Guided Tours in Rome
Two Masters at the Papal Court: Raphael and Michel...
Two Masters at the Papal Court: Raphael and Michelangelo in the VaticanThe Vatican palaces and St. Peter's Basilica were a true "factory" of Renaissance art: here worked the two most notable artists of the period, Raphael and Michelangelo. In adjoining rooms, sweet natured Raphael and his many assistants frescoed the private apartments of Pope Julius II from 1508 to 1520, while the gloomy and laconic Michelangelo labored almost alone on the Sistine Chapel ceiling from 1508-1512 (he returned in 1536 to paint the monumental "Last Judgment" on the chapel's altar wall). These treasures and much more will be revealed by your expert private guide in this half-day tour of the Vatican Museums, the most extensive collection of art in the entire world. Corners of the Vatican such as the Pio-Clementino courtyard with the famous antique marble statues of the "Laocoon" and "Apollo Belvedere," as well as the galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries, and Maps will be passed through en route to the Sistine Chapel. The tour concludes in St. Peter's Basilica with its imposing dome and the sculpted marble masterpiece of the "Pieta'," both designed by Michelangelo. Gian Lorenzo Bernini"s impressive Baroque baldachino above the high altar, where only the Pope is allowed to say Mass, is lavishly covered in gold and bronze. You will also see the most recent papal tomb inside the Basilica where the Blessed Pope John Paul II was laid to rest in 2011.
From $445.00 Per Group
Power & Glory of Imperial Rome
Power & Glory of Imperial RomeIn the year 27 BC, Augustus became Rome's first emperor, and in his memoirs he proudly wrote: "I found a city of stone and bricks; now I leave it to you remade in marble." It is the monumental ruins and imposing buildings that remain from the Eternal City's glorious past that are the focus of this fascinating walking tour that starts with the most famous of them all, the Colosseum. Begun by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, this elliptical amphitheater is capable of seating 50,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts and executions. After marveling at its vast interior, you'll pass by the triumphal arches of Constantine and Titus as you enter the Roman Forum. The center of Roman public life for centuries, it was the site of temples, a senate house, law courts and numerous monuments commemorating the city's great men. You will tread the 2,500 year-old paving stones of the Via Sacra as you ascend to the Capitoline Hill. In ancient times the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus stood here, while in the 16th century the space was redesigned by Michelangelo with a monumental bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback as its focus. One of the most magnificent views in Rome can be had from the Capitoline terrace, looking back over the Palatine and Roman Forum. The fourth monument you will visit is the grass-covered Palatine Hill. The legend says that the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were suckled by a she-wolf. The Emperor Augustus made the Palatine his official power center, thereby initiating a building boom in which many lavish imperial palaces were constructed. Today artworks from these palaces are exhibited in a small museum, along with various artifacts from Iron Age tombs.
From $368.00 Per Group
One-Day Rome: An Introduction to the City
One-Day Rome: An Introduction to the CityIf you have just one day to see Rome, this is the tour that will help you get the most out of your visit and enhance your appreciation of the city's aesthetic and architectural highlights. For those planning a longer stay, this tour will provide the perfect introduction to the Eternal City. The tour starts with San Clemente, where two superimposed churches evocatively illustrate the wealth and development of Rome as a medieval city. You will continue along Via dei Fori Imperiali - laid out during the Fascist Period and lined with the imposing ruins of the Imperial Forums - to the Colosseum for the classic and always-exhilarating exterior view of this emblematic feature of the Roman cityscape. Then it's on to the Capitoline Hill, where the genius of Michelangelo has left its indelible mark on the 'Eternal City.' From the Capitoline terrace, there is a breathtaking view of the Roman Forum, encompassing the broad sweep of ancient Rome's magnificent past. In Piazza Venezia you will admire the enormous and impressive monument to the unification of Italy. Next, you'll explore the picturesque Jewish Ghetto (with an independent lunch, perhaps at one of the renowned Roman-Jewish eateries in the neighborhood) and the Renaissance piazzas around Campo de Fiori before arriving at the splendid Piazza Navona, with its remarkable Baroque fountains. Afterwards, you'll visit the Pantheon, the best-preserved and most astonishing ancient Roman building of all. And where else can the tour end but at the mythic cascades of the Trevi Fountain? Toss in a coin so you'll be sure to return to Rome! Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $666.00 Per Group
Rome and 1 other city.
Small Group Tour of the Vatican & St. Peter's Basi...
Small Group Tour of the Vatican & St. Peter's BasilicaThis 4-hour, small group tour will introduce you to the marvels of the vast Vatican Museums, one of the world's greatest repositories of art, and to the treasures contained within St. Peter's Basilica. It begins with a visit to the Pinacoteca which contains approximately 500 paintings, among them Giotto's two-side altarpiece for Old St. Peter's, Raphael's "Transfiguration" and his woven tapestries that once hung in the Sistine Chapel, an unfinished panel by Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio's monumental Baroque "Entombment" whose vivid, almost photographic realism makes viewers feel as if they, too, are taking part in the scene. As you walk through the Vatican Museums with your guide, you will feel the great weight of history accumulated in these halls, as well as the deep sense of the sacred characterizing these works of art. Raphael was busy painting the walls of Pope Julius II's private apartments in 1508-12 when his rival, Michelangelo, was working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling next door. Gazing up at Michelangelo's masterpiece, "The Creation of Adam", is an experience you will never forget! The tour continues in St Peter's square, where the arms of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's splendid colonnade reach out to embrace you, and then into the Basilica. Here is Michelangelo's exquisite marble statue of the "Pieta'" right next to the tomb of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 and was made a saint in 2014.
