Arch of Constantine

The largest and most magnificent of Rome's triumphal arches, with a curious history in its sculpture.

TravelCurious Tip

Do like the conquering Roman generals and take the triumphal route through the ancient city, starting at the Arch of Constantine, around the Palatine Hill, through the Arch of Titus and along the Via Sacra.

Constant celebration

The Arch of Constantine is situated at the end of the ancient Roman main street, the Via Sacra, in between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Built in 315 AD, it is the most recent and best-preserved imperial monument to be erected in the area beside and is undoubtedly the most magnificent of the triumphal arches of ancient Rome.

The arch celebrates the victory of the Emperor Constantine I over his rival and co-ruler of the Eastern Empire Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD. With this decisive defeat Constantine the Great became the Emperor of both the East and West Empire. The two sides of the arch tell two different stories. The north side of the arch which faces the Colosseum displays images of war and the camps of Constantine’s army; the south face of shows reliefs of what life was supposedly like after the victory of Constantine, with images celebrating peace and humanity.

Mixed messages

Interestingly, by the 4th century the quality and skill of Roman carving and sculpture had significantly declined: the majority of decorative sculpture on the arch was in fact pilfered from earlier monuments and rededicated to Constantine. The four imposing guards standing at the top of the north face of the arch are actually Dacian prisoners, taken from a monument to Trajan. The four reliefs at the bottom originally celebrated the military victories of Marcus Aurelius, and the four round medallions in the middle were taken from a monument to Hadrian and include representations of his lover, Antinous. Similarly the reliefs on the back were intended to honour the military success of Trajan.

The back of the monument displays scenes of Roman gods and goddesses, which is hardly fitting considering Constantine’s fame as the first Christian Emperor - his victory in the battle of the Milvian Bridge was supposedly due to a vision which directed him to fight under the sign of the Cross.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
The Roman Empire’s largest amphitheatre, and one of the world’s most awe-inspiring ancient monuments.
Roman Forum
The political, religious and civic heart of ancient Rome.
Palatine Hill
This hill is where the Roman State began, and where Rome's Emperors used to live. Today it boasts many remains from their magnificent palaces.
Arch of Titus
One of Rome's most iconic triumphal arches, and the model for the Parisian Arc de Triomphe.
Temple of Caesar
Remains of the temple of Julius Caesar.
Curia Julia
The seat of the imperial Senate in the Roman Forum.

Related Tours

Vatican & Colosseum in a Day: Private Full-Day Walking Tour
Experience the magic of Rome with a fully guided walking tour of the most popular highlights of the Eternal City and discover the Colosseum, the historic centre and the Vatican Museums in a day with entrance tickets included. 

On your private full-day walking tour, you will:

  • Walk in the footsteps of  Gladiators as you explore the Colosseum, the largest standing amphitheatre in the world;
  • Learn about the emperors who built the Flavian Amphitheatre and the opening 100 days of games;
  • See the iconic Triumphal Arch of Constantine, built by Constantine the Great in 315AD;
  • Explore the ruins of the Roman forum, the downtown of Ancient Rome;
  • See the major highlights of Rome’s Centro Storico (historic centre) including the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona;
  • Stop for lunch in one of your guide's favourite haunts (lunch not included in the cost of the tour);
  • Hop in a taxi across town to visit the Vatican Museums;
  • Tour the highlights of the magnificent Vatican Museums, including the Pinecone courtyard, the LaocoönGalleries of the Maps and Tapestries, and the amazing Raphael Rooms;
  • Marvel at the works of Michelangelo Buonarroti in the Sistine Chapel - the grand finale!;
  • End your tour on the Balcony of the iconic St. Peter's Basilica, after which you are welcome to continue exploring the Basilica at your own leisure.

Discover the religious, historical, and cultural significance of Rome, once the Caput Mundi (head of the world) on this magical full-day privately guided tour. 

Walk in the footsteps of slaves and emperors, gladiators and Vestal Virgins, cardinals and artists as your expert guide weaves together the stories that have made Rome the Eternal City. 

Relish walking into the Colosseum and step out onto the stage – the most famous monument of the ancient world. Learn about a day in the life of an ancient Roman as you stroll through the Forum admiring the temples and basilicas still standing after two millennia. 

Then plunge into the friendly hustle and bustle of ‘modern’ Rome as you walk around the historic centre, taking in such iconic sites as the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the mighty Pantheon – the largest man-made cement dome with an oculus in the world. And it was built in the second century! 

After a pit stop for lunch, hop in a taxi across town where your guide will lead you through the hallowed halls of the Vatican Museums to wonder and marvel at the masterpieces from antiquity and those extraordinary, god-like rivals of the High Renaissance: Michelangelo and Raphael. 

On exiting the Sistine Chapel your tour will end on the iconic balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, after which you will have time to explore the Basilica at your own leisure.

PLEASE NOTE: The order of the itinerary may change based on ticket availability. 
Ancient Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Private Tour
On this private tour, you will time travel back 2,000 years to visit the Ancient Rome sites that were of significance to the Roman Empire including the Colosseum, the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient  Rome, and the Palatine Hill, where the city of Rome was founded on.

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Explore the Colosseum and learn of its architectural secrets, and of the gladiators who fought here;
  • Hear stories about some of the empire's greatest emperors, like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, and stories of its' cruellest emperors: Nero and Caligula;
  • Discover the Roman Forum, the heart of Ancient Rome and an open-air meeting site;
  • Take in the vast scale of the Imperial Palaces on Palatine Hill.
You will start your tour at the ancient Colosseum, which is an enduring symbol of the power, prowess and bloodlust of the Roman Empire. Although damaged over the years by earthquakes, pollution and stone robbers, it remains a truly spectacular structure. 

