Why you'll love this tour
Conquer the best of the Eternal City in just one morning with a Roman insider to lead the way
Do you feel like there’s so much to see, but just not enough time?? It’s true, Rome is fully loaded with magnificent wonders to check off the bucket list – but we have a solution for those who need to pack only the best into a small time frame! While the Vatican and Colosseum could easily take a day each to explore, our unique itinerary gives you the chance to cover the highlights of both in just one morning! You won’t find anything else like it – that’s because, at What a Life Tours, we love going above and beyond for our guests!
Leave your maps behind and let us lead the way. Your group will be guided by one of our top-notch official guides, who will enlighten you with intriguing facts and interesting anecdotes as you make your way to the masterpieces. With a group of 7 guests or fewer, you’ll have plenty of time to interact with your chaperone about art, history, and even general tips about Rome, while admiring incredible works of art and architecture. With skip-the-line access and private transfer from the Vatican to the Colosseum, you’ll truly get to enjoy your trip, 100% stress-free!
Get straight to the point in the Vatican, making a beeline for the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica
Skip the fluff and head straight to the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo’s 16th century masterpiece. Considered today to be the most impressive work of western art ever made, it's truly incredible that the ceiling frescoes remain so vibrant over 500 years later. Discover the story of Michelangelo and his approach to the chapel ceiling. Hear stories of how he was forced against his will to take on the job and discuss his painting techniques. Admire the artist’s lesser-famous but also-breathtaking “Last Judgment” fresco on the Western altar wall and hear about the controversy that it sparked upon its completion in 1541.
A Vatican visit simply would not be complete without a walk through St Peter’s Basilica. The diamond in the skyline of Rome towers to 137m at the peak of its dome, designed in part by Michelangelo. The grandiose display of marble and mosaic scattered with golden accents and angelic sculptures is sure to wow you. Get an up close look at Bernini’s bronze Baldachin and find out which other famous monument was used as a source for the bronze. Gaze upon Michelangelo’s incredible sculpture “La Pietà”, one of the most iconic images in Catholicism, and get the inside scoop about why the artist broke into the church and carved his name across Mary’s sash.
Travel back in time as you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans through the Colosseum and Roman Forum
The very heart of Rome welcomes you to walk through her vast array of ruins, scattered between the majestic remains of ancient temples and basilicas. The Roman Forum is the area that Ancient Romans considered to be the “city center” in which the senate, the treasury, the vestal virgins and even the emperors were based. Festivals were celebrated here and politicians, such as Julius Caesar, would stand on the rostra and speak to the masses. Stand in the shadow of the grand Basilica of Maxentius and at the footsteps of the Temple of Antonio and Faustina. Discover the symbolism of the Temple of Saturn and decipher the carvings on the Arch of Titus and Arch of Constantine.
The climax for most Rome tourists comes when they feast their eyes on the Colosseum: the 1st century Ancient Roman arena. With three levels of arched entrances it reaches 48 meters in height, making it the largest amphitheater in the world, even though only one third of the whole remains. Discover its origins as you walk through the colossal travertine hallways and look out onto the arena floor where exotic animal hunts, war battle reenactments, and gladiatorial combats took place. See the very place where the Emperors sat when they would turn and allow the 50,000 spectators to decide a man’s fate. The Colosseum, at the time known as the Flavian amphitheater, was used for 400 years before it fell to neglect. Now, nearly 2,000 years later, it is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World – and you will see why!
What you'll experience
An architect by the name of Giovanni dei Dolci built the Sistine Chapel in 1473-1481 by commission of Pope Sixtus IV (hence its name). But everyone knows that the real star of the Sistine is the Florentine master Michelangelo Buonarroti, whose ceiling frescoes are thought to be the finest example of manmade art. From 1508 to 1512 the artist was commissioned by Pope Julius II to deck the ceiling with scenes from Genesis and other religious characters. Many years later, in 1536, he was called upon by Pope Paul III to fresco the altar wall with the theme of The Last Judgment, which he finished within 5 years. The frescoes on the lower side walls can be attributed to artists like Perugino, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Signorelli, and others.