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NEW! Colosseum & Hard Hat Tour of Nero’s Golden Palace

40 reviews

3 hrs 45 mins

Max 24

Why Take This Tour?

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 ha...

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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.

  • Sites Visited
  • Domus Aurea (aka Nero’s Golden Palace)
  • Colosseum (guided)
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill
  • Tour Includes
  • Special access Domus Aurea tour
  • Skip the Line Colosseum tickets
  • Skip the Line Roman Forum tickets
  • Skip the Line Palatine Hill tickets
  • Guided Colosseum tour
  • Expert archaeologist guide
  • Groups of max 24 people
The frescoes in the Domus Aurea could cover 30 Sistine Chapels
Nero's dining room
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Latest Reviews

Fantastic tour and guide! Loved Nero’s Golden Palace and the 3D experience underground was a huge cherry on top! Guide was very informative and kind.

Guide was excellent.


FAQ

Is there anything I should bring/wear on my tour?
Because there is a lot of walking on this tour, we highly recommend that you wear comfortable walking shoes. There is very little shade at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in particular, so we would recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen in summer and a rain-jacket or umbrella in winter. As there are water fountains with (delicious) drinking water dotted throughout the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, we would highly recommend bringing a bottle that you can refill.
Does the Colosseum ever close without warning?
Unfortunately, Yes. The Colosseum is subject to unforeseen closures due to weather conditions and worker strikes, as well as last minute changes in reservations, all of which are out of Walks of Italy (or any other tour operator's) control. If for any reason we cannot run the tour as described, we will contact you immediately, offering the best alternatives. Depending on the situation this might result in a modification of the itinerary or a change in the tour start time. Our aim is to offer you the highest level of service and in the rare occasion in which circumstances outside of our control mean that you cannot participate in a variation of this tour we will offer you a full refund.
Do we always see the sights in the same order that you have listed in the description?
No. Sometimes the order of our visits change due to logistical issues or your guide make a snap decision to avoid crowds in order to increase the quality of your visit.
Is there wheelchair access in the Colosseum?
Wheelchair access in the Colosseum is limited at best and non-existent when its crowded. The specific route of this tour does not accomodate wheelchairs (as we have to go up and down stairs). If you use a wheelchair or have impaired mobility and would like to see the Colosseum, please contact our customer service department for private tour options at info@walksofitaly.com.
Are selfie sticks allowed in the Colosseum?
Yes, but please be careful when using them - during the summer months they can be more dangerous than gladiators' weapons.
Does the order of the itinerary on this tour ever change?
Occasionally the sights on this tour are visited in a different order. This happens due to logistical changes and snap decisions made by our guides to avoid crowds and thus improve your visit.
Why do we have to wear hard hats when we visit Nero's Golden Palace?
Nero's Golden Palace is an active archeological site, meaning it's still being excavated - though usually not when we are visiting. The hard hats are simply a precaution that is taken on all active archeological sites.
What if the weather is bad (rain, snow, hail, etc.) on the day of my tour?
Our tours run rain or shine so please dress for the elements. We also ask you to please remember hats and sunscreen if you are taking this tour in the summer as it might be very hot.
Does Skip the Line Access mean no waiting?
During busy periods (May - October) there is sometimes a short wait to get inside the Colosseum. This is because the Colosseum has changed its admission policy to ensure that only 3,000 people are allowed within the amphitheater at any given time, meaning much less crowding during busy periods. Although our tickets are pre-booked with Skip the Line access, this may mean a slight delay on entering if capacity has already been reached. It's rare that we have to wait for more than a few minutes but if we do, it's unavoidable.
Do I need to bring a photo identification with me?
Yes! This is especially important if you have purchased a student ticket because some sights will check when we arrive.
Does the Colosseum ever close unexpectedly?
Yes, but only in very rare circumstances. Occasionally the administration closes the building but in this case we are usually informed a day or two before and we can then alert our customers. Bad weather is usually not a reason to close the Colosseum but thunder storms will cause it to close for a few hours if there is a lot of lightning.