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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Full-Day Vatican and Colosseum Tour with City Wonders

Rome is such an incredible city and is without doubt one of my favourite cities in the world. It is a city that had endless attractions to see and countless amazing opportunities to be had and so it is essential to plan your time in Rome well so that you can see and do as much as possible during your time there. We decided to book a tour with City Wonders that was a full day tour and visited the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. It was a very full on day but our passionate guides were fantastic and the Skip-The-Line access ensured it was the perfect way to make the most of our precious time in the Eternal City!



Our day began outside the Vatican Museums where we checked in with the City Wonders staff and met our friendly guide, Susanna. City Wonders are an excellent, reputable company as they use expert, local English speaking guides, have small groups of less than 25 people and everyone in the group receives and audio headset ensuring you can hear the guide at all times.

Our day tour included No-Wait Access to the Vatican where Susanna ushered us through the crowds and took us on a tailor-made itinerary through the Vatican Museums ensuring we saw the most important and famous artwork housed there. We toured the beautiful grounds, galleries, ancient sculptures, medieval maps, delicate tapestries and breathtaking paintings before finishing our tour in the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. We learnt so much from Susanna that we simply would not have been able to discover on our own and her passion and knowledge truly brought the ancient collection of artworks, sculptures and relics to life! It was the perfect way to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel which is something everyone should see in their lifetime.












From the Sistine Chapel we had Skip-The-Line access to St Peter's Basilica which is one of the largest churches in the world! Entrance to St Peter's Basilica is free but the lines were incredibly long and so we were very grateful for our speedy Skip-The-Line access! Susanna took us on a tour of the Basilica past incredible masterpieces including Michelangelo's Pieta, the magnificent altar and the enormous mosaic dome! St Peter's Basilica is without a doubt the most impressive and beautiful church I've seen in all my travels around the world.






After our tour of St Peter's Basilica we had about 2 hours and 45 minutes before we had to meet on the other side of the city for our Colosseum tour! We had a delicious Italian lunch and relaxed until it was time to meet near the Colosseum for the second part of our tour!

We checked in with the City Wonders staff and met our friendly, local guide Francesca who we found out was also an archaeologist in addition to a tour guide! I personally couldn't think of a better tour guide for Rome than an archaeologist! Again, we had Skip-The-Line access to the Colosseum which was fantastic as the lines were huge and Francesca then took our group of 20 on a guided tour of the Colosseum. She took us back in time to the ancient Roman Empire and described the gory, gruesome events, battles and politics which occurred there. The Colosseum is truly one of the great wonder's of the ancient world and is a must visit when you are in Rome! Francesca was very knowledgeable and her passion truly came across as she described the events which would have occurred here thousands of years ago and pointed out the incredible aspects of the magnificent building!






Our guide even pointed out a piece of 2,000 year old graffiti which Dan was very impressed by!



From the Colosseum we then strolled further back in time to Palatine Hill where legend has it Rome was founded by the wolf-raised Romulus! We were given a tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill where we explored the ancient ruins which were once the political and economic heart of the ancient empire! We were shocked to learn that after the fall of the Roman Empire and for centuries after many of these beautiful buildings were pulled apart and the materials recycled, and for a period of time cattle used to graze the grass of the old Roman Forum! Francesca, as an archaeologist was the perfect tour guide as she was very subjective and knowledgeable! We learnt a lot and visited many different parts of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and our tour finished up by the impressive Royal Palace where Augustus lived over 2,000 years ago!





Our day with City Wonders was fantastic! Both Susanna and Francesca were extremely friendly, knowledgeable, passionate and their English was fantastic and they truly went above and beyond to ensure everyone in our group both learnt a great deal and had a great time. It is a very long day running from 9-6pm with a lunch break in the middle and so we recommend wearing good, comfortable shoes as you'll be on your feet all day, eating a good breakfast beforehand and bringing lots of water and sun cream! Also ensure you wear appropriate, covering clothing or you will not be allowed in the Vatican and St Peter's Basilica as they are religious buildings.

If you've got limited time in the Eternal City and these sites are on your list then we highly recommend this tour with City Wonders, we were exhausted by the end but loved it! If you're interested in booking this tour head over to the Vatican & Colosseum Tour Page or if you're interested in checking out other tours then you can head straight to the City Wonders homepage!

The Aussie Flashpacker experienced our Vatican and Colosseum Tour as a guest of City Wonders.
Our opinions are as always, our own.

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