Browse our tours below.
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The Pantheon is the greatest building of the ancient world. Completed by the Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD, the Pantheon is unequaled in the history of architecture. It is the most influential building ever designed and some even say that it is the greatest building ever built.
This audio tour will walk you through the history, architecture and legacy of the Pantheon. What was this building used for? How exactly was it built? What is it that makes it so great? Is it really a church today? These and many other questions we address throughout the course of this audio tour. We promise that by the end of this tour, you will be absolutely head over heels for the Pantheon.
The Roman Forum
Who ever thought that more than five million people would flock every year to a swamp in the middle of Italy? Indeed, the area that now comprises the Roman Forum was once a swamp. It is now the world’s most important archeological site, the heart of the most advanced civilization of the ancient world – Rome.
This audio tour tells the story of Rome, from its founding on the Palatine Hill in the 8th century BC up until its fall in the 5th century. We will then walk you through the Roman Forum, highlighting the most important buildings and events that took place throughout its twelve-hundred year history.
The Colosseum is perhaps the most famous building in the world. Its enormous size and the very purpose that it once served continue to captivate its audience, long after the gladiators have departed from the arena floor. As the Roman Empire’s greatest stage, the Colosseum once hosted theatrical events so sinister that the intrigue surrounding it is still alive today.
This audio tour will walk you through the history and architecture of the Colosseum. We’ll share with you some incredible stories from this amphitheater’s former life, and will wrap it all up with a compelling argument that Christians were indeed martyred here.
The Piazza Navona
The Piazza Navona is possibly Rome’s most beautiful square. It is not just the architecture that beckons visitors, but the entire aura of the square – Piazza Navona is alive. Built over the origins of a 1st century Roman circus for foot races, this square retains the original shape of its 1st century predecessor, all the while communicating an entirely new architectural language – the evocative emotion of the Baroque.
The Piazza Navona is crowned by Bernini’s masterful Fountain of the Four Rivers – second only to the famed Trevi Fountain – and is furthermore characterized by the incredible facade and bell- towers of Borromini’s church of St. Agnes.
The Trevi Fountain
Rome was the most water-extravagant city of the ancient world. By the end of the 3rd century AD, eleven aqueducts were transporting nearly 1.5 million cubic yards of water into the city each day. With a population of nearly one million people, that translates into about 300 gallons of water per person, per day. The Trevi Fountain is an 18th century fountain that tells the story of the power of water and how the Romans achieved mastery over it.
This audio tour will first tell the story of the aqueducts and explain how the Romans moved so much water so quickly. It will then examine how the Trevi Fountain celebrates this accomplishment, examining the fountain’s history, art and architecture in detail . . . and don’t let us forget to tell you – you’ll have to throw three coins in!
Chiesa del Gesu
The Gesu` Tour is first and foremost a journey into the life and deeds of one of history’s greatest saints – St. Ignatius of Loyola. I’ll tell you all about this man from the Basque country – his background – his saintly reversion to the faith – his founding of the Jesuit order, and finally, the incredible role that his order played in the Counter Reformation.
We’ll examine the baroque movement as a whole, and explore the many incredible works of art and relics found within the church itself.
The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps represent the finest modernization project of 18th-century Rome. Incredibly, this is the only staircase in the entire world that serves the threefold purpose of square, major thoroughfare and theater. The architects behind the design displayed true genius, overcoming complex obstacles to create the setting of Rome’s favorite and fanciest neighborhood.
This audio tour walks you through the fantastic story of the Spanish Steps. We’ll begin the story at the fountain below, and then gradually climb all 136 stairs to the top, where we will be rewarded with an incredible view over the Eternal City. Never fear, the architects designed plenty of beautiful landings on the way up!
St. Peter's Square
St. Peter’s Square lies in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, the great shrine to St. Peter, the first pope. It is here that a newly-elected pope first greets the world, and also here where the pope regularly meets and blesses the faithful. Built in the 17th century by one of the greatest architectural geniuses of all time – Gian Lorenzo Bernini – St. Peter’s Square never fails to impress the visitor. Despite the magnificence of this square and the beautiful symbolism behind the design, there is an even bigger story to be told here. Two thousand years ago St. Peter was crucified upside down in this square – once the site of Nero’s circus. He was then buried nearby in a shallow grave. His humble resting place would become the most important shrine in Rome, and is still to this day the nexus of Catholic Christianity. You see, if the fisherman from Galilee was not martyred here, Rome would not be what it is today. The world would not be what is today.
This audio tour tells the story of St. Peter’s Square, highlighting the history that traces the beginnings of the Catholic Church back to Peter, the first pope, and this back to Christ himself.
“St. John Lateran” is the most important Catholic Church in the world. “The Lateran” is in fact just a nickname. The full title is “The Arch-basilica of Christ the Savior in Honor of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.” This church is the cathedral of Rome – the seat of papal authority – and as such is de facto the most important church in the world. As the ancient saying goes, “the Lateran” is the mother of all churches in the city and the world.
“The Lateran” is an architectural masterpiece, a relic of Catholic civilization and a living witness to the Pope’s link to the early Church and his primacy throughout the whole world. This audio tour will explore the rich 1700-year history of this church, highlighting the stories, relics, art and architecture of this awe-inspiring masterpiece of a building.
St Mary Major
St. Mary Major is a unique and priceless masterpiece of early Christianity, a relic of a bygone era. Unlike every other major basilica in Rome, the greater part of the interior of St. Mary Major has not changed since the 5th century. This is important because the 5th century witnessed the transformation of the pagan Roman world into the Christian Roman world, the translation of classical culture into early Christianity, and the subsequent
emergence of the Catholic Church as the formative influence in the West following the fall of Rome. This audio tour examines the incredible history of St. Mary Major, highlighting the great moments of this church’s 1600-year history.
St. Paul Outside the Walls
Unlike St. Peter’s Basilica, there isn’t a great dome crowning St. Paul Outside the Walls. Monumental statues on top of the facade are nowhere to be seen. The church itself is located “outside the walls”, far from the city center. And then there is the fact that the current building was built in the 19th century, following the devastating fire of 1823. Yet despite all of this St. Paul Outside the Walls is still one of the most impressive buildings in Rome. Why?
The simple reasons are its classical grandeur and enormous size. Nowhere in Rome can one experience the magnificence of 5th century Roman architecture like at St. Paul’s. Following the fire of 1823 this church was rebuilt exactly like the original – every little detail. Every other major basilica in Rome has to some degree or another been transformed in the renaissance and baroque styles. St. Paul’s has not.
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is the greatest church in the world. Named after St. Peter, the successor of Christ, this church is built directly over the mortal remains of the first pope. St. Peter’s Basilica represents the Catholic Church’s link all the way back to Christ and as such tells the whole history of the Catholic Church. The Renaissance church that you see today is a true marvel of human engineering, an architectural masterpiece that has no equal. In order to completely appreciate this tour de force one must go back to the Apostolic Age.
This audio tour examines the rich history of St. Peter’s Basilica, from St. Peter’s burial to the Emperor Constantine and up to the present day. Prepare to encounter saints and martyrs, kings and emperors, artists and architects. Prepare to be immersed in a story that will expand your worldview and a church that will overwhelm you with beauty.
- Background History
- Putting it in Context
- Entering the Site
- Exploring the Site
- Wrapping it Up
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Built by Pros
Audio Tours Rome was designed and built by ProRome, a tour company that specialzies in tours of Rome. The ProRome network includes some of Rome’s finest touring outfits, summer programs and destination management companies.