Walks of Italy

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Colosseum & Hard Hat Tour

Key Details

  • City: Rome
  • Duration: 3hrs 45 mins
  • Start Time: 9AM

Tour Highlights

  • Discover incredible architecture & frescoes that would cover 30 Sistine Chapels at one of Rome’s most important archaeological sites: Nero’s Palace.

  • Grab a hard hat and lace up your boots; your Domus Aurea tour explores an active archaeological site with incredible agumented reality recreations of the original palace.

  • Skip lines at the Colosseum with an archaeologist-led tour, plus skip the line access for an independent visit of the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.
The Domus Aurea Boasts 30-ft vaulted ceilings Ceiling frescoes Frescoes line many of the arches After some 2,000 years the color are incredible An enormous oculus in the domed roof lets in light The people add scale to this huge building Learning about the uses of the Domus Aurea Ancient ceramics excavated from the Domus Aurea Showing how they are stabilizing the Domus Aurea from above Grabbing a pic of an ancient fresco The augmented reality experience in the Sala Dorata Ongoing restorations in the Domus Aurea Scaffolding is still used by the Domus Aurea archeologists every day These halls were buried and forgotten for some 500 years In the Domus Aurea it's hard not to look up These halls stretch over at least 100 acres New augmented reality exhibits  are part of your visit The entrance to the Domus Aurea The incomparable Colosseum Looking out over the Roman Forum The Arch of Constantine



It takes an exceptional space to outshine the Colosseum but the Domus Aurea, Nero’s ‘Golden Palace, is just that. Built in the first century AD, the Domus Aurea was the ultimate party palace. It had 300 rooms with no sleeping quarters, kitchens or latrines. The façade was covered in gold leaf and inside, any space not occupied by sumptuous furniture was covered in frescoes.

Grab a hard hat and join us for a special Domus Aurea tour.

Our guided Domus Aurea tour takes you into this active archeological site to see the famed octagonal dining hall (which features a revolving roof), admire rooms filled with original frescoes and marvel at the grandeur of its long corridors and soaring arches.

Perhaps most exciting is the latest development here: Augmented reality displays that recreate the Golden Palace as it once was, so you can stand in the middle of Ancient Rome and watch it come to life around you.

Although the ruins have only recently reopened, taking a Domus Aurea tour has been a right of passage for quite some time. In the 15th century artists like Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturrichio were lowered in by rope to see the ancient frescoes. What they witnessed would inspire not just their own work but the entire Italian Renaissance. Grab a hard hat and follow in their footsteps on our special visit.

Skip the line at the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

The Colosseum is a natural pairing for a Domus Aurea tour – after all, it owes its existence to Nero’s excess. After his suicide, successive emperors were so embarrassed by his Golden Palace that they dredged its lake to build, you guessed it, the Colosseum. The people’s amphitheater was, in fact, an apology for the Domus Aurea.

On our Colosseum tour, you’ll skip the line to save hours of waiting in line. Traveling with our expert archaeologist guide, you’ll hear stories of how this incredible structure was used for not just gladiator battles but also executions and so much more. With headsets you won’t miss a word they say while our limited group size means your questions will always be answered.

After your tour (you’ll visit the Colosseum first, then the Domus Aurea) your guide will bring you back to the Roman Forum. They’ll escort you past the entrance lines and give you a 45-minute introduction to the area, showing you the most interesting and important parts before setting you free to wander the heart of Ancient Rome and its birthplace (the Palatine Hill) at your own pace.

Please note that your Domus Aurea tour will be led by one of the site’s official in-house guides. As a bonus, your Walks of Italy guide will accompany you throughout in case you have questions.

Sites visited

  • Domus Aurea (aka Nero’s Golden Palace)
  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill


  • Special access Domus Aurea tour
  • Skip the line Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill tickets
  • Guided Colosseum tour
  • Expert archaeologist guide
  • Groups of max 24 people


5-stars from over 49 Customer Reviews

Great tour, excellent guide host and he provided so much experience. Would highly recommend to others.
Guide was funny and informative. Was very glad to in fact have had him for two walks.
Guide was very professional and well appointed.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

If you wish to visit the Forum and Palatine Hill (non guided), you need to do so directly when tour ends in order to be able to enter the sites.

The visit at the Domus Aurea will be guided by a special site guide as the site is still an active archeological dig.

Please note that the temperature at the Underground site of the Domus Aurea is lower than the outside temperature so it could be good to bring a cardigan.

