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Experience Italy’s Rich History and Culture with the Best Guided Tours
Italy is a country that offers a wealth of cultural and historical treasures. From the ancient ruins of Rome to the picturesque canals of Venice, there is something for everyone in this beautiful Mediterranean paradise. However, planning an itinerary for an Italian vacation can be overwhelming, which is why many tourists opt for guided tours. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best guided tours of Italy that will help you make the most out of your visit.
Explore Rome’s Ancient Wonders with a Private Guide
Rome is a city that boasts some of the most significant ancient sites in Europe. The Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum are just a few examples of what you can expect to see on a tour of Rome. However, navigating these sites without expert guidance can be challenging. That’s why hiring a private guide is an excellent way to get up close and personal with these iconic landmarks. A knowledgeable guide will not only provide historical context but also help you beat the crowds and maximize your time.
Discover Renaissance Art in Florence
Florence is known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and home to some of Europe’s greatest artistic treasures. Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at Uffizi Gallery are just two examples that attract art lovers worldwide. However, navigating Florence’s museums and art galleries can be overwhelming without guidance. That’s why joining a guided tour is an excellent way to discover Florence’s art treasures while learning about their history from expert guides who bring these masterpieces to life.
Sail along Italy’s Coastline with a Small Group Tour
Italy isn’t just about its cities; its coastline offers breathtaking views that should not be missed. One way to experience it all is by joining a small group tour that explores Italy by sea. These tours typically include stops at charming coastal towns like Portofino, Cinque Terre and Amalfi. With a small group, you’ll get to know your fellow travelers and enjoy a more intimate experience. You can also expect to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine, picturesque views, and relaxing moments on board.
Taste Italy’s Culinary Delights with a Food Tour
Italian cuisine is known worldwide for its delicious flavors and fresh ingredients. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose where to eat when visiting Italy. That’s why joining a food tour is an excellent way to taste the best of Italy’s culinary delights while learning about the country’s food culture. Whether it’s exploring Rome’s street food or savoring Tuscany’s wine and cheese, these tours will take you off the beaten path and introduce you to authentic Italian cuisine.
Italy offers an abundance of cultural riches that can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. That’s why guided tours are an excellent way to experience the best of what this country has to offer without feeling lost or overwhelmed. From Rome’s ancient landmarks to Florence’s Renaissance art treasures, from sailing along Italy’s coastline to sampling its culinary delights – there is something for everyone on these tours. So start planning your guided tour of Italy today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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We are a family of 4 with two kiddos (11 and 7). Simone was such a wonderful guide and really great with our kids. When we asked our kids there favorite part of Rome, it was the tour with Simone. He was extremely knowledgeable, patient answering the many questions from our son and being a local, he was able to show us things we wouldn't have gotten in a large tour group. The time went by so quickly, and it was well worth the investment. We cannot recommend him enough!
We can’t thank Simone enough for a wonderful tour of Rome. My daughters are 7 and 8 and really enjoyed the tour. It was their first time in Rome and in only 3 hours they saw and learned so much! I was also impressed with the amount of things we managed to see in just one afternoon. Simone knows Rome very well and he was very sweet with our daughters. I would totally recommend this tour! We wish we could have done the Colosseo tour as well with with locals but it was fully booked…book early if you are visiting Rome!
Simone was a wonderful guide during our trip to Rome. He was engaging and we learnt many interesting facts. He kept our 3 teenage boys interested talking about football and food! 3 hours is tiring but we stopped to try some delicious snacks along the way and the boys finished by playing football in the park. Thank you Simone
This was my first time using WithLocals and I was incredibly impressed. My husband and I bought a tour of the Vatican with Lia. She is a wealth of knowledge - about the history of Rome, the art and sculptures and tons of little details that might be overlooked with a different tour. Lia was funny and engaging and really helped us get the best experience possible. I highly recommend Lia and cannot thank her enough !!
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Best Tours and Events to Experience Roman History
From a historical perspective, Rome is one of the best-preserved cities in the world. Many structures erected in ancient times are still standing today, looking just as pristine and awe-inspiring as ever. This is what makes Rome one of the most interesting cities to book a tour or attend a historical event.
Rome offers dozens of tours and events to experience Roman history, but some are much better than others. Like many big cities, Rome has its share of scammers just looking to make a buck off unsuspecting tourists. Thankfully, the majority of tours and historical events are completely legitimate and well-worth your time. In any case, let’s take a look at a few of the best tours and events in Rome to give you a first-hand experience of Roman history.
