With this tour you will leave Italy and enter the smallest state in the world: the Vatican City State see of the Roman Catholic Church the Holy See. A unique emotional experience offered by the view of the Sistine chapel an absolute masterpiece painted by Michelangelo, part of the Vatican Museums which splendid rooms, halls and galleries are housing artworks from the Egyptians to the Renaissance until now days, including splendid collections of statues, tapestries, frescoes and paintings. See the Rooms of Raphael, a milestone in the art’s history. Saint Peter’s Church the longest church in the world and its world’s tallest dome, the marvelous Pieta of Michelangelo, the elliptical square of Bernini, the Tombs of the Popes, the funerary monuments and the rich decoration of marbles and mosaics.
Walk through the ancient area of the Roman Forum center of the old city including Saturn’s temple, the Senate House, the Titus Arch, the sacred way, the temple of Antonino and Faustina and the Arch of Septimius Severus. See the Imperial Forums with the Column of Trajan, Mars and Venus temples and the Trajan Markets. Discover the Colosseum site of gladiators fights and hunts, inaugurated 80 A.D. by Titus with a capacity of 50,000 spectators, an incredible example of the roman architecture. See the Capitoline hill religious center of Rome transformed into a splendid square designed by Michelangelo, the actual City Hall.
Descending from the Quirinal hill with its magnificent Quirinal palace you will reach the Trevi fountain superbly designed by Salvi 1735 still alimented by a 2020 years old aqueduct visited by million of tourist were you will throw a coin to ensure you to come back. See the Spanish steps beautiful and elegant, and the Barcaccia fountain by Bernini. The Mars field with the incredible Pantheon dedicated by Hadrian which visit will reveal you the secrets of the roman architecture. Finally Navona square once the stadium of Domitian dated first century A.D. with the famous four rivers fountain of Bernini committed by pope Innocent X.
Discover the basilica of Saint Mary Major built in the fifth century A.D. with its splendid decorations of mosaics from the byzantine school as well as those of the thirteenth century one of the most beautiful churches in Rome. Visit the church of Saint John in Lateran built by Constantine, the first church of the history and the Cathedral of Rome with an incredible main gate dated first century B.C. and the insides rearranged by Borromini in the seventeenth century. The Holy Steps, the staircase of Pontius Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem, brought to Rome per order of S.Helen mother of Constantine. Visit one of the catacombs of Rome, the location of the early Christian burial places, walk through tunnels, chapels, cubicula and admire frescoes graffiti and votive objects.
Located 18 miles south of Rome, this volcanic hills are covered by vineyards and olive trees. From the many craters once in this area two are now days beautiful lakes: Albano and Nemi. Since the middle age the Popes have decided to spend the summer in Castelgandolfo a little town on an hill facing the bigger lake and still today is here were the Holy Father passes two months in the summertime. Proceeding south on our tour we will pass Albano an important roman city which gives the name to the lake and Genzano famous for the Flower festival and the bread, Nemi, on the second and smaller lake place of naval ceremony under Caligula and Nero, Rocca di Papa as the name says, the Papal Rock, the tallest of the towns on the hills surrounded by chestnuts plantations and finally we will reach Frascati the more important for his history and culinary tradition where we’ll have lunch tasting the local food and wine.
Discover the fascinating underground of Rome with this tour starting with the visit of the church of San Clemente near the Colosseum where we will descend to the level of the city at the time of Nero and walk through an house transformed into a church and the imperial mint. After we will step up to the upper level to visit the church of the 9C built above the previous area of Nero’s time and finally visit the church of the 12C one level above. From here we will proceed to one of the seven hills of Rome the Caelian where we will visit the Roman Houses formed by few rooms with frescoes, an Oratory, a Nymphaeum as well as an alley and a Wine Cellar. The last visit will be the Mithraeum, a place sacred to the God Mithra an oriental cult very popular in Rome in the 3C, located in a subterranean area below the Circus Maximus. We will discover the rooms forming the sanctuary: the sacrifice room were the bulls were sacrificed to the God and his blood collected in a vase located in the center and surrounded all around by the banks for the believers, the sacristy for the dressing and the votive objects and the service rooms
Enjoy the panoramic drive through the center of Rome, see the majestic Colosseum, the superb Roman Forum, the fascinating Circus Maximus and Venice square with the Memorial of Victor Emanuel II first king of Italy also named the Wedding cake, Take a walk through narrow roman streets and discover the Trevi fountain were to throw a coin to ensure yourself to come back, the splendid Pantheon and Navona square with the famous Four Rivers fountain of Bernini.
Absolutely worth a visit the archeological area of Ostia, 15 miles from the center,dated fourth century B.C. and once the port of Rome. Review the history through the theaters, the temples, the public and private buildings. See the Thermopolium, were the romans had a sneak lunch and a drink; the Spa places for the baths in pools and steam baths, a real cult by the Romans. The forum, the Horrea deposits for the goods, the sanctuaries of the god Mithra, an oriental cult particularly venerated here, as well as the Square of the Corporations featuring the representation offices of the traders; the Forica the public toilets incredibly the place of meetings and conversations, as written by the Latin poet Giovenale.
Located 20 miles east from Rome, Tivoli was a powerful center in pre roman period as well as a preferred place for temples and villas in the republican and the imperial times. Hadrian’s villa of the second century A.D.with the Canopus monumental pool which evokes the Egyptian town of Canope‘s famous Serapis temple; the baths, the small and the great, the Maritime theater a central building surrounded by a water channel and a porch. The Villa D’Este designed by architect Pirro Ligorio in 1555 for the cardinal Ippolito D’Este with the residence house decorated by frescoes and stucco works and the unforgettable gardens, really worth a visit, decorated by over 500 fountains of all shapes and design.
Step in the area beside the Tiber river once occupied by the beast’s market and visit the church of Saint Mary in Cosmedin in which porch is housed the famous mask of the Mouth of Truth and discover the interior and the underside were is the crypt. Enjoy the view of Hercules and Portunus temples as well as the Janus Arch one of the entrances of the market. Enter the church of San Nicola in Carcere and walk through the subsoil to rich the Marcellus Theater erected to perform tragedies an comedies by Augustus; discover the Porch of Octavia in the Jewish area of Rome and finally step on the Fabritius bridge with his 2100 years the oldest in town and enjoy the Tiber island once shaped as a boat and dedicated to Aesculapius the God of medicine