From $118.00 Per Person
Small Group Colosseum and Ancient City Tour
Small Group Colosseum and Ancient City TourJoin other interested travelers to explore Rome's most significant archaeological sites in this 3-hour, small group (max 8 people) tour of the traditions, innovations, and architecture of the ancient Romans. The tour starts in front of the Colosseum with a short introduction to Rome's architecture and history. Afterwards you will follow your expert guide into the amphitheater where you will hear stories about the hard life of the gladiators and the gory games that used to take place in the arena. The tour then continues past the Arch of Constantine to the nearby Roman Forum where you will get to see and learn about the Curia, headquarters of the Roman Senate; the Arch of Titus; the funeral altar of Julius Caesar; and the remains of the extraordinary House and Temple of the Vestal Virgins. Finally, you will move up to the Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient parts of the city and the site where Romolus founded Rome. Since this hill stands 130 feet above the Roman Forum, you will enjoy a great view of the Imperial Palace, built by Emperor Domitian, and of the imperial family's private stadium. Last but not least, the tour ends with a panoramic view over the Circus Maximus where chariot racers competed for glory in the first and largest stadium constructed during the Roman Empire. This fascinating historical tour provides an overview of Roman architectural masterpieces and includes additional services that help you maximize your time: an officially licensed guide, headsets, entrance tickets, and no queue at the entrance.
From $90.00 Per Person
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking Tour
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking TourThis unique walking tour reveals the city's most beautiful monuments and the secrets of the Roman Dolce Vita. Departing from the Spanish Steps, you will walk along the exclusive Via Condotti past the boutiques of Armani, Gucci, Bulgari and many other world famous fashion designers. The Trevi Fountain is next. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). It has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. A little further along you will find the spacious Piazza Colonna, home to Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government and nearby Montecitorio, which houses the Parliament. Next up is the Pantheon, one of the greatest and best preserved Roman temples in existence. Piazza Navona comes next; here the Baroque age explodes with Gian Lorenzo Bernini's spectacular Four Rivers Fountain. Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $71.00 Per Person
Small Group Tour of the Borghese Gallery and its G...
Small Group Tour of the Borghese Gallery and its GardensThis semi-private tour gives you the chance to discover the marvelous collection of works of the Borghese Gallery and its beautiful gardens. You will join a small group of no more than six people for a unique visit accompanied by an art history expert. After many years of restoration, the Galleria Borghese is once again inviting visitors to view the superb collection of masterpieces assembled in the 17th century by the great collector and patron of the arts, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. His passion and instinct for art led him to amass a unique collection that includes many Baroque masterpieces. Highlights of the collection are Gianlorenzo Bernini's marble sculpture groups of "Pluto and Persephone" and "Apollo and Daphne," while the painting galleries contain Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" and other famous works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Raphael and Correggio. The Villa Borghese itself is a noteworthy example of an opulently decorated and frescoed suburban villa, set in a wonderful extensive park. After the guided tour of the Gallery, you will stroll through the leafy, green expanse of the Borghese Park admiring the Casino of the Uccelliera and Piazza di Siena until reaching the Pincio Terrace, from where you will enjoy a striking panoramic view of Rome.
From $107.00 Per Person
Small Group Walking Tour of Trastevere
Small Group Walking Tour of TrastevereThis unique walking tour reveals the secrets of Trastevere, one of Rome's most atmospheric quarters, famous for its labyrinthine streets and typical Roman stores. This neighborhood offers artisans' shops, art galleries, mosaic-adorned basilicas and squares animated by the splash of fountains where you will discover an authentic slice of Italian life. Departing from the banks of Tiber Island, the first stop is the wonderful 10th century basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola. Inside you will find one of the most important medieval pieces of the church: a marble puteal, or wellhead, created from a fragment of an ancient Roman porphyry column. After strolling over the Ponte Cestio, you'll head to the basilica of Santa Cecilia, built where the Roman martyr Cecilia died in the year 220. Legend has it that her body was discovered here in 1600, completely intact and untouched by time. The tour continues along the cobblestone streets to reach the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, the heart of the neighborhood, where you will admire the square's wealth of 12th-century mosaics. Afterwards, you will reach Piazza Trilussa, one of Trastevere's most popular spots. The Acqua Paola fountain, which was originally fed by Trajan's Aqueduct, sits at the heart of this square and is a popular meeting point for young locals. After an afternoon of exploration, the tour will take you to the Renaissance Ponte Sisto, where you can easily walk back to the center of the city, or head back into Trastevere to continue exploring the neighborhood on your own.
From $71.00 Per Person
Behind-the-Scenes Vatican: A Semi-Exclusive Visit ...