The building hasn’t been used for entertainment since the early medieval era; in the following centuries, it was employed variously as a fortress, Christian shrine, and housing for a religious order. 

Your next stop will be the Roman Forum where you will come across remnants of magnificent temples, law courts, palaces and marketplaces, while your guide shares the stories of what daily life in the heart of the Roman Empire was like. 

Your tour will end at Palatine Hill – the birthplace of the Roman Senate, and where Rome’s Emperors lived and ruled from. The word ‘palace’ is derived from the name of this hill, as so many Roman rulers built their lavish residences on the Palatine. 

Climb the hill today, and you will find extensive ruins of the once splendid palaces and gardens of some of Rome’s most famous emperors, including those of Augustus, Tiberius and the Flavian Palace, as well as the Temple to Apollo built by Augustus, and Domitian’s impressive Hippodrome. 

Please note that the order of this tour may change based on ticket availability. 
Colosseum & Roman Forum: Family-Friendly Private Half-Day Tour
Immerse yourself into Ancient Rome and travel back to the time of Roman gladiators by exploring the Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater and the Roman Forum, the scenario for public meetings, gatherings and shops, on this family-friendly half-day tour especially designed for young children and teens in mind. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Bring Ancient Rome to life on this child and family-friendly tour with your private guide;
  • Learn of the famed Gladiators and their courageous fights at the Colosseum;
  • Hear the stories of the first games ever held in the times of Emperor Titus;
  • Find out how many spectators the amphitheatre could accommodate and who could be invited;
  • Have a sweet treat on us and a short break to enjoy some gelato;
  • Explore the Roman Forum considered the heart of Ancient Rome and the first open-air public meeting place;
  • Discover what religious ceremonies and festivals were held there;
  • Walk past the remains of numerous important buildings, built to honour men and roman gods.

If any site in Rome will entertain your children, the Colosseum will! A symbol of Rome and of the Ancient Roman Empire, this building has been entertaining people for millennia!  This is where the Emperor and the Roman people would come to watch the "games" ranging from gladiator fights to processions of exotic animals

After visiting the Colosseum (time-entrance tickets included), you will see the Arch of Constantine, built to commemorate Emperor Constantine the Great's victory over Maxentius in 312 AD. Your guide will regale you with tales of the Emperor and his army triumphantly marching into Rome! 

You will then head into the Roman Forum and walk on the Via Sacra (or "sacred way"), the main street of Ancient Rome. This was the "downtown" area of the city where Senators and people alike came to meet and trade, hear public speeches, vote in elections, trial criminals, host religious ceremonies... and more!  You will even see the ruins of the Temple of Julius Caesar and his altar, where people still lay flowers today in commemoration of the famed Roman General!

Depending on the day and your preference, you will enjoy a quick stop for a delicious Italian Gelato either halfway through the tour for a sweet treat break or at the end of the tour. 

This shorter tour is ideal for families with young children and does not include a visit to Palatine Hill. 

Please note: The order of this tour may change based on ticket availability

Rome Catacombs & Appian Way: Private Golf Cart Tour
This tour will whisk you away to the cobbled lanes and idyllic fields of the Italian countryside to visit the Catacombs and drive along the famed and historic Appian Way. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Enjoy pick-up in central Rome and a panoramic drive past the iconic ColosseumRoman Forum, Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and Imperial Palaces on Palatine Hill;
  • Drive along the historic Appian Way, the ‘Roman Queen of Roads’ - and step on the actual paving stones laid by Ancient Romans;
  • Visit the Roman Catacombs with tickets for a guided tour included;
  • Venture off the beaten track Rome to discover ruins, relics and curiosities hidden from the eye;
  • Learn about Roman engineering on your drive back into the city, and admire an Ancient Roman Aqueduct hidden in plain sight!
  • Combine the intimacy of a walking tour with the comfort of a driving tour with your private golf cart.
Your experience starts with a pick-up in central Rome and a panoramic drive past the iconic ColosseumRoman Forum, Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and Imperial Palaces on Palatine Hill, before you embark on an adventure across the less travelled side of beautiful Rome - the majestic Appian Way. 

The Via Appia Antica (Appian way) was at one time, the most important road in the Roman Empire rolling from Central Rome to the beautiful hills and fields of the neighbouring countryside and eventually all the way to the City of Brindisi. Sided by sleepy churches, farmhouses and crumbling Roman ruins, it is a truly magical picturesque route.

You will stop at one of Rome's ancient catacombs to explore the network of underground burial grounds that date from the second to the fifth century, and then drive out to the city’s remaining visible network of aqueducts.

Please note: Private guides are not allowed to guide inside the Catacombs so you will join a small group with an official Catacombs tour guide.

Once the pride of Roman engineering, these wonderful aqueducts transported water over long distances to towns and cities, providing the means to construct complex sewage irrigation systems, and supply fresh, clean water for baths, fountains, and drinking water for its citizens.

Your four-hour tour will end with a drop-off back in your hotel or any central Rome location.
Ancient Rome Live Virtual Tour
On this Live Virtual Tour, you will be transported to Ancient Rome where you will go on an archaeological walk with your local guide around the Colosseum; it is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today.

You will:

  •  Learn about the origins of the city, dating back to when Romulus founded Rome; with a fascinating mix of history and legend that revolves around the she-wolf who nursed the twins,
  • Hear tales of the perils and triumphs of gladiators, fratricidal kings, imperial intrigues between opium Hill and Palatine hill - which passed straight through the valley where the Coliseum lies,
  • Discover the secrets of its construction and who the brave warriors were who bathed the sand of the arena with their blood
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the seven hills around which the ancient Romans lived, ruled, and loved. 
 Historians, culture vultures and Italy lovers will love the immersive virtual tour of this iconic landmark which has been watching over Rome since 70–80 AD.


Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.


Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.