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Rome In A Day Tour with Vatican, Colosseum & Historic Center

1909 reviews

7 hours 30 mins

Max 15

Why take this tour?

Want to see the most popular sights in Rome but don't have much time to do it? This tour takes you on an epic journey through the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and the historic center of the city in just 7.5 hours. There is no more complete way to see Rome in a single day.

Get ready to walk... A lot. All of Rome in just one day.

It would take multiple lifetimes to see all that Rome has to offer but we have distilled our most-requested sights into a single day of sightseeing that will leave you dazzled by the artistic, historic and architectural wealth of the city. It may not cover everything, but it's a very good start.

You'll begin the day overlooking the Roman Forum learning the history of this once-bustling commercial center and the Empire that it controlled. Then you'll head over to Rome's most iconic symbol, the Colosseum. Skipping the long entrance lines, you'll spend a full hour inside, hearing the story of this immense arena and the gladiators that once fought here. Of course there was a lot more happenin...

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It would take multiple lifetimes to see all that Rome has to offer but we have distilled our most-requested sights into a single day of sightseeing that will leave you dazzled by the artistic, historic and architectural wealth of the city. It may not cover everything, but it's a very good start.

You'll begin the day overlooking the Roman Forum learning the history of this once-bustling commercial center and the Empire that it controlled. Then you'll head over to Rome's most iconic symbol, the Colosseum. Skipping the long entrance lines, you'll spend a full hour inside, hearing the story of this immense arena and the gladiators that once fought here. Of course there was a lot more happening here than movies would suggest. Your guide has the full story on the many uses of the Colosseum; from execution ground to dramatic stage.

From there you'll stroll into the historic city center to see some of Rome's most impressive public sights. Mingle with the street artists in the shadow of Bernini's fountain in Piazza Navona; gape at the giant oculus in the dome of the Pantheon; and, of course, throw a coin (or two) over your shoulder at the Trevi Fountain to ensure you'll make it back to Rome. You'll top off this part of the day in the sweetest way possible, with a cone of homemade gelato in a local gelateria.

After that, your guide will give you recommendations for lunch spots before reconvening at the Vatican. Here you'll save hours with Skip the Line tickets, diving directly into the Vatican Museums to discover some of the world's most important art. From treasured ancient artifacts like the Apollo Belvedere to immense Rennaissance frescoes, you'll soak up thousands of years of art. With your expert guide on hand you'll also hear the stories that bring these masterpieces, and the men who created them, to life.

The highlight of the Musuems is, of course, the Sistine Chapel with its incredible frescoes painted by Michelangelo. Before you visit this room your guide will teach you all about Michelangelo and give you a handout with details of the frescoes and what to look for. This way you'll have 15 - 20 minutes of peace to soak up what is possibly the world's greatest work of art.

From the Sistine Chapel you'll enjoy one last benefit of a guided tour: A special door into St. Peter's Basilica that allows you to skip the long entrance lines. They'll walk you through and give you an introduction to the huge church and its artworks (you can't miss Bernini's altar or Michelangelo's sculpture), then leave you to explore alone.

Encompassing all the most popular sights in Rome and covering thousands of years of history, this tour will give you an unprecedented scope and understanding of the Eternal City while showing you some of her most impressive attractions. You'll also save hours of time otherwise spent waiting in line or navigating a foreign city: So you're guaranteed to making the best of every moment you have in Rome.

  • Sites Visited
  • Colosseum
  • Vatican Museums
  • St. Peter's Basilica (independent visit)
  • Historic Center
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza Navona
  • Overlook of the Roman Forum
  • Tour Includes
  • Privileged express entrance to the Colosseum
  • Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Transport from the historic center to the Vatican
  • Free homemade gelato
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
You'll have plenty of time to get that perfect shot of the Colosseum.
A view from the inside the Roman Colosseum
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Latest Reviews

T is a great tour guide, he gave clear explanations, was friendly and his approach with the group kept our walk interesting and informative despite the heat.


FAQ

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.
What items can I NOT take into the Vatican Museums
Knives, scissors, and other cutting tools must also be deposited in the cloakroom as a precaution against harming the artwork inside. No hammers, either, as one was once used to smash Michelangelo's Pietá. This probably goes without saying, but firearms are also strictly prohibited for visitors within the Vatican Museums and you can't check them in the cloakroom.
I've heard the Vatican has a strict dress code. What should I wear?
It does, but it isn't anything too formal. The big rule is to make sure your shoulders and knees are covered - that applies to both men and women. Also remember that shorts of any length are not allowed at all in St. Peter's Basilica so if you are visiting both the Vatican Musuems and the Basilica, wear trousers or a long skirt. Occasionally visitors get away with wearing a bit less but it’s best not to risk it. Hats are also not allowed. Walks cannot be held responsible for guests who are refused entrance due to inappropriate dress so please remember to cover up.
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.
I'd like to climb to the top of the Dome of St. Peter's. Anything I should know?
The St. Peter's Dome climb requires separate tickets, but there are two ways to do it. If you you pay €7 you can take the elevator up part of the way then climb a further 320 steps. Alternately, you can pay €5 and climb the entire 551 steps. Either way the view from the top is worth it.
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.
Can I use a wheelchair on this tour?
Yes, but we require advance notice in order to accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. After booking, please contact us so that we can organize a private tour for you. If we cannot find a guide to lead you that day we'll offer you the same tour on the next avaialbe date or give you credit for another tour anywhere else in the world.
Is lunch included on this tour?
No. But your guide is always happy to offer you plenty of recommendations for great places to eat in the vicinity that will suit any price point.
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.
I am in a wheelchair/have a mobility impairment. Can I take this tour?
The Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair access, but they are not located on the group tour route. If you have a mobility impairment and/or use wheelchair please contact our customer service department and we will be happy to design a private tour for you. info@walksofitaly.com. We can then work out a suitable alternative.
IMPORTANT: Can I bring a bag into the Vatican Museums?
Yes, as long as it's within a certain size. You cannot bring any bag, backpack suitcase or container larger that 40cm x 35cm x 15cm into the Vatican Museums. In fact, size limits apply to all items; because of the sheer number of people that visit the Museums, space is at a premium. You can’t enter with medium to large umbrellas, any umbrellas with spiked tips, camera tripods, signage (apart from signs used by certified guides) or walking sticks – except those required by disabled visitors. All of these items can be left in the cloakroom, which is located at the entrance to the Museums. This means that you will need to walk 15 - 20 minutes back here after you finish your tour at St Peter's Basilica. On our afternoon tours you may need to leave the tour early to collect your bag before the cloakroom closes.
Why can't I take photos inside the Sistine Chapel?
When the chapel was restored in 1990 the biggest donors to the project (donating a whopping $4.2 million) were a Japanese television network. In return, they recieved exclusive rights to photograph and film inside and quickly banned any professional photographers from taking pictures. Although they didn't mind if tourists took photos, the Vatican guards decided to enforce the rule on everyone because it was impractical to differentiate between a normal visitor and who was a professional photographer. The Japanese network's exclusive contract has expired now but the rule persists. If you try to take any images in the Chapel Vatican, security is authorized to make you delete them.
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.