From the Egypt of the pharaohs to imperial Rome
Rome preserves the largest number of ancient obelisks in the world. Most of these monoliths were transported from Egypt to the capital beginning with the conquest of Augustus (31 BC). Some of them are very ancient, dating back to the fifteenth century BC.
Built as solar symbols, in ancient Egypt obelisks were placed in front of temple entrances and were often emblazoned with commemorative hieroglyphic inscriptions. Centuries later they were transported to Rome by the emperors as spoils of war and still stand, imposing, in various parts of the city. In three hours, we will cross Rome, passing through the most beautiful squares (Piazza del Popolo, Piazza San Pietro, Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano), we will visit enchanting gardens and we will walk in the heart of the city, discovering the obelisks of Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Piazzale della Minerva. We will stand at the foot of the largest existing obelisk (32 m high) and admire an almost perfect imitation dating to the Roman era. We will tell you about pharaohs, emperors, popes, artists, wars and travels, without forgetting the technical characteristics of these extraordinary artefacts.
This unique tour has been designed by a team of archaeologists, and you will be guided by an archaeologist who specializes in ancient marbles and hieroglyphs.
- Each obelisk is created from a single large block of granite (monolith).
- The obelisks were transported by huge ships from Africa to the ports of the ancient city.
- The Lateran obelisk is a single block of granite 32.18 meters high
- In some cases, only the raw granite was transported to Rome, which was worked directly on site, transcribing and (often poorly) copying Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Questions we will answer
- What do the hieroglyphs say?
- How were the obelisks loaded onto Roman ships and how did they travel?
- Where did the emperors choose to place them, and why?
- What have the Popes done to these obelisks over the centuries?
- Where does the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini play a role in obelisks?
Duration: 3 hours
Pick up: Your preference
Departure time: Flexible
When: Daily (Monday to Sunday); Year round
Means of transport: Car with private driver
Languages: English, French, Italian
Suitable for children? Yes
Suitable for people with mobility issues? Yes
Walking distance: 1 km