Behind-the-Scenes Vatican: A Semi-Exclusive Visit to the MuseumsIf you have ever wanted to peek behind the scenes in the Vatican Museums, this is the tour for you! This 3-hour, semi-private guided tour allows you access to sections of the museums that are normally closed to the public, as well as the exceptional chance of staying inside the Sistine Chapel until 6:15 p.m., after the general public has already left. The itinerary starts in the Cabinet of Masks, not usually open to the public, where the remarkable Roman Venus of Cnidos is kept. Based on a mid-4th century B.C. marble statue by Praxiteles, it was much admired in antiquity. Then comes the revolutionary, double helix spiral staircase designed by Donato Bramante in 1512 to connect the Belvedere Palace to the city. You will see more antique statuary in the Candelabra Room and then, after passing though halls hung with priceless tapestries woven in wool, silk and gold threads, you reach the Gallery of Maps. Here Pope Gregory XIII (he introduced the Gregorian calendar that we still use today) displayed his great interest in geography by having the walls of the 394-foot long gallery frescoed with very accurate maps of the Italian regions and papal properties as they were in the 1580's. The large windows offer fantastic views of the Vatican Gardens and of Michelangelo's dome of St. Peter's. A precious jewel box is the best definition of the private Chapel of Nicholas V. Fra Angelico's Renaissance frescoes have been magnificently restored, and the vivid pink, blue and green pigments look fresh as the day they were painted, over 550 years ago. This beautiful little chapel is usually off-limits to the public, but you will be able to enter it on this tour. The best is saved for last: the four private apartments starting in 1508 when his rival, Michelangelo, was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel next door; these are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome. After your expert Vatican guide explains the iconography of the papal apartments, the tour will end in the Sistine Chapel where you may remain until 6.15 p.m., after the general public is gone.
From $3,146.00 Per Group
Tour Rome in a Vintage FIAT 500!
Tour Rome in a Vintage FIAT 500!The Fiat 500 is an icon of Italian style, featured in many famous films of Italian Neo-realism. This symbol of Italy's post-World War II economic boom is very special to many Italians and touring the city of Rome in one will make you feel like a genuine local. Each vintage Cinquecento comes with an English-speaking driver-guide that will entertain you with interesting stories about Rome while driving by its many celebrated sites. At tour's end, the unforgettable monuments you've seen will become a lasting part in your own personal "movie" of the Eternal City!
From $470.00 Per Group
When in Rome - Hop on a Vespa!
When in Rome - Hop on a Vespa!If you want to imagine yourself riding alongside Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the classic 1953 movie, "Roman Holiday," than this is the tour for you! Our vintage Vespa tours are an authentic and entertaining way to explore the narrow streets and tiny alleyways of Rome's historic center from the back of a mythic Vespa motor scooter. An experienced driver-guide will take you around to all the famous sites in the Eternal City and tell you everything there is to know about them! You'll feel like a local when you sign up for one of the two great itineraries we have on offer. The Grand Tour This 4-hour tour shows you Rome's most iconic sights: the Colosseum, Mouth of Truth, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's Square, just to name a few. Night Tour This option is a nighttime version of the Grand Tour; the main difference is that it lasts 3 hours instead of 4. You will get to see all of Rome's most famous monuments and sites, beautifully illuminated to show off all their grandiosity and splendor!
From $221.00 Per Person
Eternally Young: Rome for Children
Eternally Young: Rome for ChildrenStay young in the Eternal City on this tour of Rome's most delightful sites. The tour starts off in front of the Trevi Fountain: the sparkling cascades and waterfalls of this iconic landmark make the stone statues come alive. After tossing a coin into the fountain to ensure your return to Rome, you'll head to the impressive Piazza Colonna, punctuated by the ancient Column of Marcus Aurelius. Further on is the magnificent Baroque church of Sant'Ignazio; your guide will show you just where to stand to get the full effect of the amazing, illusionistic ceiling frescoes that seem to extend all the way to heaven. You will marvel as you gaze up at the 142-foot high dome of the Pantheon with its central, open "eye" that lets in rain and sleet. Nearby Piazza Navona shelters charming fountains, outdoor cafes and ice cream shops. Last stop is the Castel Sant'Angelo on the banks of the Tiber River. Throughout its 2,000-year history, it has served as a tomb, fortress, castle, prison, palace and a hideout for the Pope. The panoramic, 360-degree view from the top is awe-inspiring. Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $363.00 Per Group
Vatican & St. Peter's Basilica: Shared Group Tour
Vatican & St. Peter's Basilica: Shared Group TourDuring this 3-hour tour of the Vatican's treasures, your guide will introduce you to the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of Saint Peter's. Admire the works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini among the many works of art the Vatican has to offer. The Sistine Chapel is one of the most visited sites in the world. Ordered in the late 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV, Michelangelo painted his sublime masterpiece on the ceiling, "The Creation of Adam," as well as the incomparable "Last Judgment" on the altar wall. The Vatican Museums contain much more than just the chapel; here there are approximately 2,000 rooms filled with the most extensive collection of art in the world. The guide will show you other corners of the Vatican such as the Pio-Clementino courtyard with the marble statues of the "Laocoon" and "Apollo Belvedere," as well as the galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries and Maps. The tour concludes in the Basilica with its imposing dome and the sculptural masterpiece of the "Pieta'," both designed by Michelangelo. Gian Lorenzo Bernini's impressive gilded bronze Baldacchino hovers above the high altar, where only the Pope is allowed to say Mass. The tour ends in the splendid Colonnade in St. Peter's Square, also the work of Bernini.
