5. Colosseum & The Prison of St. Peter
Begin your tour with one of the most fascinating yet little known sites of ancient Rome, just a few steps from the Roman Forum. Present your PDF ticket at the entrance and enjoy a visit with a multimedia video guide to the 7th-century BC Mamertine Prison. According to early Christian tradition, this is where Emperor Nero ordered the incarceration of Saints Peter and Paul prior to their executions. View the altar that commemorates the imprisonment of the two saints as well as the remains of the ancient cistern where St. Peter reputedly baptized his fellow captives. After a short break, meet your guide just steps from the Colosseum, where you’ll want to take some pictures of the spectacular view before we descend to the entrance. Enjoy fast-track entry to the Rome icon built in 72 AD to seat up to 50,000 spectators. Once inside, your guide will paint an accurate picture of the gladiator games that took place in the Roman empire’s most impressive arena, helping you to decipher between fact, fiction, and the images portrayed by big-screen Hollywood blockbusters. After walking around the perimeter of the Colosseum, gaze down onto the arena floor and beneath to the maze-like underground level where man and beast awaited their moment of glory or met their fateful death. Follow your guide outside the arena and travel even further back in time as you enter the Roman Forum, the true heart of ancient Rome with monuments dating as far back as the 7th century BC. Learn of the legendary founding of Rome on the Palatine Hill and how a she-wolf rescued and nursed the young twins Romulus (the first king of Rome) and Remus after they washed up on the banks of the Tiber River. Hear how these famous twins would pave the way for future tyrants, emperors, and even Caesars who declared themselves gods throughout the rise and fall of the Roman empire.