3 hrs 45 mins
Explore ancient Rome's most dazzling and decadent palace. Built by the notorious Emperor Nero, the Golden Palace is so opulent that it was considered a colossal embarrassment and buried for hundreds of years. Archaeologists are still unearthing parts of it today, so you'll have to wear a hard hat during your tour. Combined with the Colosseum, this is the ultimate experience for history buffs.
Take a hard hat & explore Nero's Golden Palace
Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea, the so-called 'Golden Palace', once covered much of the area that now surrounds the Colosseum. After Nero's death it was buried by his successors in an effort to erase all memory of him. Luckily for us, it was rediscovered in the Renaissance by intrepid artists plumbing the past for clues on art and architecture. Centuries passed before archaeologists started to tackle the site however, and only recently tourists have been permitted to slap on a hard hat and explore.
This tour takes you in the footsteps of artist like Raphael and Michelangelo who once studied the palace's frescoes and architecture by abseiling inside. Today it's a safer walk through miles of hallways and cavernous rooms and the frescoes are even more jaw-dropping following decades of careful work by archaeologists and art restorers.
As you explore this active archaeological site, your guide will tell you the story of the rise and fall of Nero. You'll learn how he planned this as the quintessential party palace, with hundreds of rooms but no sleeping quarters and a fantastical rotating dining room, where rose petals and perfume would rain down on guests. Your guide will point out historic and architectural details, while augmented reality displays will help you envision what this immense mansion looked like in its heyday.
Then you'll head above ground to see the world-famous Roman Colosseum and take a full, Skip the Line tour of the amphitheater. As you explore the interior, your guide will tell you the history of the immense arena, regailing you with stories of the vicious blood sports that thrilled thousands of spectators some 2,000 years ago.
After your Colosseum tour, your guide will escort you to the Roman Forum to ensure you skip the long entrance lines, then give you a 45-minute introduction to one of the most remarkable and awe-inspiring collections of ruins in the world. After showing you the most important and interesting sights, they'll give you some further info on what to see and do, then leave you to explore this site and the Palatine Hill on your own.
The tour was one of my favorite parts of my visit to Rome.
Guide was entertaining and knowledgeable!
We take care to assign our guides to the perfect tour for their particular skill set; so you’ll always have the perfect companion for your experience. Here are a few of the guides that regularly lead this tour.
Luigi's spent much of his life working as a geologist could never shake the feeling that he shared a lot of things with archeologists. In 2010 he became a guide has never looked back.
Gold tours have VIP access or a unique luxury itinerary.
The Caesar's Palace tour takes you behind locked doors at the Palatine Hill to explore a 1st century palace, plus the Colosseum & Roman Forum.
Our most affordable tours compromise on group size (up to 25), not quality.
The most affordable special access Colosseum tour. Includes guided Colosseum tour with arena floor access, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.
Silver tours have small groups & skip the line access, guaranteed.
A complete exploration of the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill with skip the line access & small groups. This Colosseum tour is our most popular.