You may have heard that I went on a tour of the Doge's Palace in Venice. Well, Dario and I enjoyed it so much that when our friends, Mariana and Fede, came to visit us in Rome, we contacted Walks of Italy again to see what they had hopping in the home town.
(Click to enlarge.)
Nice spot for a picnic.
Turns out they had space on an afternoon V.I.P. Access Colosseum tour. Dario and I tried to pretend we were not impressed – "The Colosseum? Oh, THAT old thing?" – but secretly we were giddy and clapping with anticipation.
The tour is meant to include the underground dungeon area, a walk on the arena floor, access to the top tier (which we learned was not exactly a swanky place to be in centuries past), as well as Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine), Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. Italian bureaucracy being what it is, all public sites are subject to random and partial closures – such as snow days when people were even more willing to pay to go inside – so we weren't able to visit the dungeon area. (Though really, not being able to do something logical is about as authentic an Italian experience as anything.) We didn't mind, however, since the real reason we came was to go up to the top.
I brought my wide-angle lens and snapped crazily away at anything and everything. The photo above is a tiny little morsel of the awesomeness we experienced. If you visit Rome, or anywhere else in Italy, I highly suggest dropping Walks of Italy a line. They sneak you into the best places!
Snuck into any looming historical monuments lately?
Disclosure: our tours with Walks of Italy were discounted / free. Opinions are still honest & personal. :)
I will keep that in mind the next time I’m in Italy… actually I may pass that on to my mom who is looking to go soon. Maybe I’m just star-struck by buildings, but I really enjoyed the Colosseum and would love to go back… just not in late July like every one else on the planet:p
You know, I think 2012 is going to be a busier year for tourism. It may not just be July and August where things go crazy! But yes, I agree. Summer tourism = death by crowds!
Please do let me know if she goes on one of their tours. Would love to hear how it goes!
I love walking tours! I have never been to Rome (yet) but have heard tours are the best way to visit. I will look Walks of Italy when I make it. The picture you included is stunning, btw!
Thanks, Debbie! I haven’t yet created a post about the Rome tour, but I did do a quick write-up about Venice on my other site, in case you head there, too: http://absurdreviews.tourabsurd.com/venice-secret-passages-walksofitaly/
I think there are advantages to traveling in several different styles – package tours, solo, couples, with CouchSurfing friends, following blogger recommendations (*wink*) – but going on a guided tour as an introduction can be a great way to get your feet wet. Certainly, if you’re not an architecture, history, or art major, they help make sense of all kinds of details you might otherwise have missed. Do look them up and let me know how it goes! :)