However, you can’t believe all the rumours – not every emperor was Nero. Some were benevolent, kind rulers who cared deeply about the wellbeing of their people. On our escorted tour to Rome, we’ll let you decide for yourself how you feel about these powerful men – after all, the best way to get to know someone is by meeting them.
Meet the Emperors on an Escorted Tour to Rome
Few things are more fascinating than ancient Rome and its emperors. Known for their insanity, ruthlessness and military prowess, these rulers have remained mesmerising centuries after their deaths – and still haven’t managed to shake their (often tainted) reputations.
Meet Augustus (ruled 27 BC-14 AD)
Augustus was both the founder and the first emperor of the Roman Empire, ruling for a total of 42 years. He was known for keeping peace in Rome during his reign, as well as rebuilding much of the city. Despite the illusion he presented to the general public that he had restored the free Republic, he ruled as an autocratic military dictator until his death in 14 AD.
“I found a Rome of bricks; I leave you one of marble.” – Augustus on his deathbed.
The Ara Pacis
This monument was built in order to commemorate and honour Augustus and the harmony and tranquillity he brought to Rome after a series of horrific battles. It was used as an altar to worship Pax, the goddess of peace.
You will visit Augustus and the Ara Pacis on Day Five of our tour.
Meet Trajan (ruled 98-117 AD)
Out of all emperors who have ruled over Rome, Trajan is one of the most historically beloved. He was in power for 19 years, and is remembered as a great and benevolent leader.
Trajan’s Market was built by the emperor’s most trusted architect sometime around 110 AD; it could very possibly be the oldest shopping mall in the world. At the time it was state of the art, with multiple levels that housed 170 rooms. The lower level was where the shops could be found, while the emperor’s administrative offices were located on the upper level. The market hall, with its marble floors and vaulted ceilings, once held a library, the remains of which can still be seen today.
You will visit Trajan and his market on Day Six of our tour.
Meet Caracalla (ruled 211-217 AD)
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, nicknamed ‘Caracalla’ because of a Gaulish coat he brought over to Rome, was emperor for six blood-filled years. Whenever he encountered adversaries, he had them executed. Known for being ruthless, a lavish spender and an excellent military commander, Caracalla was eventually assassinated by a group of usurping army officers.
Baths of Caracalla
Of all the baths in ancient Rome, these are perhaps the most splendid and impressive. Built under order from Caracalla, they were the largest and most admirable of their time. They are an amazing archaic architectural feat; their heating, drainage and water supply systems were truly astounding for the period in which they were constructed.
You will visit Caracalla and his baths on Day Six of our tour.
Meet Hadrian (ruled 117-138 AD)
After becoming an orphan at the age of ten, Hadrian was taken in and brought up by his father’s cousin, Emperor Trajan. He was a lover of the arts, culture and anything Greek. Once Hadrian came to power, he focused his rule on bringing prosperity and peace to his kingdom as opposed to the expansion his predecessors were interested in.
“Brick by brick, my fellow citizens, brick by brick.” – Hadrian, encouraging his people to rebuild Rome after a horrible fire.
This enormous building complex is an elegant and opulent home in the country constructed for the emperor. More like a city than a villa, it is over 300 acres wide and was originally complete with baths, theatres, temples and gardens. Today it is considered one of the masterpieces of the ancient Mediterranean world – and it has been relatively well-preserved, making it a magnificent site to see in person.
You will visit Hadrian and his villa on Day Four of our tour.