The Vatican Scavi Tour that goes through the excavations below Saint Peter's basilica is one of the most exclusive tours of all Rome.
I have been an official guide of Vatican Scavi since 1996. You could blindfold me and I would be able to show you around with ease.
We will visit an Ancient Roman Necropolis, discovered by archeologists in 1939 and filled with the fresco-painted tombs of wealthy Roman families and an early Christian cemetery with the tomb of St. Peter's, the Apostle. This part of the tour will be with about 15 other people, though we will visit St. Peter's church on our own.
Saint Peter's basilica was built in 1506. It is the longest church in the world, filled with the most important Renaissance masterpieces like the Pietà by Michelangelo.
You can combine this tour with the Vatican Museums or Pope's audience on Wednesdays.
The Colosseum tour starts off from Piazza Venezia, we can climb the steps that lead us to the top of Capitol Hill, one of the famous seven hills. It was the political and religious center of ancient Rome. It’s today the seat of the City Hall. The square was laid out by Michelangelo in 16th century and decorated with testate of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (the same emperor that in the movie Gladiator with Russel Crowe was killed by his son Commodus)
A walk down the hill takes us to the Forum. It was the most important square of Ancient Rome used as daily market place and meeting-point. Around this square, the Romans constructed the most important buildings, temples and palaces as the Roman Senate where the senators met and decided the destiny of the known world and Titus Arch built to celebrate the Roman Empire victory over the Jews.
We can walk along the Victory’s road in the Forum, leading us to the Colosseum, the ancient world’s largest amphitheater. Even though centuries have gone by, you are no doubt familiar with the sights and sounds of the Colosseum. Gladiators, animals and spectacles entertained the thousands of Romans who gathered, free of charge.
Are you coming to Rome on a Cruise?... and you have only one day to visit the city? This tour is what you're looking for!
I will take you on a fun and interesting tour of the highlights of Ancient, Renaissance Rome and Vatican.
Your shore excursion to Rome will start with pick up dockside at your cruise ship in Civitavecchia (1 hour and half from Rome), where a professional driver and a comfortable limo or minivan will be waiting for you and will lead you to Rome.
At the conclusion of your Rome guided day tour, the driver will take you back to your cruise ship, dockside, in Civitavecchia.
We will visit Vatican museums (Sistine Chapel), St. Peter's Basilica, Fountain, Colosseum, Forum.
Suggestions:dress code at the Vatican - no bare shoulders, skirts and shorts under the knees
This 16th century Villa, surrounded by a wonderful park, was built by Borghese family. The Borghese Gallery houses probably the collection you have heard most before coming to Rome. The great masterpieces are the works of Raphael, Caravaggio and Titian and the wonderful sculptures of Bernini like David, Apollo and Daphne and the most celebrated sculpture Paolina Bonaparte by the 18th century Italian artist Antonio Canova.
Please note: advanced booking required. Reservation is mandatory for entrance to this museum as the Galleria Borghese only allows entrance to a certain number of visitors at a time.
Visiting these museums will help you give face, form and expression to the gods and to the key personalities who inhabited the squares, temples and houses of the ancient city. You can see the splendid gilded bronze statue of Hercules, the formidable statue of Mars in full military dress, the Drunken Faun carved from ancient red marble, and dozens of other extraordinary sculptures.
Above all, you can admire the perfection of the original bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, with its minute attention to detail apparent in the emperor’s beard, veins and rather incredible sandals. You’ll come across the very famous remains of the colossal statue of the Emperor Constantine, his head, hand and foot all etched with their long history. The Dying Gaul will touch you with his pained expression and show of courage. The mosaics of the Doves and the Theatrical Masks are immortal symbols that all of us have seen in our school books.