From $75.00 Per Person
Imperial Rome: Shared Group Tour
Imperial Rome: Shared Group TourThe shared walking tour will take you around Rome's most famous archeological sites, introducing you to the life as it was during the times of the Roman Empire. The guided tour will begin at the Arch of Constantine, the largest and best preserved triumphal arch in the city of Rome. The guide will then take you inside the Colosseum, Rome's most famous monument, an elliptical arena used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts and executions. As you enter the Roman Forum, the center of Roman public life for centuries, you will realize why this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The Forum was the site of temples, the Capitol Palace, the Senate House, and the Sacred Way, all of which you will see on this walking tour. The tour will end inside the Roman Forum, but you are free to continue exploring this magnificent archaeological site on your own.
From $66.00 Per Person
Discovering Rome: Shared Group Tour
Discovering Rome: Shared Group TourExplore the colorful squares, quaint streets and magnificent palazzi in this three-hour walking tour of the Eternal City. Departing from Campo de' Fiori, the only square in Rome without a church, you will see the open-air market and the statue of Giordano Bruno in the middle of the piazza. Adjacent is Piazza Farnese, with its aristocratic palace designed by Michelangelo. Next comes Piazza Navona, with its remarkable Baroque fountains, the most famous of which is the Fountain of Four Rivers designed by Bernini. The magnificent Pantheon in Piazza della Rotonda is one of the greatest and best-preserved Roman temples in the world. A little further along you will find the spacious Piazza Colonna, home to Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government. The Trevi Fountain comes next. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). It has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. The tour finishes in Piazza di Spagna in front of the Spanish Steps and the Fontana della Barcaccia. You can continue walking along exclusive Via Condotti past the boutiques of Armani, Gucci, Bulgari and many other world famous fashion designers after the tour ends. Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $43.00 Per Person
The Simplest of Tastes: Shopping for the Best of R...
The Simplest of Tastes: Shopping for the Best of RomeThere's nothing quite like sightseeing in the Eternal City. The ruins, the churches, the fountains and... the shopping! Anyone who has ever been to the city before knows that a Roman shopping excursion is actually like sightseeing. The only difference is that you can take home the treasures you find, and in Rome you can find just about anything. Oscar Wilde famously declared "I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best" and we think he'd be quite at home among the city's sensational shops. Past historical monuments, down twisted narrow alleys and through charming piazzas, your personal assistant will lead the way to the best local designer clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, art & antique galleries, fine furniture showrooms, artisanal workshops and open-air markets. Simply let us know what you are shopping for and we will design a tour based on your interests. Your personal assistant will pick you up at your hotel and take you through the maze of streets that make up Rome's shopping districts. Indulge yourself, maximize your time and let your assistant source out the places where you'll find only the very best to satisfy your simple tastes. In addition to conducting general shopping tours, our assistants particularly relishes the challenges presented by very specialized requests. Their business is to track down and establish relationships with independent dealers and artisans specializing in such things as: Designer clothing Custom made-to-order clothing & shoes Antique & contemporary jewelry Handmade crocodile or leather bags Handmade papers & stationery Historic reproduction fabrics & trim Hand-painted furniture & ceramics Silverware Religious articles But this is just a sampling. Take advantage of our shopping assistants insider knowledge, because it's their mission to help you find what you want. They will act as your personal translators to help you negotiate the best prices available [although you are under no obligation to purchase anything]. So, whether you've been searching for custom-made crocodile shoes, damask silk fabric based on Renaissance motifs, or just want some stylish new duds, let them help you find it.
From $397.00 Per Group
Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere
Jewish Ghetto and TrastevereMany tourists to Rome pass by the Jewish Ghetto without even noticing it, but this tour explores its rich history and importance for the Jews in Rome. This fascinating neighborhood is home to the oldest Jewish community in Western Europe, dating back to the 2nd century BC, when the Jews first arrived as part of a diplomatic delegation sent by Judas Maccabeus. Pope Paul IV established the Ghetto in 1555 to segregate and control the Jews, and it was not dismantled until Italian unification in 1870. Bordered by the Capitoline Hill, the Tiber River and Largo Argentina, the Ghetto is directly across the river from Trastevere, a neighborhood that will also be visited on this tour. The Ghetto's main street is the lively Via Portico d'Ottavia, lined with popular kosher restaurants, delicatessens, and shops selling Judaica. At one end stands the majestic Porticus Octaviae whose colonnaded walkways enclosed ancient Roman temples adorned in white marble imported from the colonies in the 1st century AD. Next stop is the Assyrian-style Great Synagogue, built in 1904 on the banks of the Tiber River. Its aluminum dome is the only squared dome in the city and makes the building easily identifiable even from a great distance. The adjacent Jewish Museum contains prominent artifacts, rare prayer books and manuscripts. You will cross the river over the boat-shaped Tiber Island, a calm oasis in the center of the city that was once the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Aesculapius, Greek god of medicine and healing. The island still has ties to wellness through the continued presence of the Fatebenefratelli Hospital. Trastevere, one of Rome's most characteristic neighborhoods, is entered through the medieval Via Arco dei Tolomei. Famous for its labyrinthine streets and typical Roman restaurants and shops, Trastevere is also rich in art and religious history, including one of the oldest churches in Rome, Santa Maria in Trastevere. The tour ends in the piazza in front of this mosaic-encrusted church. PLEASE NOTE that the Shared Group Tour does NOT enter the Great Synagogue.
From $45.00 Per Person
Become a Roman Gladiator For One Day!