Best Historic Tours in Rome
There are hundreds of interesting sites and historical monuments in Rome, and it would be impossible for one tour to show you everything. Fortunately, many of the best tours in Rome focus on an isolated area or structure(s), giving you key insights into the local history. The following are just a few of the best Rome tours to experience authentic Roman history:
The Complete Vatican Tour
For millions of people, the Vatican is one of the most sacred places in the world. Even if you’re not of the Catholic faith, the Vatican City is a truly remarkable and enchanting place to behold. From the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica, there is no shortage of beautiful architecture and ancient history in the Vatican.
While you can certainly enjoy the majesty of the Vatican without an official tour guide, it is much better if you have someone who is highly knowledgeable and experienced to show you around. However, no two Vatican tours are the same, and if you’re going to book a tour, you’ll want to book the right one. That’s why The Complete Vatican Tour by Walks of Italy is the best way to experience the home of the Pope.
With The Complete Vatican Tour, you get so much more than a tour guide. This tour allows you to skip the lines at the Vatican Museums, saving you a lot of time and energy. Additionally, you will get complete tours of the Sistine Chapel, Belvedere Courtyard, Raphael Rooms, St. Peter’s Basilica and much more. If you’re interested in experiencing the Vatican with Walks of Italy, you can book your tour right here .
The Original Crypts and Catacombs Tour
When people think of Roman history, they often think of the power and grandeur of the Roman Empire. However, Rome has a darker history as well, and much of it is hidden just beneath the surface. Below many of Rome’s oldest churches you can find crypts and catacombs that have been meticulously preserved for hundreds (or even thousands) of years.
These crypts and catacombs are not for the squeamish, which is why it’s best to bring a friend along. However, even if you plan to fly solo, you can still take solace in the fact that you won’t really be navigating these creepy tombs alone. The Original Crypts and Catacombs Tour by Dark Rome is designed for larger groups, and is one of the best ways to experience the darker side of Roman history.
This tour will take you through some of the oldest crypts and catacombs in Rome, including the burial chambers underneath the Basilica of San Clemente and the Capuchin “Bone Chapel.” Every tour guide speaks fluent English and is well-versed in the history of each locale. Additionally, the tour offers a bus to take you to each new location. To learn more about touring the ancient catacombs of Rome, consult Dark Rome’s website .
The Colosseum Underground and Third Order Tour
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic symbols of Rome’s past. Once the sight of gladiator battles, dramas and other public events, the Colosseum was the centerpiece of Roman culture and entertainment. The Colosseum hosts thousands of tours every year and the vast majority of the original structure still stands today.
Not every part of the Colosseum is accessible to tourists, but the underground and third order terrace are two of the most fascinating areas to visit. With The Colosseum Underground and Third Order Tour by CoopCulture, you’ll get to see the Colosseum from all the best angles. You’ll also be led through the ancient structure by a tour guide who can answer almost any question you could have about Roman history. You can book your CoopCulture tour now at this link .
Additionally, if you prefer a tour that allows you to see all of the best highlights of Rome in one day (including the Colosseum and the Vatican), Walks of Italy offers this service throughout the year. You can consult their website for more information on booking the “Rome in a Day” tour.
Best Historic Events in Rome
Not every tourist likes to be part of a guided tour; sometimes you just want to venture out on your own and immerse yourself in the history and culture of the city. If you prefer to do things your own way, there are a number of historical events throughout the year that will give you a taste of Roman history in a less structured environment. Epiphany
Epiphany (January 6th) is the 12th day of Christmas and is celebrated every year in Rome. While children celebrate the arrival of La Befana (a good witch) throughout the city, the main event takes place in the Vatican. Hundreds of participants dress in Medieval costumes and walk to St. Peter’s Basilica bearing gifts for the Pope. The Pope then gives a morning mass to thousands of spectators in celebration of Epiphany.
The Ides of March
Historically, the Ides of March was a day dedicated to the Roman god, Jupiter. Later, the date (March 15th) became famous throughout the world as the day that Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated. Nowadays, people gather around Caesar’s memorial in the Roman Forum, and the Gruppo Storico Romano reenact the assassination at the Largo di Torre Argentina.
