This four-hour tour takes us into the ancient Roman Forum and the archaeological core of the city, focusing on three key monuments: the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum. Led by an archaeologist or classical historian, this is the most in-depth of our Colosseum tours and uses the ruins of the ancient city as a backdrop for discussing the rise of the Roman empire and the role of archaeology in history. The tour also features skip-the-line tickets so that we can enter the ruins quickly.
If you are traveling with children under the age of 12 we highly recommend that you book our family-oriented Ancient Rome Discovery
. This concentrates mainly on the Colosseum, but please reach out to us should you wish to add the Roman Forum OR the Palatine Hill, there is usually not time for all 3 monuments on the family tour.
Interested in viewing other historic sites in Rome? See our Caesar and Empire Tour
or our Underground Rome Tour
- Roman Forum
- Palatine Hill
- 4 hours with a PhD or MA level Guide
- Skip-the-line tickets
Depending on our guide’s approach, we might start at either the Palatine Hill or the Colosseum. On Palatine Hill, we will explore the first stages of the city and the legend of its founding in 753 B.C. by Romulus. We may also stop in the Palatine Museum to learn about Roman sculpture, or visit other ruins, including remnants of the aqueduct of Claudius. Following this, we’ll head down the Via Sacra (the main street of ancient Rome) and past the major sites that crowded the city center, including the Curia (senate house) and the temples, triumphal arches, and basilicas around the Forum Square. We’ll either end or start our tour at the Colosseum, where we will discuss Roman public spectacle and decadence. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is a marvel of ancient engineering and construction. We'll explore the role the Colosseum played in the social life of ancient Rome and discuss how this monolith was built. At the end of our Roma Antica tour, we will have a deeper knowledge of ancient Rome: its emperors, its history, and its feats of engineering.
We highly recommend either an early start, or in the summer season, a late afternoon tour when the morning crowds have thinned out. Due to increased security measures and a strictly enforced maximum capacity at the Colosseum, the queues mid-morning can be very long, even with skip-the-line tickets.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a small group tour?
Our small group tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our small group tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
Does this tour require tickets?
Yes. We will purchase the tickets ahead of time. Adult tickets are pre-purchased for this walk regardless of participant age.
If children under 18 qualify for free tickets, why am I required to purchase a ticket for my child?
While children may enter for free, they are required to stand in the general entrance line if they do so. In order to save time and expedite the walk, we purchase skip-the-line tickets so they may enter as quickly as possible. This avoids the long queue to verify children's ages. When booking privately, however, if you would like to take advantage of the free ticket option for under 18s please note this as you place your order and be prepared to wait in line.
Is the Pantheon included on your Roma Antica walk?
No. Given the geographic location of the Pantheon, we cannot include it in our Roma Antica walk. It is, however, included in our Caesar and Empire Tour
. You may add the Pantheon to your Roma Antica walk when booking a private tour only. Please make a note of this in your special requests and you will be contacted by a member of staff regarding timing and cost.
I have purchased the Roma Pass, can I use it on my Context walks?
No. Roma Pass holders have to wait in the long line for the non-reserved public entrance to the Colosseum. In order to save time and expedite the walk, we purchase skip-the-line tickets so you may enter as quickly as possible.
Does this include underground or third tier of the Colosseum?
No. Because the underground and third tier area is so fragile and not well protected, the Colosseum severely limits the number of people allowed in the site. We do not include it in either our Colosseum and Imperial Rome or Roma Antica walks.
Can I bring a backpack on the tour?
Small backpacks and purses are allowed in the Colosseum and Roman Forum area, however, all bags must go through security screening upon entrance. Please note that large backpacks, luggage, and large, bulky bags are not permitted within the venues.