Become a Roman Gladiator For One Day!Are you ready to become a real Roman gladiator? This 2-hour shared lesson is interactive fun for the whole family. You and your kids will learn the fighting techniques developed more than 2,000 years ago by professional swordsmen in ancient Rome. The lesson starts with a tour of the Gladiator Museum to provide some insight on the history of Rome and the daily life of a gladiator (or "gladiatrix," as female gladiators were known). Then, covered from head to toe in full gladiator armor, you will enter the training arena to learn all about gladiator tactics and techniques. The instructor teaches you how to defend yourself with a metal protective shield, how to fight with the rudis (training sword) and swing the wooden sword, as well as introducing you to the steel spatha - the preferred weapon of the elite Roman Legionnaires. Once your training is completed, all of the participants will get a certificate from the Senatus Populusque Romanus and become full-fledged Roman citizens. This is an adventure that will transport you and your family back in time 2,000 years and is guaranteed to leave an indelible memory of your stay in Rome! If you are fascinated by Roman gladiators but not sure if you are up for it, you can choose to watch friends or family free of charge.
From $194.00 Per Group
Segway Tour: Ancient Rome with a Modern Twist
Segway Tour: Ancient Rome with a Modern TwistThe Segway Tour is a new and unique way to explore the Eternal City. Enjoy an introduction to Rome on this fantastic ride that will take you to some of the most famous sites in Italy's capital city! Your tour begins with a 30-minute orientation session to teach you how to use the Segway. Once you feel comfortable on it, you will start the tour. You will see all the most celebrated classic sites of Ancient Rome: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Circus Maximus,Bocca della Verita' and much more. Your guide is a professional specialized in history and art who will share with you interesting facts and anecdotes about Rome, along with tales about the structure of ancient Roman society, its beliefs and its social and political life. Wireless headsets are used so there's no straining to listen to the guide's comments over the hubbub of the city. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to see Rome from a different perspective!
From $96.00 Per Person
The Sistine Chapel Private Visit (After-hours Tour...
The Sistine Chapel Private Visit (After-hours Tour)Imagine yourself in the Sistine Chapel... alone. No pushy crowds, not jostling for a good vantage point from which to admire the masterpiece overhead... just a small group, your guide and a hushed awe in the presence of the great master, Michelangelo. Now this dream can become reality with Select Italy's Exclusive Private Visit, which gives you a rare chance to encounter some of Italy's most famous monuments one-on-one and "for your eyes only." Our highly qualified English speaking guides will unveil the true and secret story behind the genesis of this spectacular space. This private visit also includes stops at other impressive exhibits of the Vatican Museums including the Raphael Rooms and the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche (the Hall of Maps; a superb collection of 40 frescoed wall maps representing a unique record of the geographic and cartographic knowledge of the 16th century).
From $4,099.00 Per Group
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & Borromin...
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & BorrominiHardly anyone has left a stronger imprint on a city than Gianlorenzo Bernini has on Rome; his universal genius permeates the Roman landscape. However, Bernini was by no means the only outstanding artist of the time: his contemporary, Francesco Borromini, vied with him for the title of the most original prodigy of High Baroque architecture. The artists' temperaments and personalities were quite different. Bernini was successful, self-confident, sociable and affluent, while Borromini was gloomy, solitary, depressed, often irascible and always difficult. Offering the opportunity for a first hand comparison of the works and styles of the two artists, this privately-guided tour will take you to some of the most important and famous monuments in Rome. From the glorious outdoor theater of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone to the Pantheon and the church of St. Ignazio, with its unforgettable ceiling frescoes. The sparkling waters of the Trevi Fountain make a suitably dramatic conclusion to this walking tour to some of the Eternal City's most splendid sites. Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $399.00 Per Group
Eternal Waters: The Fountains of Rome
Eternal Waters: The Fountains of RomeRome is a celebration of water. The some 280 fountains that grace the city's piazzas, courtyards and public spaces provide a universal display of falling, gushing and spurting waters that is refreshing to behold on even the hottest summer day. Most were built to mark the endpoint of one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied fresh drinking water to the citizens of Rome, and they are the unique creations of some of the greatest Renaissance and Baroque artists of all time. This 3 1/2 hour walking tour offers an entertaining and informative history of Rome through its fountains. It begins at the imposing Dioscuri Fountain in front of the Italian President's Palace on the Quirinal Hill and continues on to the most famous of all, the Trevi Fountain. The most enduring - and maybe the quirkiest - legend about Rome is that throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City (an estimated $4,000 are tossed into the fountain's waters each day). A magnificent Baroque marble structure representing the Roman and Greek sea gods standing side by side, it has become an icon of La Dolce Vita due to its 'starring role' in Federico Fellini's film of the same name. More fountains are encountered in Piazza Colonna and in the square in front of the Pantheon but it's in Piazza Navona that the Baroque age explodes with Gian Lorenzo Bernini's spectacular Four Rivers Fountain. In the shadow of an immense Egyptian obelisk are symbolic representations of the four major rivers known at that time: the Danube, Ganges, Nile and Plata. Two smaller fountains stand at either end of this elliptical piazza that was once the site of thrilling chariot races under the reign of the Emperor Domitian. If time permits, the final stop of the tour will be Giacomo della Porta's Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain), a charming fountain of the 16th century located in the Jewish Ghetto. Please note that the Trevi Fountain is currently being restored and covered in scaffolding until at least the end of 2015.