On April 25th, 1945, Italy was officially liberated from Nazi occupation during World War II. In the years since, the country celebrated this date with commemorative ceremonies and parades. If you visit the Quirinale Palace, you will get to see hundreds of spectators and participants celebrate freedom and Italian independence with music and military parades.
Festa della Madonna della Neve
The Festa della Madonna della Neve (or “Madonna of the Snow”) is a celebration of a legend dating back to the 4th Century. According to the legend, a miraculous August snow occurred in Rome, prompting Christians to construct the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Today, the festival celebrates this miracle with music, food, and a live reenactment of the event.
Learn More About Roman History With RomeLoft
Are you planning your dream getaway in Rome? Do you want to book the best tours in the city or schedule your trip during a particular cultural or historical event? Are you in need of the perfect accommodations to complement your plans? No matter what you’re looking for in Rome, we can help get your Rome vacation started right. For more information on booking an apartment, tour, or event in Rome, contact RomeLoft today!
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Guided Vatican Tours
Rome food & wine tours, guided pompeii tours, private tours, choose your tour.
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Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
The original all-inclusive Vatican City experience featuring a climb to the top of St. Peter’s Dome for an incredible view of Rome followed by our award-winning tour of the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel.
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Private Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Enjoy a stunning view of the city from the top of Michelangelo’s dome on this private tour that also includes an in-depth visit to the Vatican.
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2-in-1: Entire Colosseum Tour & Fast Track Vatican Ticket
Discover Rome’s top sites and bypass the queues at THREE major venues during this top-value tour & ticket combo of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Vatican.
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2 in 1 Entire Vatican Tour & Fast Track Colosseum Ticket
Visit the Colosseum with fast-track entrance. Immerse yourself in the labyrinthine Vatican Museums on a fully guided tour followed by a self-guided Colosseum walk.
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Pompeii from Rome
No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to Pompeii. This luxury Mercedes van tour from Rome shows you a city immortalized by a volcanic eruption, followed by a leisurely lunch and free time in beautiful Sorrento.
Vatican Dome Climb & Street Food Walk
Visit the Vatican and enjoy a walking street food tour. After a morning of walking and climbing, be sure to bring your appetite for a food tour like no other.
- Hour Glass 2.5 Hours
Vatican Ticket & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Visit St. Peter’s Dome in the Vatican. Meet your guide on St. Peter’s Square and stroll across the piazza into the Vatican City, where your climb begins.
Best of Rome: Colosseum and Vatican Highlights
Skip-the-line combo tour of the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and Roman Forum. A two-part tour, with plenty of time in between for a leisurely Roman lunch.
Best of the Vatican Tour
See the best of the Vatican Museums, then have the rest of the day free to enjoy Rome after booking this, the ORIGINAL Vatican highlights tour!
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Classic Rome in a Day
Discover Rome in one day. Experience the Baroque Rome including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Colosseum, and Piazza Venezia while taking in the bustling Roman atmosphere!
Colosseum and Roman Forum - Icon of Rome
Immerse yourself in the history of Ancient Rome alongside an expert archaeologist guide as you walk in the footsteps of Gladiators and Caesars who inhabited Roma Caput Mundi.
Colosseum and Prison of St. Peter
Tour the Colosseum and Roman Forum alongside an expert archaeologist guide as you walk in the footsteps of Gladiators and Caesars who inhabited Roma Caput Mundi, followed by a visit to the site where St. Peter himself was imprisoned before his crucifixion.
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Private Vatican Tour
This fully private Vatican experience with an esteemed Vatican expert spans the magnificent Vatican.
Entire Vatican & Vatacombs: Flagship Vatican Tour
Our Flagship Tour of the Vatican and Vatacombs. Spend hours browsing world-class art and sculpture inside the Vatican City with an expert art historian guide!
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Epic Tour of Pompeii with an Archaeologist Guide
No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to Pompeii! Meet your local guide as you step off the train at Pompeii station and get fast-track entrance to the ruins.
Vatican Ticket & Vatican Quest
Get more than just a skip-the-line Vatican Museums ticket with this brand new access package that includes our very own Vatican quest!
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Frascati Wine Road from Rome with Lunch
Take the train to Frascati from Rome for a wine tasting and tour. This half-day experience is rich in food, wine, and friendship, plus local insights from your guide.
