Themed Tours in Rome
Here you will find a selection of walking tours on offer.
Most last a half day of about 3 hours; you could put two together for a full day tour of around 7 hours; or you can include some other sites that pique your interest.
This is not everything you can do in Rome - an entire lifetime is not enough to cover everything Rome has to offer - but use this as an indication of what we can do. Should you have any particular request for other tours please let me know and hopefully I will be able to came back to you with a tailor-made tours to cover your needs.
The Birth of Rome - The Coliseum, Forum and Palatine
" The Classic"
The tour will cover the most iconic of Roman Monuments: The Coliseum. It was the Imperial theatre for gladiatorial fights immortalized in films like Gladiator, and we will be able to appreciate the building's structure, the shows and, more importantly, what was the political message behind these shows. It is also the very place to understand who the Romans were and to start getting inside their minds. We will then move on to have a look at the remains of the Imperial Palace built on the hill where Rome was founded and we will finish in the Republican Forum - the very nerve centre of Rome where Roman virtues where displayed.
The Grand Tour of Rome
This is a tour of elegance - visiting Piazza del Popolo, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, Piazza Colonna, Montecitorio, The Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
Tourists have been coming to Rome for many centuries - and when they arrived in Rome they usually entered through the North Gate of Rome which today is Piazza del Popolo and there they picked up their guide, or as we are still called Roman Ciceroni (after Cicero, the greatest of Roman orators). Your Cicerone, then and now, would help you find you the best lodgings, taverns, a carriage as well as the most historic monuments - but the difference between your tour guide then and now was that then, you would have then found your lodgings robbed, suffering food poisoning from the tavern food and with very strange ideas about Roman History! Thank God today us guides are much more reliable, although we will follow the path of those old tour guides, starting at Piazza del Popolo, to then be amazed by the theatricality of the Spanish steps, then to be blown away by the Trevi Fountain, followed by the only pagan Roman temple to survive Christian destruction, the Pantheon, which will also leave you speechless. We will finish at the stunning Piazza Navona, with her fountains by Bernini and the church by Borromini - after all this, you will see why tourists have always flocked to Rome.
Ancient Rome in 1 or 2 days!
Day 1: Palatine Forum and Imperial Forum,
A panoramic of the early History of Rome and its development into an Empire.
We will start at the Palatine Hill - the very place where Rome was founded and here we will come to understand why it was such a success story from the very beginning. We will walk around the Forum where Rome first flexed her muscles with her own citizens, and then projected herself out into the world with such force that she became the greatest Empire the world had ever known, and one that still shapes our world today.
Day 2: Caracalla's Baths, Circus Maximus, Colosseum
Grand is the only word to describe this tour.
We will experience a day in the life of a Roman citizen. We start in the morning being prepared, washed and groomed at Caracalla's Baths, the most exclusive Baths in Rome, then we will go to have a snack and bet some money on a winning horse at the Circus Maximus, the grandest Circus of them all, and we will finish in the afternoon with the most exciting show in town at the Colosseum, the greatest Anphitheatre in the world, where we will watch the most famous celebrity-gladiators confront each other in a deadly contest!
The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and the Pinacoteca
This tour will focus on the art of the Vatican Museums, and the highlight is Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
The Vatican Museums have a superb collection of Art Masters which are often ignored - on this chronological tour we will see works by Giotto to Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and even a Thomas Lawrence painting of George the IV in his Order of the Garter attire. We will also see the famous series of tapestries (Acts of the Apostles) copied from preparatory paintings by Raphael that miracolosy survived the centuries and are now displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
But that's not all... we will also see Classical Greek and Roman art, mosaics, bronze statues, Renaissance tapestries, cartography on a grand scale, as well as the High Renaissance master Raphael's frescoes in the Raphael Stanze, and a look at the modern Art Collection which will all prepare us for Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel - a place where the story of art changed corse and where popes are elected.
The Counter-Reformation and the Inquisition
As a result of religion, we will see marvels of illusionism, miraculous tromp l'oeil, buildings that seem to move, works of art that are never still, buildings that talk to each other - we will enter a dream world where we encounter magic and miracles!
In the 1500s the Roman Catholic Church had to face one of its most serious challenges - the Protestant Reformation which saw large parts of Northern Europe breaking from Church. In order to keep the people 'within the fold', the Roman Catholic Church launched the Counter Reformation - and this walk will explore the complexities of this period. We will follow in the footsteps of two great 17th century figures persecuted by the fearsome Cardinal Bellarmino "The Great Inquisitor": the philosopher Giordano Bruno, who ultimately was burned for his ideas at Campo de Fiori, and the astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was put on trial for his heretical ideas.
In the footsteps of Bernini, Borromini and Caravaggio
We start from Piazza del Popolo to travel through the narrow street of Rome and visit churches that are really museums - you will never see so many Caravaggios for free in half a day and at the same time we will look at some of the most innovative buildings of 1600. We will explore and discuss the Baroque (Portuguese for an imperfect pearl), a style that is most closely associated with the sculptor and architect Bernini, which is a dramatic and perhaps troubled style that reflects the troubled time of the Counter Reformation and the re-organization of the Church of Rome to counteract the new interpretation of the bible and indeed of Christianity.
The Italian Renaissance is usually more associated with Florence, but Rome has its own equally important Renaissance which we can discover on this walking tour. We will explore the Centro Storico and hear about what Rome was like in the 1400 and 1500s as an artistic centre, and the families who funded artistic innovation - such as the notorious Borgias.
And I have more...!
If you are interested in any of these tours or the ones below, do get in touch and I will send you further details.
The Squares of Rome, Crucifixions - the Appian Way, Introduction to Architecture Walk, Trastevere, EUR - Mussolini's Rome, Tivoli, The Jewish Ghetto, The Risorgimento: Mazzini, Garibaldi and Ernesto Nathan.