When we started planning our itinerary for Rome, I honestly had no idea where to start. There are so many things to see and do in Rome and you will never be able to fit it all in during just one weekend trip. I researched for hours and created itinerary after itinerary only to find more things I wanted to do and see. When it came down to it, I had to realize that I could not fit it all in, but I could try to fit as much as possible in (and you can see that we did fit a lot in if you look at my Rome Travel Guide).
This post is sponsored by Walks of Italy, but as always, all opinions are my own!
So, I did more research (do you notice a trend, haha?) and I found Walks of Italy! They are known for their exclusive ‘skip the line tours’ and excellent customer service, which is right up my alley. I figured I would give them a shot, so I booked three tours and I did not regret it one bit. 🙂
When we got to Rome, I was immediately SO thankful that we booked the tours and had skip the line access. Y’all, if you haven’t been to Rome before, let me tell you something — IT IS CROWDED. We did go during their busy season, so keep that in mind, but people come from all over the world to see the Colosseum, so no matter what time of year you go in, it will never be empty.
We met our tour guide under a tree pretty close to our start of the tour and was given a headset to wear. Initially, I wondered why we were wearing headsets since Walks of Italy is known for their small group tours, but I am so glad we had these because like I said, it is so busy, which creates a lot of noise. I don’t think I would have been able to hear our guide without these headsets, even though we were one of 10 or so people, at most in our group.
Walking into The Colosseum was life changing. I’ve seen so many movies, shows, pictures, and videos of the famed Colosseum, but it is so different and so much bigger when you see it in person!
Our guide was from Italy, so she was very knowledgable. Before we even had the chance to ask, she had already answered our questions for us. We heard the history behind The Colosseum, the history of the surrounding area, facts about Rome, and so much more! It was just amazing to be standing in The Colosseum while listening to the history of it for the first time in my life.
After we left The Colosseum, we made our way to Palantine Hill and The Roman Forum. When we got to the ‘VIP’ section of Augustus Caesar’s home, called Casa di Augusto, it was just so mind blowing. This place is 100 years OLDER than the Colosseum. The frescos as you can see in the pictures were so bright and gorgeous, which I did not expect. Casa di Livia is the house he built for his wife, the Empress. After seeing Casa di Augusto, I thought that I couldn’t be more impressed, but once we entered Casa di Livia, once again, my mind was blown. It was huge! The frescos were unlike anything else I have seen in my life – it was just jaw dropping. I honestly still cannot believe what we saw and how it has been so well maintained for over 2,000 years… It truly is a must-see for anyone going to Rome. On top of being a must-see, it gave us a break from the hot Rome sun, which was so nice!
After seeing Casa di Livia and Casa di Augusto, we made our way to the Roman Forum, which according to the Walks of Italy website is “undoubtedly one of the most historically important areas in the Western World.” We heard stories of the past days in the Roman Forum, including information on Julius Caesar and his funeral, which was taken place there. The Roman Forum was a lot bigger than I imagine, with buildings so high that we had no idea how someone so long ago could have built them.
This tour is a must-do while in Rome. See the Colosseum and actually begin to understand the history when a knowledgeable guide teaches it to you, go in spots that you have never been able to go in alone, and enjoy the highlights of Rome while learning so much about it. I can tell you one thing – 90% of what I heard on our tour was never taught to me in school, which is a shame. I am so thankful that I got to see Rome and learn about it’s fascinating history, it truly was a fantastic day! I know I said a lot of words and phrases like “mind blowing” and “amazing” in this post, but that is exactly what it was. If you are interested in booking a tour with Walks of Italy, head on over to their website here and check out what they have to offer – they even have tours in Paris now!