MORNING TOUR - If Stones Could Talk
The Coliseum, The Roman Forums, The Campidoglio, Teatro Marcello, Piazza Mattei, Pantheon
Year Round 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
(Time and Starting Point may vary according to season. All times are local)
The Coliseum is one of the world’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Although it survives only as a ruin, it still rates as one of the finest examples of Roman architecture and engineering. It is called the Coliseum (Colosseo) after the colossus of Nero erected nearby. The 40 m bronze & gold gilded statue disappeared long ago, but the name remains until today.
The Fora Imperiale, or Imperial Forums, consist of a series of monumental fora (public squares), constructed between 46 BC and 113 AD. While not part of the Roman Forum nearby, these fora were also important centers of politics, economics and religion of the Roman Empire. Mussolini revamped the Imperial Fora to evoke and emulate the past glories of Roman and Italian history.
The Campidoglio is a remarkable square and an urban masterpiece designed by Michelangelo. At the center of the square, and not to Michelangelo's liking, stands the only equestrian bronze to have survived since Antiquity, that of Marcus Aurelius. The sculpture was held in high regard because it was though to depict Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Emperor.
The Foro Romano, or Roman Forum, was the focal point of the city for early Romans. It was the center for commercial, political, and civil activities and contained markets, prisons, statues, entertainment areas, temples and monuments built by various emperors. Perhaps more than any other Roman ruin, the Forum gives us a glimpse into both the architectural and political power of Rome.
Teatro Marcello was the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. Caesar wanted to build a theater to rival the one built by Pompey, whom he had just defeated and killed in the struggle for the control of Rome. Part of the site that he chose had been used at least since 179 BC for dramatic productions in front of a temple of Apollo. It seated about 12,000 spectators which was twenty percent more than would fit into Pompey's theater.
Fontana delle Tartarughe or Tortoise Fountain was built by Taddeo Landini and Giacomo della Porta, and located in Piazza Mattei. It is one of the most unique and less-known fountains in all of Rome. Recently restored to its original state, this is one of those "off the beaten path" places that make Rome so interesting.
The Pantheon was begun in 27 BC by the Marcus Agrippa. It was completely rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian between AD 118 and 128. The dome was the largest built until modern times, measuring about 43 m in diameter, and rising to a height of 22 m above its base. It was dedicated in AD 609 as the Church of the Santa Maria Rotunda, which it remains today. The tomb of Raphael is inside.
Starting point of morning tour. We will begin our tour in front of the Metro station across the street from the Coliseum. Your guide will meet you just under the tree in front of the green news kiosk. To see the exact meeting point, click on the map below:
If you have a digital camera, please be sure to bring extra memory cards and batteries. If you don't have extra batteries, bring your charger; you can stop along the way for a cappuccino and plug it in if necessary.
Have a great time in the Eternal City!