This tour is designed for tourists who have arrived by boat at the port of Civitavecchia and have only one day to visit Rome’s most famous monuments and landmarks.
Departure is at 8.00 am from the port of Civitavecchia, where you’ll find a driver ready to welcome you in the splendid car you have rented.
You will travel on the A12 in the direction of Rome and during the drive you can stop at a service station for a coffee break.
Once in Rome, you will visit the area of the Fori Imperiali to see one of the most representative monuments of Rome: the Coliseum founded in 75 AD by Emperor Vespasian. This monumental amphitheater measures 22,000 square meters and was formerly in the Flavian Amphitheatre (the real name of the Coliseum). It held gladiatorial games, and naval battles when the whole structure was filled with water. Another interesting aspect to the history of the Coliseum was that a huge velarium or a sheet was erected to protect the public from the sun. The structure is open to the public and guides and audio guides will provide more detailed information during the visit.
The second leg of your tour will be the unforgettable Trevi Fountain. Located in the square of the same name, this spectacular Baroque fountain of travertine marble was designed by Nicholas Salvi and completed in 1762. At the center you can admire the monumental statue of the Ocean, surrounded by other mythical figures related to the marine world. Throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain has become a rite of good luck and a promise to return to Rome.
Later you visit the nearby Piazza di Spagna, another location of international reputation, both for artistic and cultural reasons as a symbol of Italian fashion. The most famous fashion shows in the world are held on theSpanish Steps and in the nearby streets, including Via dei Condotti, you will find boutiques of the most famous Italian and foreign fashion houses. The square owes its name to the Palace of Spain, the Iberian State’s Embassy to the Holy City of the Vatican. At the bottom of the stairway of Trinità dei Monti (the Spanish Steps) you can see the famous Fontana della Barcaccia carved in the baroque period by Pietro Bernini and his son, the more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Your next stop will be Piazza della Rotonda, where you’ll find another of Rome’s landmark buildings: thePantheon. Built in 27 BC during the reign of Emperor Augustus, it was twice destroyed by lightning and rebuilt by Hadrian between 118 and 125. The temple with its characteristic hemispherical dome, with a diameter of 43 meters and a skylight of nine meters, was dedicated to all the gods. In time it became a Christian church, but is now disused. It houses the tombs of famous Italians, including Raphael, Queen Margaret, the king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I.
You will now have an hour break for lunch, which you can eat at a snack bar, or one of Rome’s characteristic taverns or pizzerias.
In the afternoon the tour continues with St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums. Inside the Basilica, the center of Christianity, you can see “La Pietà” by Michelangelo, the Baldacchino – the gilded bronze canopy by Bernini, and other important works of art. You can visit the graves of famous people, popes and the tomb of Saint Peter, preserved in the Vatican Grottoes.
Your tour continues at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, home to the Vatican Museums. The first part of the museum was established by Pope Julius II (1503-1513), who gathered several masterpieces of classical sculpture in the courtyard of Palazzo del Belvedere, including the famous “Lacoon”, a work from the 1st century BC, the Apollo Belvedere and the Venus of Cnidus. Over the centuries, the museum has expanded to include various collections, such as the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Ethnological Missionary Museum, the Museum of Modern Religious Art, commissioned by Pope Paul VI and the Carriage Pavilion, which houses the “popemobile”, the cars used by the popes. You can enjoy audio guides or take guided tours with experts. You will find many shops where you can buy souvenirs, books and postcards. Inside the Gallery you will see important examples of Italian art, including the Deposizione (1604) by Caravaggio, l’Incoronazione della Vergine (1503) and the Trasfigurazione (1520) both works by Raphael, and San Girolamo (1480) by Leonardo da Vinci. During your visit to the Vatican Museums you will see what is considered the greatest masterpiece of painting of all time: the Sistine Chapel. In 1506 Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo’s monumental fresco. The work took four years, from 1508 to 1512, to complete. On the ceiling of the vault, which covers 520 meters, nine episodes from Genesis are depicted, the most famous of which is the story of the Creation of Man. The numerous figures of prophets and biblical sibyls cover an additional 500 square feet. From 1536 to 1541 Michelangelo painted theLast Judgment, the huge fresco on the altar of the Sistine Chapel. The work, on 226 square meters of wall, has 314 characters, including Michelangelo depicted as St. Bartholomew located near to Christ.
If you do not wish to visit the Vatican Museums, the Civitavecchia to Rome tour will begin by taking you to theBasilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the second basilica in size after St. Peter’s Basilica. It is situated near the bank of the Tiber on the Via Ostiense, about two kilometers outside the Aurelian walls of the Porta San Paolo, hence its name. According to tradition, the basilica stands on the burial place of the apostle Paul, whose grave was then placed under the main altar or “Papal.” At the center of the courtyard is a marble statue of the saint, by Giuseppe Obici Carrara. Worthy of note are the beautiful mosaics that decorate the facade, made between 1854 and 1874, based on designs by Agricola and Consoni and inspired by the original tenth-century decorations. The basilica is divided into five naves separated by four rows of 20 monolithic columns of granite. The nave and transept are decorated with medallions containing portraits of all the Popes from St. Peter to the current Pope Benedict XVI.
After visiting the Basilica of St. Paul, the tour will continue to Fori Imperiali, the Coliseum, continuing with the previously proposed route to finish in the Piazza Navona, which is dominated by its famous fountain: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) by Bernini (1651) at the center of square. It represents the personifications of the four major rivers that were known in the seventeenth century, the Nile, Danube, Ganges, and Plate. There is also the Fontana del Moro (the Moor Fountain, 1576) designed by Giacomo della Porta which derives its name from an Ethiopian who had been sculpted by Antonio Mari in 1654, based on a sketch by Bernini, and finally the Neptune Fountain.
Your driver will then return you to Civitavecchia or to hotel accommodation in Rome.
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