The best way to have an overview of Rome is to hire a car with an English speaking driver as traffic in this city, the largest in Italy, can be quite chaotic. With a driver you will be able to visit many different sights in a short time without the worry of driving and finding a parking space in such a busy city. Your driver will take care of the car while you explore the different areas on foot. He will be able to suggest the best time to visit a sight as well as recommend and book a good restaurant for a lunch.
Taking a drive around Rome, we are constantly surprised at what we encounter on our way, such as the sculpted columns representing the victories of the Romans against their enemies, two-thousand-year-old emperors’ villas, amphitheaters, such as the Coliseum, arches, forums, temples and much, much more. We will also see the symmetrical buildings in the rationalist style of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, as well as the ornate baroque palaces and fountains, such as the Trevi Fountain of the 1600s and 1700s. We will drive through Piazza del Popolo, designed by the architect Giuseppe Valadier, with its Egyptian obelisk and the twin churches of Santa Maria Montesano and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. We will visit Piazza Navona, a significant example of Baroque Roman Architecture and art with the “Fountain of the Four Rivers” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini, the “Fontana del Moro” by Giacomo della Porta and Bernini and the “Neptune Fountain” by Giacomo della Porta. Piazza di Trevi features the largest fountain in Rome and one of the most famous scenes of the Italian film “La dolce vita” by Federico Fellini was filmed here. Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) features a monumental staircase of 135 steps connecting the Spanish Embassy with the church Trinità dei Monti. Campo dei Fiori, which hosts a colorful market and the statue dedicated to the philosopher and monk Giordano Bruno who was burned here on the 17th of February, 1600. Finally, after Piazza Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo, you will reach Piazza Venezia and from here the Piazza Quirinale, the highest hill in Rome with the Quirinale Palace which is the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, while in the past it housed Popes and kings.
Personalized tours and pre booked tickets for the requested date and time. Closed on Sundays. Appointment by prior arrangement either at the entrance of the Vatican Museums or at your hotel with transfer by car or van.
Among the many things, in the Vatican Museums you will visit The Raphael Rooms (masterpiece “The School of Athens”), the Borgia Apartment built for Pope Alexander VI (Borgia), the Gallery of Maps, the Sistine Chapel with the world-famous frescoes by Michelangelo and other Renaissance painters.
Directly from the Vatican Museums you will enter St. Peter’s Basilica, the “greatest church of Christendom”. Not to be missed are Bernini’s baldachin, Michelangelo’s most famous “Pieta” (of the four he sculpted) and the Popes’ tombs located under the church. Outside of the basilica the spectacular square of Piazza San Pietro awaits you with its colossal colonnade designed by Bernini. At the center stands an Egyptian obelisk of red granite. Here, thousands of people arrive from all over the world, especially on Sundays, when the Pope gives his speech.
Vatican Dress Code: At the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica, staff will check that shoulders and knees are covered.
This tour usually starts at the entrance of the museum itself, near the ticket office, where our guide will be waiting for you. On request, we can arrange for the guide to meet you at a different place. We will take care of booking the Galleria Borghese.
The Galleria Borghese owes its name to the Cardinal Scipione Borghese, one of the most important art collectors of the early seventeenth century. Thanks to his privileged position as nephew of Camillo Borghese who became Pope with the name of Paul V – and also thanks to his considerable ability – Scipione Borghese collected incredible art works that make this museum a must-see in Rome. Here we find sculptures, bas-reliefs, ancient mosaics, paintings dating from the XV to the XVIII century by world famous artists such as Bernini, Titian, Caravaggio, Rafael, Correggio, Antonello da Messina, Domenichino, Canova, Rubens, Cranach and many others. Not to be missed is the reclining “Pauline Bonaparte”, a marble sculpture by Antonio Canova considered an excellent expression of neoclassical style; the sculptures “David” and “Apollo and Daphne” executed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini when he was 24-25 years old; the “Madonna of the Palafrenieri” by Caravaggio which came to be part of the Borghese private collection when it was removed from one of the most important altars in St. Peter’s, only a month after being placed there, because of its lack of decency, and lastly, the Renaissance painting “Sacred and Profane Love” by Titian, considered a true masterpiece.
The Jewish ghetto of Rome is one of the oldest in the world. Pope Paul IV ordered its construction in 1555, in the neighborhood of Sant’Angelo near Trastevere, which is where the Jewish community already lived. As you walk through the charming narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter and learn to recognize Jewish Italian names, you will enjoy looking in the typical Jewish shops and you can choose which restaurant to eat the typical fish dishes and artichokes (carciofi alla Giudia).
On the way there, you will pass the fountain “Fontana delle Tartarughe” designed by Giacomo della Porta, an important water source for the city of Rome connected to the Acqua Vergine, one of the first Roman acqueducts. You will marvel at the Synagogue, referred to as “Temple” built in Assyrian-Babylonian art-nouveau style. Crossing the Fabricio bridge, the oldest bridge in Rome dating back to 62 B.C., you will reach Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina). Although the island was not part of the Ghetto, the Jewish presence was always very strong here; In fact, the Jewish Hospital had its seat here and still maintains a clinic in the historical Palazzo Caetani.
Now to the exploration of the symbolic places of ancient Rome! The Roman Forum was for centuries the center of Roman public life. The Palatine Hill, the most central of the Seven Hills of Rome, rises between the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. Here is the recently restored House of Augustus featuring splendid frescoes painted 2,000 years ago, possibly by an Egyptian artist. The visit is available only to a limited number of visitors, depending on the date of your visit and on the dispositions of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Not to be missed is a visit to the Coliseum, the most famous amphitheater in the world, that could seat 50,000 people. Between the Coliseum and the Palatine Hill is the Arch of Constantine, built to commemorate the victory of Constantine I over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Southeast of the Roman Forum, on the via Sacra, is the Arch of Titus, dating back to the I century A.C. which inspired the construction of several triumphal arches such as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Finally, you will be able to go up to the Capitoline Hill, the most famous of the seven hills in Rome. From here you can admire Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Nuovo, the Capitoline Museum (the oldest public museum in the world), Capitoline Square (Piazza del Campidoglio) designed by Michelangelo and enjoy the view over the Roman Forums, the Imperial Forums and Piazza Venezia.