As no doubt is the case with the legendary statue of the She-wolf, symbol of the city. The museum also houses the busts of Cicero, Julius Caesar, Nero, Homer, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The two buildings of the museum are linked trough a tunnel built by Mussolini that runs underneath the City Hall (former Roman Archives) from which you can enjoy an overwhelming view over the Forum valley with all its vestiges of ancient glory.
This walking tour begins at Trevi Fountain. This is known as Rome's "wish fountain", where a small coin dropped into the Trevi's waters assures your return to Rome. We will then then continue along the side streets of Old Rome, the city's historic center. We will pass near Colonna Square where in the middle of the square, you can see a 90 feet high second century a.d. Roman Column dedicated to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (the same emperor you saw in the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe).
Just around the corner a narrow street will lead us to a wonderful church St. Ignatius is well known for its moving ceiling!!!!
We will pass in front of the and we stop inside to marvel at the concrete dome the ancient Romans poured in the 2nd century AD.We will admire the light streaming in through the opening at the center of the dome. Seeing the Pantheon for the first time leaves even modern architects amazed at how it was built by the ancient Romans. In this square, we will have a break for a delicious cappuccino. One block away from Pantheon, we can even visit St. Louis of French church if it is open at the time of our tour. This church houses three wonderful paintings of Matthew’s life by the famous Italian painter Caravaggio.
Our tour will end in piazza Campo de' fiori, with its animated market. The colorful stalls of Campo de' Fiori's fruit and vegetable vendors displaying their bountiful produce will be a feast for your eyes. You may also want to pop into Campo de' Fiori's famous bakery ("forno") to sample, stand-up, a slice of the exquisite thin crust Roman pizza fresh from the oven.
Before the conclusion of the tour, I will show you the off beaten track spot where J. Caesar was killed.
The most important of the Roman roads, it was built in 312 b.c. by Appius Claudius.
Running from Rome to southern Italy, the road is still paved with big blocks of basalt (grey volcanic stone) and in use today. It has also been used for the first few miles as pagan and christian burial grounds. The early Christians, for example, built along it their underground cemeteries (catacombs).
The tour starts near the San Sebastiano gate, one of the 18gates of the Roman city walls and still well preserved. Then, we visit the Saint Callistus Catacombs, which were an object of pilgrimage from the Middle Ages to modern times. Here the bones of Saint Peter and Saint Paul were kept during 3rd century persecution. The catacombs are a complicated network of galleries flanked by hundreds of tombs.
Returning to Via Appia, a little farther along the road, we find the Circus of Emperor Maxentius and the temple of Romulus (his son), both built in the 4th century a.c. Beyond them is one of the famous landmarks of the Roman Countryside, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella. It is a magnificent tomb of a patrician lady who died in the first century a.c. Then, we continue on foot (only pedestrians or bikes allowed). For the next mile the road is lined with cypresses and flanked by the ruins of ancient Roman tombs.
The landscape is wonderful… Don’t come to Rome and miss the views that you will find here along this road… Come and discover it.
Have you ever marveled at a mosaic in a church and wondered “how do they do it?”
Prepare to find out! After our tour of Saint Peter‘s, we will tour the school where they created the mosaics on display in the basilica. This school opened in the 18th century and still makes the most important and beautiful mosaics adoring churches, convents, villas and private collections all over the world.
The mosaic artists use a secret technique invented by Venetian artists in the 17th century. We’ll visit their school and see the mosaic masters in progress – and even learn their trade secrets!
Beneath the city streets that travellers walk on each day, dark labyrinths of underground tunnels transport travellers to a time when millions of people were buried underground.
The Jewish catacombs of Rome Vigna Randanini, which date back to the II century AD, were constructed as underground tombs by the Jewish community.
Explore with me this fascinating site, discoverd in 1859 below a private property.
All the tombs are decorated with Jewish faith subjects such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the casket with the roll of the Torah, the fruit of the cedar, the sacred knife for circumcision, the pomegranate, the mandrake, the Shofar.
We can combine this tour with the discovery of Rome Jewish Ghetto.