Roman Vineyard & Wine Tastings
Visit one of the oldest wineries in the idyllic Castelli Romani region on this private tour from Rome. Enjoy the picturesque views of the region as well as three of the estate’s wines.
Colosseum and the Heart of Rome
Join us on our “must see” tour of historic and ancient Rome with fast track Colosseum entrance through the Gladiator’s Gate! Tick more than a dozen sites off your bucket list on this half-day tour.
Heart of Rome Walking Tour
This morning stroll through the most iconic monuments of Rome is the perfect way to get your bearings in the Eternal City.
Heart of Rome & Classic Colosseum
Enjoy our fully private four-hour journey through Roman history and see the Baroque Rome, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and other landmarks.
Pizza Making & Wine Tasting in Frascati
When in Rome, you can’t miss a chance to taste the best pizza. And on this Frascati pizza and wine tour, you get to make it yourself and walk around the Frascati city center.
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Rome in a Day – Full Day Rome & Vatican Tour
Rome may not have been built in a day. But with the right guide, there’s no reason why you can’t see it in one day on this “extreme” Rome and Vatican adventure.
Rome Twilight Drive Tour
Enjoy a twilight tour in Rome. See more places under the stars with semi-private transport and time enough for a dreamy gelato beside a glittering fountain!
Rome Wine Tasting
Enjoy a Rome wine tasting. Head to a gourmet wine alcove in the heart of historic Rome and sample local delicacies and fine regional wines.
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Skip-All-Lines Colosseum & Vatican Ticket
Skip the line to visit the Colosseum and the Vatican. Get faster than fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums without waiting in the very long public line.
The Colosseum of Rome
Enjoy our Rome colosseum tour. No other Rome tour comes close to unearthing as much history of the Colosseum as this two-hour walk into a bygone world.
The Original Eat as the Romans Do!
You won’t find a more filling food walk in Rome for the price! Your foodie guide is from Rome and she has chosen her TEN (!) favorite snack spots!
St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs
Meet your expert Vatican tour guide on the threshold of St. Peter’s Square and make your way across marble paving to the steps that wind up and around the dome.
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Two Days in Rome
Enjoy a two-day private tour in Rome. Visit the most important highlights in the city: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Church, Colosseum, and more.
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Entire Vatican & Heart of Rome Tour
Enjoy two days in Rome, Italy. See all of the most important landmarks and still have both afternoons free to explore, eat, drink, and people watch on your own.
Pompei From Rome With Naples Walking Tour
The ultimate Naples and Pompeii day trip! You’ll take a guided tour of the lost city of Pompeii and savor an authentic Neapolitan pizza lunch followed by a walking tour of Naples. This all-inclusive, history-packed trip from Rome is truly one-of-a-kind!
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Amalfi Coast Day Trip by High Speed Train
This full day tour takes you from Rome to the Amalfi Coast in just over one hour by high speed train.
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Ancient Rome Empire Tour with the Pantheon and Teatro Marcello
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Ancient Rome Tour
In the footsteps of augustus.
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From iconic ancient sights to tiny trattorias, Rome has no shortage of wonders. We’re honored to hav...
Our tours in Rome
What to know about rome from our local guides.
“If you're visiting Rome for the first time and staying for a few days, you definitely should see the historic center , the important squares (like Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps ) the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon , the Vatican Museums (even better, do the Key Master’s Tour where you get to unlock the various rooms of the Vatican Museums together with the clavigero of the Vatican) and St. Peter's Basilica , Trastevere and of course the Colosseum . If you’re a returning visitor or are staying for more time, you should definitely include other museums such as the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Altemps, Castel Sant'Angelo or even a day trip to Tivoli or the Castelli Romani area.”
“ Testaccio , where I actually live. It's basically 10 minutes away from all the most important tourist areas but without being touristy itself. There you can find the ‘locals’ and learn about their habits.” Federica, Rome guide since 2007
“My favourites are the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, the Villa Borghese and the Theatre of Marcellus.” Andy, Rome guide since 2012
“I love Aventine Hill with its churches and gardens, the lesser-known part of Trastevere around Piazza dei Mercanti, Capitoline Hill, and the Roman Aqueducts .” Chiara, Rome guide since 1998
Rome is a fantastic city to explore with little ones in tow. For families looking to get an overview of Rome’s most iconic sights on a low-impact walking tour, our Best of Rome Tour or Welcome to Rome City Stroll are both excellent options that include a snack break (pizza and gelato respectively).
