After we got settled in at the hotel, we ventured out to get some lunch at a nearby pizza place. Then we wandered around the area surrounding the Colosseum for a while. At about 1:00, we headed towards our meeting point for our first Walks of Italy tour.
[I'm took a ton of photos of this tour. I'm not going to post them all here; just the best ones. If you'd like to see the rest of the photos I took, please see my whole photo album HERE.]
Our first tour was the VIP Access Colosseum Underground and Top Tier tour. First, we took a long tour of the forum. Our tour guide was a British man named John. He was absolutely fantastic. He had a book full of photos to help illustrate his stories and he was absolutely filled to the brim with knowledge of ancient Rome.
When we'd wandered around the forum for a few hours, John took us to the Colosseum. We got to bypass the absolutely ENORMOUS lines to get in and we went directly underneath where most people do not get to go. You have to be with a specific tour in order to go underneath.
Underneath is where the animals and gladiators would wait before entering the arena to fight. John really helped to set the mood and made us feel as if we were really there in ancient Rome waiting to fight, possibly to the death.
When we finished underneath, we went up to the top of the Colosseum; again, it's someplace that not everyone (in fact, not many) get to see. It was amazing. We could see throughout the whole Colosseum. It was beautiful. And, still, John kept pumping our heads full of knowledge.
I cannot recommend this tour enough! On a scale of 1 to 10, this is definitely a 10. I just wish we could've taken it on different day. Philip and I were a little out of it and exhausted since we'd only just arrived a few hours earlier!
With Walks of Italy, you will never have a tour group of more than 12 people. Our group for this tour was only 8 people (including us). And, John was absolutely fantastic. Since he was British, his English was perfect. He knew more about ancient Rome than an encyclopaedia. This tour was worth every cent we spent on it.
Like I said, I really recommend it. However, the tour won't be around much longer. They will be closing up the underground and up-top very soon. In fact, it was supposed to be done on September 30 (we took the tour on September 26th), but they've extended it through October. If you're there this month, TAKE THIS TOUR! And, if they open the Colosseum again in later years, definitely take the tour!