From $363.00 Per Group
The Appia Antica
The Appia AnticaRegina Viarum -- Queen of the Roads -- this is what the Ancient Romans called the Appian Way. Built in 312 BC, it was the first Roman road to be named after the magistrate that was responsible for its construction. It was adorned with sumptuous villas and monumental tombs belonging to important Roman families. Today, the first few miles are part of a fascinating archaeological park that maintains the romantic atmosphere of its past. The tour starts from Porta San Sebastiano, the largest and best-preserved gate in the Aurelian Wall. It houses a lovely museum illustrating the history of the wall, allowing visitors to walk on the wall itself and enjoy the wonderful views. Driving along the ancient Appian Way, the tour continues to the suburban palace built for the Emperor Maxentius; it includes a very well preserved circus for chariot races. Last stop is the monumental Tomb of Cecilia Metella, one of the most famous landmarks of the Roman Campagna. En-route will be a visit to either the Catacombs of San Callisto or the Catacombs of San Sebastiano.
From $690.00 Per Group
Ostia Antica: The 'Pompeii of Rome'
Ostia Antica: The 'Pompeii of Rome'The beautifully preserved ruins of Ostia lie twenty miles from Rome, in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was founded, probably in the 4th century BC, as a military colony to guard the river mouth against seaborne invasions. By the 2nd century AD, it had become a flourishing commercial center inhabited by upwards of 100,000 people, whose apartment buildings, taverns, and grocery shops are still intact. Although Ostia now sprawls over 10,000 acres, around a main street that runs for more than a mile, the streets are so quiet one hears only the crickets in the trees and perhaps the echoes of ancient children playing stickball. As you walk along Ostia's main street, the Decumanus Maximus, your feet settle into deep ruts left by carrucas, the four wheeled carts used to ferry merchandise and baggage between Rome and Ostia. Among the most significant remains are those of the city's stone theater, warehouses, and the oldest known Jewish Synagogue in Europe. Only just discovered in 1961, its unique setting and successive layers of various structures built in different centuries are a perfect illustration of the city's long and many-storied past.
From $805.00 Per Group
Pompeii and 1 other city.
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from Rome
Lost Cities: Pompeii & Herculaneum from RomeIn the first century AD the Roman Empire had many cities, but none located in a more beautiful setting than those lining the Bay of Naples in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. On August 23rd, 79 AD, Pompeii looked like any other bustling, prosperous, ancient city but just three days later, on August 26th, the city fell silent and the place itself had literally vanished from the face of the earth. Gradually grass and vines covered the land where the towns had stood and the local people eventually forgot even their names. For more than 1,600 years, they remained buried until Herculaneum was rediscovered in 1738 and Pompeii ten years later in 1748. The imagination of Europe was ignited and suddenly, the classical world was in vogue. Philosophy, art, architecture, literature and even fashion drew upon the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum for inspiration. Now, more than 1,900 years after that fateful August morning, we are learning more and more about the last days of Pompeii and important discoveries are still being made. Begin your exploration of the mysteries of Pompeii and Herculaneum on this fascinating 10-hour excursion from Rome.
From $1,474.00 Per Group
Civitavecchia and 1 other city.
Rome Shore Excursion: Civitavecchia Port-of-Call
Rome Shore Excursion: Civitavecchia Port-of-CallAt 8 a.m. or the time you will indicate meet your driver at the dock : he will take you to Rome (about 1.5 - 2hrs drive) where you will meet your private guide. With your guide and driver you will have the chance to visit the highlights of Rome: providing the perfect introduction to the city. This tour will start with a walk around the Colosseum to admire its exteriors and will then proceed with the visit of the Roman Forum, the center of Roman public life for centuries. In the forum, you will visit the most important buildings and temples: the Temple of Augustus where the funeral of Julius Caesar took place, the Via Sacra, and the Curia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate. The tour will continue driving along Via dei Fori Imperiali to reach the Capitoline Hill, where the genius of Michelangelo has left its indelible mark in the form of the magnificent complex known as Piazza Campidoglio. From the Capitoline terrace, a breathtaking view of the ruins of the Roman Forum will encompass the once magnificent epicenter of the ancient city. At Piazza Venezia, you will notice the impressive Victor Emanuel Monument, which commemorates the unification of Italy in 1870. Next stop will be Trevi Fountain: be sure to toss in a coin to insure your return to Rome! This would be a good moment to take a rest or to have a quick break for lunch or a gelato. Not far are the lively Spanish Steps, a must-see in Rome. Then you'll head to the Pantheon, one of the highlights of the tour and the best preserved and most astonishing ancient Roman building in the world! The tour will end at the charming Piazza Navona, with its Baroque treasures and charming cafes. Last stop before leaving the Eternal City will be Saint Peter's Square, with its amazing colonnade designed by the genius of Bernini and the imposing Basilica of Saint Peter's (exterior only). After the tour the driver will take you back to the port and your cruise ship. *Please note the itinerary may vary depending on the total time you will have available in Rome.
From $1,510.00 Per Group
Civitavecchia and 2 other cities.
