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 $157.00 Per Person
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. You can choose the fourth monument you wish to visit: either the Pantheon or the Palatine Hill. Hadrian's Pantheon is the most impressive and best-preserved monument of classical antiquity. It is covered by the biggest cupola ever built by the Romans; a "celestial vault" with an open oculus as its center. Or you can climb up the grass-covered Palatine Hill where 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 $154.00 Per Person
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!
From $245.00 Per Person
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 $83.00 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.
From $51.00 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 $73.00 Per Person
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 $53.00 Per Person
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking Tour
Must-See Rome: Small Group Walking TourThis unique walking tour reveals the secrets of the Roman Dolce Vita, from the city's most beautiful monuments to the places where the locals go for the best espresso and gelato. 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. Here you'll also encounter the Rome of yesteryear at the Antico Caffe Greco, a beautiful cafe' that has been a meeting point for artists and philosophers since the 18th century. 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. There you'll pause for a well-earned break at Rome's best gelateria for a cup or cone of delicious ice cream. Next up is the Pantheon, one of the greatest and best preserved Roman temples in existence. Nearby there is a small cafe' where you will enjoy the best espresso in Rome! Piazza Navona comes next; here the Baroque age explodes with Gian Lorenzo Bernini's spectacular Four Rivers Fountain. Not far away is the statue of Pasquino, known as one of the talking statues of Rome because of the comments that are still being attached to it. In front of the statue you will find an excellent enoteca where you can end your tour with a glass of wine chosen from a list of more than 3,000 vintages, accompanied by tasty hot and cold appetizers.
From $74.00 Per Person
Small Group Walking Tour of Rome's Archaeological ...
Small Group Walking Tour of Rome's Archaeological SitesDiscover the most fascinating archaeological sites in Rome during this 2 and a 1/2 hour tour. You will begin your journey at the Arch of Constantine, built in honor of the emperor Constantine, where you will meet with your guide. While wandering around the sights you will discover the history of the city while listening to the stories about life in ancient Rome. The tour will continue in the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever made by the Romans, an imposing structure that can seat up to 50,000 people. This is the place where gladiators fought for their lives and where Romans came to entertain themselves. Upon leaving the Colosseum, the tour will head towards the Roman Forum Once the political and religious center of ancient Rome, the Forum's origins date back to the 7th century BC. You will start to understand the life ancient Romans led by visiting the most important buildings and temples in the Forum: 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. To complete this exciting tour, you will visit a nearby enoteca, where you will be able to have a glass of wine while discussing the wonderful sights you have seen.
From $119.00 Per Person
Arts and Flavors of Rome: Small Group Walking Tour
Arts and Flavors of Rome: Small Group Walking TourThis fascinating walking tour reveals the secrets of the Roman life, from the city's most ancient sights to the places where the locals go for the best markets and restaurants. Departing from Piazza Farnese, with its aristocratic palace designed by Michelangelo, you will reach Campo de' Fiori, the only square in Rome without a church. Here you'll enjoy the lively atmosphere of the outdoor market and visit a bakery to taste some of Rome's best pizza rossa, hot from the oven. Next is Piazza Mattei with the charming Turtle Fountain. A little further along is the Jewish ghetto where you will pass by the Synagogue and learn how the area was affected during the war. Not far away is the Teatro di Marcello, an ancient Roman theater that has been incorporated into Renaissance buildings, now converted into apartments that are thousands of years old. The tour continues by climbing the Capitoline Hill to experience the beautiful square designed by Michelangelo whose centerpiece is an imposing statue of Marcus Aurelius. From the terrace you will enjoy a panoramic view over the Roman Forum. The final stop is the Piazza Venezia, home of the huge marble monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II, known locally as the "typewriter." Then, walking along Via dei Fori Imperiali, you will reach Rome's archaeological sites and see the market of Trajan and the Forum of Augustus.
From $74.00 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.
From $112.00 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 $227.00 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 $266.00 Per Person
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 $552.00 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 $113.00 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 $74.00 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 $5,624.00 Per Group
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & Borromin...
Baroque Splendors in the Age of Bernini & BorrominiHardly has any man left a stronger imprint on a city than Bernini has on Rome, and his universal genius permeates the Roman landscape. However, he was by no means the only outstanding artist of the time: his contemporary Borromini vied with Bernini for the title of the most original genius of high baroque architecture. Their 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 of a first hand comparison of the works and styles of the two artists, this tour will take you to some of the most important and famous monuments in Rome: the glorious outdoor theater of Piazza Navona, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the church of Sant' Agnese in Agone; the church of St. Ivo alla Sapienza, the highest masterpiece of Borromini with its startlingly beautiful whirling cupola; the Pantheon and the church of St. Ignazio, with its unforgettable ceiling frescoes; and the imposing Trevi Fountain.
From $116.00 Per Person
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.
From $123.00 Per Person
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 $735.00 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 $872.00 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 $1,805.00 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 from the visit of the Colosseum (interiors included), the biggest theater ever built by the Romans, and the most famous monument of Rome! Tour will proceed 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 $1,777.00 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 $1,673.00 Per Group
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 $299.00 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 $496.00 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 $111.00 Per Person