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Rome Full-Day Highlights Tour with the Vatican, Colosseum and Skip-the-Line Tickets

Discover Rome in one day
From US$1,062 privately
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Tour Details
8 hours
Product Type
Photos & Highlights
  • Perfect for brief visits or business trips to the city, get the opportunity to immerse yourself in the pinnacles of Italian culture
  • Led by a local expert or historian
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Tour Description
Together, the Vatican and Colosseum form two high points of Italian culture: the former, a dazzling ode to Renaissance opulence, and possibly the world’s greatest collection of the era’s art; the latter, a monolithic tribute to the engineering acumen and cultural excess that characterized the height of the Roman Empire. While they sit across town from one another, combined they form the two necessary destinations for anyone who seeks to understand the magnificence of Rome. On our full-day Vatican and Colosseum Tour, we take an in-depth look at each of these sites. Beginning our day at the Colosseum, we’ll survey this most emblematic icon of the Roman Empire before hopping on the Metro, grabbing a quick lunch, and marveling at the Vatican’s stunning collection of art ranging from famous frescoes to ancient artifacts. This is a great tour for anyone spending a brief period in Rome who wishes to take in its most important sites in a day.

Please note:
  • Colosseum tickets are amongst the most difficult to secure in Rome due to the way the venue releases tickets for tour operators to purchase. In the event that we cannot secure tickets for your tour date, our team will be in touch with alternative options.
  • This venue may require headsets on certain tours. We may add a headset fee to your order if it is required for your group. 

Full-Day Vatican and Colosseum Tour

Meeting outside the Colosseum and armed with skip-the-line reserved entry tickets, we’ll make our way into the Colosseum, where we’ll receive a primer on the history of the structure—including its decay through the Middle Ages and eventual restoration—as well as the astonishing strides in architectural engineering the Roman Empire made in order to realize one of its greatest feats. Proceeding into the arena area, we’ll learn about the varying spectacles that took place inside, from naval battles to the exploits of gladiators. Our guide, using an array of supplemental materials and evocative imagery, will help the long-dormant structure come alive, placing us mentally within the heights of the Roman Empire.

Onto the Vatican

From here, we’ll hop on the metro to the Vatican, near which we’ll grab a quick bite to eat before proceeding onward into the Museums. Once again, we’ll take advantage of skip-the-line tickets to jumpstart our visit, getting a primer on papal history and the construction of the premises. After brushing up on the necessary background to understand what lays ahead of us, we’ll dive in, receiving a highly curated, compelling look at the sprawling collections, getting an art historian’s take on everything from the ancient statuary collection of Pope Julius II to his private apartments decorated by Raphael. All of this, of course, will serve as lead-up to the grand finale, the Sistine Chapel. While we aren’t allowed to talk once we’re inside, our guide will have primed us to fully appreciate the masterpiece, pointing out details often lost on visitors and giving us a thorough introduction to Michelangelo’s creative process so we may marvel completely at the pinnacle of Renaissance art.

Take Aways

Concluding our tour in the late afternoon, we will be able to reflect upon some of the most revered accomplishments of Rome—from Renaissance art that continues to astound and inspire today, to the incredible advancements made by the ancient Romans. We’ll part with the guide feeling awed, filled with knowledge...and perhaps ready for aperitivo.


Note: People with disabilities may be entitled to free entry to the Vatican Museums. Please contact us to find out if you qualify.

Note: Please note that it is possible to visit the Vatican Museums in a wheelchair. If you use a wheelchair, please contact us to discuss alternate options.

Please Note: While your guide will do their best to show you the highlights of the Vatican Museums, there may be closures that are beyond our control: works of art can be on loan elsewhere or entire galleries may be closed due to private Papal or Vatican functions. Should this be the case, your guide will take you to one of the many other areas of the Museums.


Will I need to bring identification to enter the Colosseum?
Yes, original identification is required to be presented upon entry to the Colosseum for all visitors including children. These should be original documents, copies will not be accepted.   

How crowded are the Vatican sites?
Please be aware that during the summer travel period, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica can be subject to extremely high levels of visitor traffic. It’s important to anticipate slower movement, limited visibility, and potential restrictions on accessing certain areas due to the density of crowds. Our experienced guides are adept at navigating through these challenging conditions and will strive to optimize your tour experience.

What are skip-the-line tickets?
For this tour, your tickets are pre-purchased which allows you to skip the ticket office line upon arrival at the venue. You may still have to wait in a security line or in a line to have your pre-purchased ticket scanned.   

Do people with disabilities pay to enter the Vatican Museums?
Please consult the Vatican Museums website for further information and please contact us to discuss if you qualify. Vatican Museums Accessibility Information

Do you reserve headsets for this tour? 
Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll be happy to get them reserved for you.
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36 Reviews (4.89)

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Cecilia’s expert knowledge provided a fantastic experience, bringing to life Ancient Rome and the glorious treasures of the Vatican.
Alessandra couldn’t have been more amazing in every way. She was incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating with our group. I would highly recommend her and would request her next time.
context tours are always the way to go to make sure you see what you want with minimum hassle