Want to experience Rome's most iconic sights in a family-friendly way? Kids of all ages will love the chance to step out onto the arena floor of the Colosseum just like the gladiators did! And for an engaging way to experience the Vatican (and escape from busy Rome to peaceful Castel Gandolfo), consider an in-depth Vatican experience , which includes a ride on the Pope's private train.
Last but not least, don’t miss the chance to make your own homemade pasta or take a food tour in the family-friendly Testaccio neighborhood complete with freshly baked pastries, pizza, pasta, Roman-style panino sandwiches, and gelato for dessert! There’s no better way to introduce kids to Rome’s delicious cuisine.
Rome offers something for everyone no matter what time of year you visit. We polled our expert guides and found that there’s really no bad time of year to visit—it all depends on the experience you’re hoping to have!
“The best moments to visit Rome are spring and autumn because of the good weather, but I also suggest winter because of the peaceful moments that are easily found due to the low season.” Cristina T, Rome guide since 2011
“The Lungotevere is wonderful during July and August when the kiosks and restaurants by the river are open in the evening.” Andy, Rome guide since 2012
“I would prefer January and February because the city is very quiet and not busy as in summer and spring.” Flavia, Rome guide since 2016
Italy is famous for its food—but even in Rome, not all restaurants are created equal. So how can you tell the authentic spots from the tourist traps?
First, head away from the big attractions—at least a few blocks. That’s not to say there are absolutely no good restaurants near the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain—but most eateries near major monuments don’t exactly cater to locals.
Next, pay no attention to places with staff outside inviting you to eat there, or with large photos of the food visible. Romans don’t need to be told where or what to eat!
Finally, if a place is crowded and full of the sounds of chatter in Italian, it’s likely a safe bet that you’re in a local spot. This might mean shifting your mealtimes a bit later than what you’re used to (most Romans won’t eat lunch or dinner until at least 1 and 8 pm respectively), but it’s well worth the wait.
Looking for a few specific recommendations to get you started! Here are a few of our guide team’s favorite restaurants in Rome.
“Go to Checco er Carrettiere for vintage Roman vibes in the heart of Trastevere, some of the best supplì, and an extensive wine list.” Mirko, Rome guide since 2015
“PopiPopi in Trastevere (where I live) is still a typical Roman restaurant where a lot of local families go. The food is great and the waiters are professional but also caring and warm with every client. Cul de Sac has an unusual menu with top quality products and wines. And Court Delicati is an excellent, authentic Asian restaurant in a city where good ethnic food may be harder to find than in other European capitals.” Chiara, Rome guide since 1998
There’s a lot to love about Rome, but one major plus is its central location in Italy, making it easy to travel all around the boot. A day trip to Tuscany makes a wonderful addition to your Italian holiday, with the opportunity to explore charming hillside villages and the famed Chianti wine region. Heading south, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii are well worth the trip, and for the wine lovers, a winery visit on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t soon forget.
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19 Best Tours in Rome
By Maresa Manara and Erica Firpo
Vacation tours can be a divisive topic, particularly for people who feel passionately about exploring a city independently. But the truth of the matter is that exploring it with a local by your side will bring you to parts of it you might never find on your own. And no locals have as many stories to tell their city as the Romans. You'll find the most intellectual and personable tour guides to take you around vineyards, through olive groves, on vespa rides, through film studios, food markets, cemeteries, medieval churches, and the most iconic ancient sites. Without further delay, these are our picks for the very best Rome tours.
Click the link to read our complete Rome travel guide.
City Wonders: Ostia Antica Half-Day Tour from Rome Arrow
Ostia Antica is a historic seaside village an hour from Rome and these half-day tours of the coastal archaeological site are well-planned. Groups visit Ostia’s amphitheater, temples, historic baths, and ancient market. Guides seem to have real passion for the subject, talking visitors through the entire tour, peppering their commentary with anecdotes and fun facts. This is a slam-dunk for true history buffs who want to get deeper into the greater Rome area.