Great tour, excellent guide host and he provided so much experience. Would highly recommend to others.
Guide was funny and informative. Was very glad to in fact have had him for two walks.
Guide was very professional and well appointed.
Julietta made the tour fun. I thought she might have been a teacher previously.
Julianna was awesome & we loved hearing her point of view. Tell her we went to the museums she recommended & loved those too! Especially the mosaics & frescoes.
Ferdinando was an extremely knowledgeable and engaging guide. Enjoyed our tour a lot!
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Mamma Mia, Julietta was just fantabolous. I don’t have words to express how amazing she was. She walked us through the Roman history, setting timelines and explained significance of every part (even closely related) of tour. She was so patient to answer questions and at the same time, very enthusiastic and entertaining the whole group. I can’t imagine if the tour can be even better. Tour to Nero’s palace was a cherry on the cake. Would highly recommend to people who are thinking about deciding which tour to pick. Nero’s palace tour was guided by another guide (forgot his name) and again he was super awesome. Virtual video shown at Nero’s palace is every single penny worth. You feel like going back in time and live in Nero’s palace. Feel privileged to meet highly professional tour guides who can make your trip to Rome so memorable. This tour has ignited the fire in me to read more and learn about Roman history.
Good tour and very informative.
Fantastic tour and guide! Loved Nero’s Golden Palace and the 3D experience underground was a huge cherry on top! Guide was very informative and kind.
Guide was excellent.
A fantastic experience in Rome, particularly the chance to see Nero's palace with a quality historian as guide. Vitual reality in Nero's Palace was incredible.
We loved the Colosseum & Hard Hat Tour. The Virtual Reality Presentation was incredibly well done and brought the Palace to life !!! The skip the line portion was truly skip the line and my husband and I would recommend this tour to anyone who wanted to see the Colosseum. Thank you for making our anniversary truly special. Dawn & Curt
Angela was an excellent tour guide and the guide at Nero's Palace was extremely knowledgeable, I believe she was a university student, and she went into great depth to explain the frescoes and art to us in a was that was very easy to understand.
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We feel very privileged to have enjoyed this tour. It would not have been half as good if we had not had the initial briefing with Guido.
Excellent explanations from Ferdinando and Federica. They were both so amazingly qualified and told us incredible stories of their actual work and discoveries. It was a privilege to listen to them. The tour was long but so fascinating and their enthusiasm and energy never waned. Thank you so much.
The tour was great and the guide was the best we have had so far with any tour we had through walks of Italy, we have done three so far. He was very knowledgeable about the topics at hand and friendly!
Tanguy is great!
Mr T was fantastic. He really cared about the history. He did a good job of navigating the crowds. We would definitely recommend him.
Walks of Italy have the best tours!! Our guide Sev was amazing!! He totally brought the colosseum to life and I learned more than a previous tour with colosseum staff three years ago. To be able to experience Nero's Golden Palace made our Roman holiday! Also did the Borgesse tour with Walks of Italy which was also something I will remember forever. Such a passionate guide then too! We will be back😁
I arrived today in Melbourne after my Roman holiday. The tour was well organised, Sev, our tour guide was fantastic, witty, funny and well informed. A very enjoyable tour.
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This was our favorite tour. Loved Nero's Palace especially and the virtual realty experience. It really made it come alive. The coliseum was fascinating too. Great tour guide! Loved her sense of humor and knowledge.
Martina was an excellent guide; she was incredibly knowledgeable, funny, and I could not recommend her or this tour more.
Martina was the BEST tour guide we had in our trip to Italy which included 4 guided walks of Italy tours and 1 with another Company. She was funny, super smart and knowledgeable and her best quality was that she enjoyed the tour as much as we did! She was born to do that. She is amazing. She is a great asset for your company.
Our guide was Angelica and she was a delight. My husband. myself and our 20 yr old granddaughter were so impressed with her knowledge and thoughtfulness to all on the tour. She was so animated! We have been on tour to coliseum several times and this was the best. Domus was the highlight.
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Nero’s palace was amazing. The ability to visit the site and the VR put it over the top.
Sev (our guide) was wonderful. Really excellent overview. VR experience was cool. It was a bit hard to see Walks of Italy at the meeting point with all of the other groups. I wish we had gone to the second level of the Colosseum.
Amazing tour.
Juliette was wonderful. We appreciated how she took a few minutes before the tour to talk about the layering of Rome (Rome as a lasagna) and about the things we were going to see. We also appreciated Juliette's enthusiasm for guiding us and for the things she was showing us. We have taken several other Colosseum tours with different companies and this was by far the best. We also really liked seeing the Golden House. When I asked my 14 year old what his favorite thing from Rome was he said it was the thing at the Domus Aurea where you look through the viewfinder and see Nero's house as it would have been. That was super cool! We would have liked to take Juliette around with us everywhere we went! Not only did she know a lot, but she was really fun. She could go into the "Rent a Roman" business! :) Thanks for great tours!
Angela was fantastic! The immersive virtual reality is beyond any imagination! Great tour!
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Luigi painted an accessible picture of the past with his knowledge and anecdotes. Nero's Golden Palace lived up to the reviews!
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Everything was wonderful. My only critique was that the very pleasant archeologist who took us through Nero's palace was a bit nervous in her delivery and could have used some better story telling and animated excitement when sharing her information. She was competent and I liked her quiet charisma. But for a group of exhausted and confused tourists entering a puzzling and dark space she could have used a bit more audience engagement and performative skills to help us get oriented not to the physical place but oriented to the story .
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Guide was entertaining and knowledgeable !
Our guide was excellent, knowledgeable well spoken and informative. The tour was one of my favorite parts of my visit to Rome.
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