A Day in the Country: The Villas of Tivoli
A Day in the Country: The Villas of TivoliThe historic hill town of Tivoli, 22 miles east of Rome, is justly famous for its great monuments, most notably the Villa d'Este and Hadrian's villa. This full day excursion will reveal the charms of Tivoli by introducing you to the Baroque splendor and Imperial Roman excess of this small town on the Aniene River. Wealthy Romans have always flocked to Tivoli, lured here by its temperate climate. But no summer retreat tops that of the Emperor Hadrian who, in the early 2nd century AD, conceived a gigantic complex with underground service passages, artificial lakes, fountains, libraries, baths, temples and gardens. Hadrian himself personally supervised the construction and architectural features of the more than 30 buildings that served as reminders of his foreign travels and the countries he had visited. After Hadrian, the villa was used by his various successors. During the decline of the Roman Empire it fell into disuse and was partially ruined. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian's villa removed to decorate his own Villa d'Este located nearby. Son of the infamous Lucretia Borgia, Cardinal Ippolito used the villa primarily for entertaining. The main attraction is the breathtaking garden composed almost exclusively of water features. Sparkling water cascades down stone banisters, into deep pools shaded by trees, over a miniature reproduction of Rome and powers the pipes of a gigantic organ. Sadly, the fountains no longer operate as they once did, but two were restored in 2003: the 'Owl Fountain,' which plays birdsong, and the large 'Water Organ Fountain.' Their mechanisms have been recreated and the fountains are sounded several times a day.
From $1,422.00 Per Group
Borghese Gallery and Gardens
Borghese Gallery and GardensAfter many years of restoration, the Galleria Borghese is once again inviting visitors to view the superb collection of masterpieces assembled in the 17th century by the great collector and patron of the arts, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. His passion and instinct for art led him to amass a unique collection that includes many Baroque masterpieces. Highlights of the collection are Gianlorenzo Bernini's marble sculpture groups of "Pluto and Persephone" and "Apollo and Daphne," while the painting galleries contain Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" and other famous works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Raphael and Correggio. The Villa Borghese itself is a noteworthy example of an opulently decorated and frescoed suburban villa, set in a vast park. After the guided tour of the Gallery, you will stroll through the leafy, green expanse of the Borghese Park until reaching the Pincio Terrace: from here there is a beautiful panoramic view of Rome. The tour ends in the Piazza del Popolo, whose centerpiece is a tall and ancient Egyptian obelisk.
From $390.00 Per Group
Rome and 1 other city.
Full Day Excursion to Viterbo and Villa Lante from...
Full Day Excursion to Viterbo and Villa Lante from RomeViterbo, a charming and tranquil town about an hour north of Rome, has one of the best preserved medieval historic centers in central Italy. Its focus is the impressive, crenelated Papal Palace dating from the mid-13th century when the Papal Curia was removed to Viterbo due to constant urban violence in Rome. Situated alongside the cathedral of San Lorenzo, the palace is approached by a wide, high staircase and is ornamented with a seven-bay loggia of graceful Gothic arches that is raised above the street. In 1268 the longest papal conclave in history took place inside the palace. The cardinals spent two years and eight months trying to elect a new Pope (the citizens of Viterbo finally locked them in so they would make up their minds!). Wandering through the city streets with your guide will work up an appetite for a delicious lunch at Osteria L'Altro Gusto whose menu features, among other things, tempting pasta dishes and excellent grilled meat. After lunch, you will visit either Villa Lante or the Bomarzo Park, or both depending on how much time you have before heading back to Rome. Villa Lante is a wonderfully symmetrical Renaissance park built on gently sloping hills. It boasts lovely fountains, perfectly tended gardens, and casini (little villas) filled with frescoes and painted vaults. This jewel of Mannerist art and architecture will delight you with its serenity and impress you with its feats of engineering. A very different kind of park is the Bosco Sacro ("Sacred Grove") in Bomarzo, also known as the Parco dei Mostri ("Park of the Monsters"). Here, giant sculptures depicting monsters, gods, nymphs, animals, and imaginary objects are scattered over acres of woods beneath the Orsini castle. Bomarzo was intended to astonish, not to please: It is a place where young and old will stand in awe of these arcane symbols that seem to invite you to step outside your comfort zone and accept the irrational. At the end of your adventure in northern Latium, your driver will take you back to your hotel or apartment in Rome so you can think about all the marvelous sights you have seen that day.
From $252.00 Per Person
Tarquinia and Etruscan Tombs: A Full Day Excursion...
Tarquinia and Etruscan Tombs: A Full Day Excursion from RomeDid you know that the Etruscans were the first important civilization to populate the Italian peninsula? And that most of what we know about their way of life comes from the exceptional murals and ancient artifacts found in their burial grounds, the necropolis? One of the best places to encounter the Etruscans is Tarquinia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site one-hour northwest of Rome that boasts an unrivaled collection of painted tombs, dating from the 6th to 2nd centuries BC. Departing from and returning to your Rome hotel, you will start off your privately guided tour by visiting the Duomo with frescoes from 1508. Then you will continue to the Palazzo Vitelleschi, home to the Tarquinia's National Archeological Museum. The museum displays one of Italy's best collections of Etruscan finds, including a fabulous group of terracotta winged horses from the 4th century BC. From the palace's second-floor porch, there is a magnificent view of the green and tranquil countryside (Tarquinia is only three miles from the sea). On a hilltop just outside town is the Monterozzi Necropolis where you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Etruscan way of life. Colorful, well-preserved wall paintings depict the deceased as they go about their everyday activities: Hunting, fishing, dancing, and reclining on couches to dine. Afterwards, you will see the Etruscan temple of Ara della Regina, one of the most important archeological finds in Tarquinia. A well-deserved lunch break at the Osteria Chicche e Pepe comes next. The osteria offers typical local home-style dishes made with organic products. After lunch, your driver will take you to the UNESCO-listed Cerveteri Necropolis. Although the entire necropolis spans almost 1,000 acres, you will be able to visit only a part of it; enough, however, to discover that entire homes were reproduced in meticulous detail in the tombs.
