|A Blast into Rome’s Glorious Past
Our “Imperial Rome” tour is blast into the city’s ancient past, when it ruled the world in style and grandeur.
We will show you why Rome was the great imperial seat from which the most of the known world was governed and civilized. We will illustrate why Rome did things, she did so only in epic proportions.
Our Tour: Our 4-hour tour gets underway at the Forum, Imperial Rome’s vibrant social center, marketplace and central location for worship and government offices.
Architecturally speaking, the Roman Forum has no equal in the modern world. It was the bustling downtown location where cosmopolitan ancient citizens gathered to swap merchandise and stories, consult with government and religious officials, or simply basked and played in the eternally pleasant Roman climate.
Incorporated into the Forum was the world’s first multi-level shopping mall –Trajan’s Markets – designed in the 1st Century A.D. Inside were more than 400 shops, showcasing Rome’s international import industry. Here citizens bartered goods from all ends of the earth!
Just outside themarketplace is the world’s largest marble column –Trajan’s Column – adorned in reliefs portraying the emperor’s historic victories in extending the Empire into Eastern Europe, similar to Marcus Aurerlius’s marble engraved pillar in Piazza della Colonna.
The Forum was also conveniently near to the Emperor’s palace on the Palatine Hill as well ornamental arches through which victorious Roman armies proudly paraded (e.g. Constantine and Trajan’s Arches) and the city’s public entertainment center, the Colosseum –our next stop.
|When visiting the world’s oldest still-standing stadium close your eyes and listen to our guide recount stories of its blood-drenched floor and grandstands rocked by the mad shouts of the plebian masses – turning their thumbs down to signal death to gladiators and Christians. See the citizens fight wildly among themselves for free loaves tossed into the crowd. Imagine the engineering miracle of the first retractable dome, as a troupe of Roman naval officers lower a giant awning over roasting hot summer seats.
Before leaving this ancient hub, your guide will lead you along a brief tour of the surrounding monuments and converted pagan temples that still dominate the Forum, like the church of Sts. Cosimus and Damian containing Bernini sculptures, the Marmentine Prison, whose iron bars held some of Rome’s most ruthless captives and ferocious war criminals.
Then you are in poll position for a lap around the ancient race-track of Circus Maximus, while passing by the Baths of Caracalla along the backside of Palatine Hill.
Last Stop: the Cathedral of Pagan Rome
Our tour concludes at Piazza della Rotunda –where we will lead you to visit imperial Rome’s “cathedral” of pagan temples –the Pantheon, its name borrowed from the Greek meaning “for all the gods”.
Today the Pantheon is amazingly in perfect condition, while now a fully functional Christian church and tomb to Italy’s last modern kings! Its dome was the Rome’s largest until the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in the 17th century.