Benvenuti a Roma — it’s these words that you hear when arriving in Rome. It’s the city where mighty emperors decided the fate of the whole world. It’s the heart of the Catholic Church and the best baroque masterpieces. Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest creations were made here, and Federico Fellini’s legendary “Dolce Vita” was also filmed in this magnificent city. Every Roman house and its every cobblestone are imbued with the spirit of European antiquity. Here’s what you need to know before you arrange an unforgettable Roman holiday.
How to choose and book a tour in Rome
1) Before you start browsing tours in Rome proposed by travel agencies, be sure to check out the reviews on the web, as all the nuances are better taken into account beforehand. The opinion of those tourists who have already experienced the quality of Rome agencies’ services will help you choose an interesting tour with the best price/quality ratio.
2) Having a couple of friends or acquaintances who are familiar with Rome and know how to choose the right tour and agency is a plus. You can ask them to explain the peculiarities of choosing and booking the best excursion in detail.
3) Then, after choosing the most suitable option for you, you can begin browsing the websites that provide tours around the Italian capital. You should be careful when booking a tour. Read the payment conditions and don’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify the details, as it will help you avoid serious problems during your journey.
The most popular tours in Rome
Here’s a small guide how to choose tours in Rome, including excursions to Vatican, Coliseum, Forum, etc.
A walking tour
When booking Rome tours, most tourists usually choose two types of routes: classic and non-trivial ones. The list of classic excursions includes the route around the ancient part of Rome, like the Pantheon, as well as some Renaissance sights.
Most excursions begin with the Colosseum — the symbol of the Roman Empire and the place where the legendary gladiatorial fights took place. If you also plan to visit the Colosseum, it’s better to book tickets in advance, so you don’t have to queue up for a few hours. After that, most tourists go the Roman Forum (the center of public life in ancient Rome), the Capitol, and the Pantheon. Once you see these architectural miracles, you can stroll along the Piazza Navona and Piazza di Spagna to see the famous Spanish steps and the charming 17th-century fountain near them. The tour ends near the grandiose Trevi Fountain where tourists traditionally throw coins into the water to come to Rome again.
The best tours of Rome should include a visit to Vatican. If you’re planning to visit this city during Easter holidays, it’s better to book tickets online. The most popular tour programs include St. Peter’s Basilica and Square, the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Pinakothek.
Tours to basilicas
The Italian capital is full of churches and cult places of paramount importance for Christians. One of the most exciting tours in Rome is the one that offers tourists to visit three ancient basilicas. The excursion begins in Esquiline, one of the oldest districts of the city.
The first basilica is called Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the entrance to which is decorated with wonderful 13th-century mosaic. Here, you can see Crèches of Christ and the icons revered by Catholics around the world. The next stop is the Basilica of St. John the Baptist with its unique relics. And the last part of the trip is the beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where the Holly Nail with which Christ was crucified is stored.
A word of advice: when visiting Vatican and its churches, be sure to dress appropriately. Shorts, short skirts, T-shirts with open shoulders, and dresses with deep décolleté aren’t allowed. Don’t bring thrust and cutting objects, like penknives and glassware, with you. And you should leave your long umbrella, tripod for the camera, and bulk backpack at the hotel.
Some agencies also offer rather unusual programs for tourists who visited the eternal city before, like “The underground Rome.” During this tour, you can visit the underground churches and explore archaeological sites, pre-Christian monuments, and other interesting spots.
There’s also a wide choice of romantic night excursions in Rome. When the sun goes down, thousands of city lights make Rome mysteriously beautiful. It’s the best time to see the fountains of the Baroque period. The cool and crystal-clear waters coming from ancient aqueducts and elegant sculptural compositions won’t leave you indifferent.
Tours for kids
Parents, who come to Rome with children, can give their little travelers a real fairy tale. Rome tours for kids include visiting such spots as the zoo, the amusement park, the Explora museum, the Papa Carlo’s shop, and much more.
A professional guide will guarantee you an unforgettable trip
When traveling, tourists have a choice to either save money and go exploring the sights themselves or spend some part of their travel budget on the professional guide. But most of the travelers don’t even consider the second variant. This happens because they simply don’t see its advantages. Here are the pros of traveling with a guide.
Looking for the potential sights, people spend too much precious time on their research. Moreover, there’s a risk to miss the unique sights only professional guides know about. Sure, any journey, whether you’re traveling alone or as part of a large group is always fascinating and interesting, but it’s not exclusive, not individual, inflexible, and time-consuming without a guide.
If you want to plunge into Roman history, see the unique sights, taste the best local cuisine, and book the best hotel, you definitely need to consult a guide who knows all the peculiarities of this incredible city. A real professional knows every sight, every street, and every house. With a good guide, you can be sure that your route will be planned in accordance with your wishes, and all your questions will be answered.