Elizabeth Lev: Rome's Historical Center, An All-You-Can-See Smorgasbord of Art Arrow
Elizabeth Lev is something else. Rome is her city, and this tour is her work of art. She has an incredible way of engaging with the history, the art, the monuments, and the stories. You'll find yourself wanting to spend all your time with her. The tour explores the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art periods; and it visits sites like 13th century frescos above the church of Santa Cecilia and art collections behind the facades of the Spada palace. You'll be wowed by all of the layers of the city and how it feels like Rome has been hitting a string of never-ending home runs since antiquity.
Elizabeth Lev: Borrowed but Never Baroque, Bernini & 17th Century Rome Arrow
This tour of Elizabeth Lev's meets up outside the beautiful Piazza della Repubblica . Our group was tiny, but Liz will accommodate larger private groups. She is both an incredible academic brain and a witty storyteller. And her tour shows of the dramatic range of Baroque art and architecture within Rome. This tour is great for anyone who wants a deep dive into the city's Baroque history, and anyone who wants to appreciate Rome in an experience that's not quite in the guide books.
LivItaly Tours: Vespa Sidecar Tour Arrow
The Vespa Sidecar tour is entirely private and can be customized for return visitors who may have already seen the highlights. It is not, though, a show-up-when-you-want activity. It can be organized for up to six participants, but you'll only be in a group if you choose to be. My tour was perfect because it was just me and the driver/guide Luca. As a licensed guide, he knows his history, is easy to understand, and is very friendly. He always has a plan, but is quick to change it at the first request. We talked Rome and food and went to all the right places, from big names to more under the radar finds.
Rome 500 Experience: The 7 Hidden Gems of Rome Tour in an Antique FIAT 500 Arrow
There's a lot of reasons to sign up for this tour through greater Rome, not least is that you get to drive yourself with the top down in a vintage Fiat 500. Another nice perk: Rome's traffic is seriously easier to deal with when traveling in convoy (the group can have up to 50 cars in it). And, as you will get your own car to drive, it can feel like a private tour, although groups are also organized by language, so communication shouldn't be a problem for anyone. But most importantly, you just look so much better behind the wheel of a classic Italian car.
Top Bike Rental & Tours: Ancient Appian Way, Catacombs, and Aqueducts Park Tour Arrow
This tour will take the better part of your day (it's six hours start to finish). But going by bike to these outer city sites —the old Appian Way via the ancient aqueduct—is the easiest and most entertaining way to see them. Plus you won't want to cut out early: it ends with wine and some nibbles in Caffarella Park, which is so expansive it feels like you're in the countryside even though it's smack in the middle of the greater city. Bikes feel brand new and the confidence of the tour guides will put any nervous riders at ease.
Rome Tram Tracks Tour Arrow
This tour is a rocking dance party on a vintage tram that rumbles through Rome. It lasts two hours, during which you'll cut up the dance floor, drink, and cheer as you roll past some of Rome's most iconic sites . This is really an evening activity for those who don't just want to go get dinner somewhere in town. The greatest part, however, may have been how the senior citizens on our ride managed to upstage all the thirty- and forty-year olds on the dance floor.
Casa Mia Tours: Rome Cinema & Food Arrow
Rome has a rich history of cinema, and while you could take any tour with any guide, there is nothing quite like seeing its cinematic history with Eleonora Baldwin, Cinecittà Studios veteran and granddaughter of famed director Vittorio de Sica, four-time Academy Award winner and father of Italian cinema. This tour is both Rome's history and Eleonora's story, and she is so passionate that it will make you want to spend all day with her, and all night watching films. There are only three requirements—a pair of comfy shoes, an empty stomach, and a reservation.
Non-Catholic Cemetery Tour Arrow
You should always visit the truly Roman neighborhood of Testaccio when in Rome, but this tour of its historic non-Catholic Cemetery gives you reason to stay in the area after you've hit its prime trattorias. It's a beautiful, unusually tranquil space, filled with bougainvillea and museum-worthy sculptures in the middle of the city. The informative guides will school you on the cemetery's 400-year history as you amble past the tombstones of Keats, Percy Shelly, and other famous expats.
Context Travel: Fall and Rise of Rome Arrow
This historical tour starts at a medieval church in San Clemente and ends at the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. Its chronology spans from the Roman Empire's fall to the Renaissance's beginnings. The guide Philip was total pro. He's an archaeologist with a great sense of humor and passion for every site. He knew exactly what to show me and could even point out where to stand so I had the best understanding of the sights. People who enjoy Roman, religious, and art histories will love this tour. It's also a great opportunity for people who have already seen the main tourist attractions to see some gems off the beaten path.