From $252.00 Per Person
The Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus
The Mithraeum of the Circus MaximusClosed to the public since its discovery in the 1930's, this exclusive 1.5 hour tour will take you to the underground chambers of the Circus Maximus where you will discover the mystical religion known as Mithraism. Celebrated as one of the most famous racetracks in the world, the Circus Maximus of Ancient Rome welcomed chariot races, naval battles, and exotic menageries throughout the reign of the Caesars of the Roman Empire. Hidden below this massive spectacle site is one of the most interesting and mysterious sites of Roman history: the Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus. A religion born in antiquity, at a time of elaborate spiritual rites and sacrificial ceremonies, Mithraism is often times identified as a cult. However, this widespread religion has been said to inspire even the most sacred of Christian holidays: December 25th was celebrated as the birth of Mithras. The vast subterranean building dates back to the 2nd century, with the ceremonial chamber, called the Mithraeum, constructed in the 3rd century. The Mithraeum under the Circus remained undiscovered until the 1930's, and is one of the largest locations of the Mithras religion in Rome. As you explore the multiple rooms and area of the building, you will see a magnificent relief in white marble revealing the ceremony called "Tauroctony", a key sacrificial rite of Mithraism.
From $296.00 Per Group
The Underground Chambers of San Clemente & Santi G...
The Underground Chambers of San Clemente & Santi Giovanni e PaoloThis 3-hour tour will explore the subterranean chambers below two of the oldest basilicas still present in Rome: San Clemente and Santi Giovanni and Paolo. Both basilicas were constructed in the traditional nave-apse style, but below the buildings are layers of Roman history, dating back as early as the 2nd century! The area below the church of San Clemente is the perfect way to view Rome throughout the different eras of history. The primitive church of San Clemente, which today is located underground, has its origins dating back to the second half of the 4th century. This church was built inside the remains of an existing 3rd century Roman house, or domus, which sprang up from an even older structure. On your tour you'll see various Ancient Roman highlights: from a 3rd century Mitreo, or place of worship for the occult, to the streambed of the ancient river, Clivus Labicanus, which once flowed into Nero's manmade lake, now the site of the famous Colosseum. The church of Saints John and Paul represents four levels of history, from the underground chambers to the basilica rooftop. The 2nd century foundation consists of three Roman houses that were later transformed into a single shop with a street level storefront in the first half of the 3rd century. In the 4th century the building became the house of a nobleman, with beautifully conserved decorations that can be seen your tour. In the later part of the 4th century, a confesso, or a rectangular niche with a slightly elevated landing, decorated with thematically Christian paintings, was added to the structure. Finally, in the 5th century, the construction of the modern-day church began.
From $551.00 Per Group
Palaces & Villas of the Renaissance
Palaces & Villas of the RenaissanceIn a very circumscribed area of the Campus Martius - the river plane where the city developed during the Middle Ages - stand the most beautiful palaces of the Renaissance in Rome. This itinerary will highlight them all, trace the development of architecture during that period and to show the magnificence in the life of high prelates. The tour starts across the Tiber, at the Farnesina: a real jewel of Renaissance art designed by Baldassarre Peruzzi as a sumptuous "country villa" for the rich banker Agostino Chigi and decorated by the greatest artists of the time, including Raphael. It continues to the Palazzo della Cancelleria, built between the 15th and 16th century in pure architectural forms for Cardinal Raffaele Riario. A few steps further, across the colorful square of Campo de? Fiori, is Palazzo Farnese, the largest of Rome's patrician palaces. Today the seat of the French Embassy, it was originally planned by Antonio Sangallo the Younger for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. When the latter became Pope Paul III, the project was vastly amplified and after Sangallo's death, Michelangelo was entrusted with its completion. The very rich facade of the nearby Palazzo Spada provides a startling contrast to the austere fa?ade of Palazzo Farnese. The tour ends in Palazzo Altemps, a magnificent late Renaissance palace that houses the astonishing Ludovisi collection of ancient marbles.
From $422.00 Per Group
Rome Photo Shoot
Rome Photo ShootFor an unforgettable Roman holiday, a walking tour with a professional photographer in Rome is a great idea for family vacations, engagement trips or honeymoons. It not only allows you to enjoy the incredible beauty of the Eternal City and bring home happy memories, but will also furnish many memorable shots to add to your photo album or Facebook page. On this 2-hour private tour, your personal photographer will pick you up at your hotel and take photos of you as you stroll through the maze of streets that make up Rome's historic center. Discover and experience Rome on one of the following routes: Baroque treasures of Rome such as the famous Trevi Fountain and historic squares like Piazza Navona and Campo dei Fiori Ancient Rome such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum Trastevere Area - the picturesque neighborhood with the antique church of Santa Maria in Trastevere St. Peter and Vatican's area (exteriors only) But these are just suggestions. The tour can be completely customized so be sure to advise us of your preferences in order to make the most of your photo shoot.
From $660.00 Per Group