Rome Shore Excursion: Sightseeing Drive with Free Time at Vatican and Colosseum
- Sightseeing drive: See the highlights of the world's most historic city, including the Circus Maximus, Lungotevere, Basilica of St. John in Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, and more.
- The Colosseum: Ancient Rome's largest arena held chariot races, gladiator games, elephant hunts, even naval battles in front of a quarter million spectators.
- The Vatican: At the capital of Christianity you can explore St. Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church and a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, the Sistine Chapel, and thousands of classic works of art at the Vatican Museum.
About This Civitavecchia Tour
The gladiator games at the Colosseum weren't just a spectator sport. They were an experience. There might have been 30,000 or 40,000 others walking into any of the sprawling complex's 80 entrances. Take a look above the arches over the entryway to the various sections: Like today's events, people were assigned to numbered sections.
On sunny days, Roman sailors on the Colosseum's upper arcade operated the velarium, an elaborate system of sails tied to pulleys that provided shade. You can still see the holes that were designed by ancient engineers to support the poles and rigging.
The citizen taking his seat wasn't looking forward to an event of four 15-minute quarters. The gory spectacles of violence and death were an all-day affair. Opening acts in the morning were hunting games, pitting man versus beast. In the early afternoon, the executions would begin. Prisoners of war or criminals were sometimes thrown to the animals unarmed, to see how long they could last.
By late afternoon, it was time for the main event – gladiator duels. Like a commissioner scheduling the biggest games for primetime TV slots, coordinators of the gladiator contests pitted various classes of fighters against one another, carefully pairing opponents to ensure the best match. The maze-like ruins in the center were once an elaborate system of moving platforms used to deliver an animal or new fighter directly into the action, much to the crowd's delight.
As time went by, the scale of the carnage only increased. In A.D. 109, about 30 years after the Colosseum opened to the public, the emperor Trajan held a 117-day series of games that turned 9,000 gladiators and 10,000 animals into bloody, sand-covered corpses. The scope of these slaughters was so vast that scientists believe an entire species, the North African elephant, was wiped out because of their use in the games.
Toward the end of the empire, the vast cost of financing the games and the rise of Christianity led to their banishment. It's hard to imagine the scope of ancient Rome's demand for violence and bloodshed, but what you see today can give you some indication.
Naming rights to an ancient arena
It's natural to assume that the Colosseum got its name because it's just so ... colossal. Not so. It was originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre, after the dynasty of emperors under whose reign it opened. But by the early Middle Ages it was being referred to as the Colosseum because of the nearby Colossus of Nero, a massive statue of the brutal, extravagant emperor.
Please make your way to your cruise ship's Shuttle Bus Drop off point and look for the GoBe representative with the displayed logo sign.
In case of parking congestion at Parking Gianicolo (St. Peter's Square drop off point), an alterative stop at Palace of Justice (Navona Square) will be made. In case of any adverse local condition the order of the tour may be altered. The visit of In the event of Religious ceremonies held in St. Peter's Basilica is subject to religious ceremonies or crowds inside the Basilica, and it might be closed for security reasons at any given time without previous notice. , in this case an outside explanation and free time will be provided.
Plan to walk for about a mile. Wheelchair users must be able to transfer from their chair in/out of the vehicle and climb some steps. Bring a companion to offer any assistance. Folding wheelchairs only, please.
Cultural, Shopping, Full Day, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Travelers must be 12 years of age or older to participate in this tour.
Special Medical Restriction
Due to the physical nature of this tour, it is not recommended to pregnant women.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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