leisurely walk takes us to piazza di Spagna, one of the city’s prime gathering spaces and home to the city’s famous Spanish steps. Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Armani, all located nearby, tempt our urge to splurge with their haute couture.

    Luckily, before we have time to max out our credit cards, our local expert introduces us to hidden piazzas and other spots privy only to natives before dropping us off at the city hotel, where our week-long journey ends.

    As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Rome wasn’t toured in a day, either. For guests who would like to spend more time in this romantic, historic city, Classic Journeys can help you extend your stay.

     

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