Rome – The Caput Mundi as Never Seen Before
Rome is a repository of history like no other city and there has never been a better time to visit it, after a plethora of sites have just opened for the first time. Building on our decades-long knowledge of the Eternal City, we are offering a tour which goes to the heart of what made the city the caput mundi, the centre of the world.
In this tour we visit newly opened sites, from the Mausoleum of Augustus to the Insula Aracoeli, to understand this city as we haven’t been able to before. We will explore the Forum and Palatine, the heart of Rome, with a fresh pair of eyes, by going to newly opened places, such as the Basilica of Santa Maria Antiqua and the Ramp of Domitian, as well as both of Nero’s famous palaces, the Domus Transitoria and Domus Aurea. The tour also ventures to the heart of imperial power by visiting the Mausoleum of Augustus, opened after a long period of restoration, as well as other well-known monuments erected by emperors in the Campus Martius, including the Hadrianeum, the Pantheon and the Stadium of Domitian.
Away from the centres of power, we examine everyday life in ancient Rome, visiting the Insula Aracoeli, the only surviving apartment block in the city, as well as the bustling Forum Boarium, where we visit a likely statio annonae where the plebs collected their dole. Finally, we look at how Rome transformed into the capital of the Christian world, by exploring some of the most important early Christian churches, including the stunning Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo.
Dedicated Tour Manager
Strict Covid-19 Safety Protocols
Your Tour Leader
Dr Eireann Marshall
- Five nights in 4-star Hotel Ponte Sisto in Rome with breakfast included
- Two group dinners and two lunches included
- Expert guide lecturer
- Guided visits to all monuments and museums listed in this programme
- Comprehensive services of a dedicated Tour Manager
- All ground transportation
- All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
- Transfers to and from Rome Fiumicino Airport (transfers to and from other airports and destinations may be subject to extra fees)
- Flights (we can assist with booking your flights and transfers from and to Roma Fiumicino airport)
- All meals not expressly cited in the itinerary
This tour requires a moderate fitness level with a few hours of walking on each day.
Flights are not included in this tour packet. If you need any assistance with booking flights to and from Rome please get in touch.
Please be advised that travel insurance is mandatory to take part in our tours. The insurance must cover, at minimum, medical treatment, repatriation, loss of property and loss of payments to us in the event that you cancel the tour.
For all of the holidays that we offer, we require a minimum number of 8 travellers to have booked on to each holiday, in order for us to be able to operate it.
Cancellation policy for this tour:
- Up to 60 days before your arrival in Italy: deposit only
- Between 59 and 30 days before your arrival in Italy: 50% of total amount
- Between 29 and 10 days before group’s arrival in Italy 80% of total amount
- Between 9 days before your arrival and no-show, and also in case of partial cancellations, 100% will be requested.
In case of cancellations, we will do our best to avoid penalties or to reduce them to the minimum fee in case of a partial and total cancellation.
For more details and a complete overview of our terms and conditions please visit our travel info and booking conditions page.
Day 1 - Trastevere
After settling into our hotel, the 4-Star Ponte Sisto, sited in the heart of Rome, we walk a short distance to the bustling Trastevere where we have an evening visit to Basilica of Santa Cecilia, a 5th century church which has a stunning 13th painting and ciborium, as well as an evocative crypt. (D).
Day 2 - Rome
This morning we walk to the heart of ancient Rome to explore the Forum and Palatine off the beaten track, visiting such gems as the late antique church of Santa Maria Antiqua and the Oratory of the Forty Martyrs, as well as the Temple of Romulus, the Curia Julia in the forum and the Ramp of Domitian and Augustus’ House on the Palatine. After lunch, we visit the remains of Nero’s extraordinary Domus Aurea, the sprawling residence built on the slopes of four of Rome’s seven hills.
Day 3 - Rome
This day is spent exploring the Campus Martius and its transformation in the imperial period, when it became the canvas for emperors’ image-making. We start with the Mausoleum of Augustus, newly opened to the public after a long period of restoration. Built in the early part of Augustus’ career in order to demonstrate his loyalty to Rome, it was a monument celebrating the Julio-Claudian dynasty. We proceed to a visit to the adjacent Ara Pacis, celebrating the prosperity of the Augustan age. In the afternoon, we explore a series of imperial monuments, including the remnants of Domitian’s Stadium incorporated in the stunning Piazza Navona, the inimitable Pantheon, as well as the neighbouring Hadrianeum and Column of Marcus Aurelius. (L)
Day 4 - Rome
Today is dedicated to exploring the lives of ordinary people in Ancient Rome. We start with a specially arranged visit to the extraordinary Insula Ara Coeli, the only remaining ancient apartment building which survives. From there we walk a short distance to the Theatre of Marcellus, and from thence to the Church of San Nicola in Carcere, which incorporates remnants of 3 ancient temples and finally to the Forum Boarium where we see the remains of the Republican temples of Hercules Victor and Portunus and consider the lives of Romans loading and unloading goods from the Tiber. We end the morning with a visit to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, once the statio annonae, where ordinary Romans collected their dole. We lunch in the Jewish ghetto before traversing the ancient Pons Fabricius which leads us to the lively Trastevere where we visit the early Christian Basilica of Santa Maria. (L)
Day 5 - Rome
This morning we consider the transformation of Rome into the centre of Christianity by visiting a series of important early churches, starting with the staggering Basilica of San Clemente, which lies on top of millennia of history, including an early Christian basilica, a Mithraeum, as well as a Roman industrial section. We continue to the nearby Basilica of the Santi Quattro Incoronati, one of the earliest churches of Rome. We finish the morning with a visit to the 5th century Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo, which lies on top of a Mithraeum, currently under excavation. In the afternoon, you have the choice of visiting the stunning early Basilicae of Santa Prassede and Pudenziana or exploring the Eternal City under your own steam. (D)
Day 6 - Ostia and departure
On our last day in Rome we travel to Ostia, the extraordinary port of ancient Rome, which preciously preserves remains of apartment blocks, tabernae and baths, giving us an inimitable view of ancient Rome, before we make our own ways back home.