The Roman Guy: Cocktail Bars in Rome, Evening Walking Tour Arrow
This English-speaking tour will take you to some of Rome's most popular bars, including Trastevere's Freni e Frizioni , with stop offs to major attractions along the way. Plus, company founders Sean and Brandon are always quick to offer tips on the best spots for gelato or pizza in the city as you pass by for that next negroni. It’s actually a fantastic way to experience life in Rome with locals—far more relaxing that spending time trying to avoid tourist traps.
Katie Parla: Vineyard Visit to Cantina Ribelà Arrow
Sommelier Maurizio di Franco meets you at your hotel and accompanies you via hired car to Cantina Ribelà while enchanting you with a bit of Lazio history and winemaking background on Ribelà. Maurizio is a certificated sommelier, and it doesn't hurt that he's also super charming. His love of wine is contagious, he tells great stories, and his patience is wonderful. At the winery you'll be struck be the natural beauty of the landscape, close as it is to a city as big as Rome.
LivItaly Tours: Virtual Reality Tour of the Colosseum and Domus Aurea Arrow
Imagine if you could physically see the sites, monuments, and reference points that tour guides bring up when ushering you around a city as ancient as Rome. This virtual reality tour lets you, by creating enhanced versions of the way the Eternal City appeared during the days of the empire, all visible through the glasses you'll wear as you make your way through the Roman Forum and Colosseum .
Vatican Museums: “Out of Hours” Guided Tour, Good Morning Vatican Museums Arrow
There is nothing like opening the doors to an empty Sistine Chapel . The exclusive private Out of Hours Good Morning Vatican tour must be booked months in advance and is subject to permission of the Vatican. You will be greeted by Vatican personnel and escorted through the complex by the Clavigero, holder of the 300 keys of the Vatican Museums. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it does begin quite early in the morning. At 6 a.m. you and no more than 19 others will accompany the Clavigero to open the doors of the Vatican Museums.
Johnny Madge: Olive Oil Tours Arrow
You'll have to trek well outside the city (close to an hour) to reach the olive groves in the Sabina country, but it's well worth the trip. Johnny Madge is an olive oil authority , judging competitions all over the world and this is his backyard. He clearly loves it, and that love is contagious. Tourees will learn to distinguish extra virgin olive oil from everything else and importantly that you do not drizzle oil on your food. You pour it. This is best for foodies who want to get out of the city and deep dive in Roman food.
Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini: Multimedia Tour Arrow
The Domus Romane are ancient Roman villas and other structures, abandoned in antiquity, filled in with debris, and inadvertently used as foundations for Palazzo Valentini, a Renaissance palace turned government office building. They are now underground, obscured by buildings and pavement just beside Piazza Venezia. On this tour, in situ multimedia renderings recreate an Imperial Rome domus, as well as some aspects of Roman life. The guides are actual archaeologists, and the fact-checked audio is delivered cleanly. These language-specific multimedia tours are popular though, and must be booked in advance.
Tavole Romane Food Tours: The Rome Food Walking Tour Arrow
Think of Tavole Romane, the food-and-wine-focused walking tour of Rome, as getting access to the little black book of those who know the city's food scene best. Owners Gabriele and Silvia customize the tours based on the interests of each intimate group, which could mean wine bars in Trastevere or an aperitivo-heavy hop through the centro storico, led by somms, chefs, or another tapped in member of Rome's food scene.
Latteria Studio: Market to Table Arrow
This market tour and cooking class began with a wonderful walk through the market to Latteria Studios, a functional cooking studio and photo set. Alice, Rachel, and Carla, who head up the activities, are real professionals. They know everyone at the market, and they know all about food. Sitting at the table at the end of day fosters a real sense of community with what may have been a group of strangers from different countries and continents. You'll immerse yourself in Rome and make new friends at the same time.
Cinecittà Studios: VIP Tour Arrow
This is your chance to see the studio that was once home to Fellini and Leone. It's still a working studio though, so you'll need to follow the guide's itinerary to the letter. She will know about Cinecittà though: its history, and its film productions, and its famous alumni. Also, Cinecittà owns every set that was built on the lot. Master artisans created them all—ancient Rome, a 1940s submarine, and fantastical, imagined worlds. They perfectly accurate to their settings, as well as pristinely preserved.
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