Get up early to meet your knowledgeable guide at the Vatican Museums. After all, you’re getting a peek at the Sistine Chapel that day before anyone else does. Take some time to enjoy the frescos that Michelangelo masterfully painted. Note the different styles — from Renaissance to Mannerism — in the ceiling frescos and The Last Judgement fresco on the back wall. Spend a full hour taking in the masterpiece paintings.
From here, explore the art-loaded halls of the Vatican Museums, gawking at the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps, enjoying the priceless art collection that centuries of popes amassed.
Then visit amazing St. Peter’s Basilica, its dome designed by Michelangelo. And don’t miss the artist’s other masterpiece: his sculpture La Pietà just inside the door. After riding in a taxi through the city’s historical center, indulge in the Pantheon, arguably the best preserved structure from ancient Roman times. Stroll through the narrow lanes to the Trevi Fountain, the dramatic fountain that is famed for visitors throwing a coin in it.
Break for lunch (at own expense) and then travel to the Colosseum. Aside from seeing such a wonder up close, one great aspect of the tour is that you get to skip the long line and stroll right in. Descend to the underground level, open only to a small number of people daily and be sure to check out the dungeons where gladiators would prepare for their fights against exotic beasts.
On the arena floor, listen to your guide recount the details about the gruesome battles that would take place here. Finally, ascend to the upper tier of the structure to get a great view of the entire Colosseum.
After, walk up to nearby Palatine Hill, once home to ancient Rome’s elite (and where the word ‘palace’ comes from) to gawk at more ruins before the tour ends.
Please note: A minimum of two people per booking is required.