These walking tours have a length between 2:30 and 3 hours. We may either meet clients in their hotel's lobby and start the tour on foot or we may take a taxi together (from their hotel) to go at the starting point of our tour where we abandon the taxi and continue on foot. These are not designed as "shopping tours" but of course to give you as many information as possible on the history and traditions of the city as well as help you to get acquainted with.
Renaissance & Baroque
Fountains and Palaces, Churches and Squares built between 1500 and 1700. Stories of noble families, cardinals and Popes, but also high fashion boutiques and gelato shops. When Rome was the center of all art and culture of modern Europe, painters, architects and sculptors from Norway and Spain, France and Russia, all had to spend some years in the Eternal city. We will view some of the best examples of all the fine arts. This walking tour includes highlights such as : Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, Navona square, Hadrianeum, and important palaces like the Italian Parliament and the Senate House.
This tour is based on the most interesting archaeological area of Europe and includes sites really next to each other and all accessible with the same ticket: the Roman Forum, the Imperial Fora, the Colosseum and the Palatine hill.
The forum has always been the heart of the public life of the Ancient Rome, where the most important political, religious and military cerimonies where taking place, where trials where held, where the most important markets where opened every morning. The Colosseum was the biggest of the many amphitheaters built in the Roman empire, where the most spectacular gladiators' fighting were taking place and it was the biggest "stadium"(in the modern meaning) ever built by past civilizations. The Palatine hill, the official residence of the Roman Empire as well as the Administrative center, was literally covered with the complex and imposing structures of the Imperial Palaces.
So we will really walk in the heart of the history of the ancient Rome in one of the most exciting "live" lecture that will involve archaeology and legends, history and myths at the same time. An unforgettable experience!
This tour is only among ruins in an archaeological area. This means that you need convenient shoes and should be ready to walk through ups and downs of a hilly and rugged ground.
We enter in the Papal state to admire some of the beauties of one of the most interesting museums of the world and pass among some of the most famous sections like the Candelabra gallery, the Tapestry Gallery and the Gallery of the Maps.
Then we will enter in one of the most celebrated masterpieces in the world art history: the Sistine Chapel, the palatine chaple wanted by Pope Sixtus IV with the famous frescos by Michelangelo.
We will the proceed to the Basilica of St. Peter, the biggest church of the world where, among 400 statues another masterpiece by Michelangelo is on display : the Pietà.
We'll end our tour in St. Peter's Square, where the weekly papal audience take place and where you may take a picture of the famous "papal window" on the façade of the apostolic palace.
This is another nice walking through the city center and its shopping area. Rome has always been famous for the abundance of water since the first century A.D. thanks to the many aqueducts built by the ancient Romans, and for this reason has always had an abundance of fountains. Some of the most beautiful and celebrated fountains of the 1500, 1600 and 1700 centuries will lead our path. The Triton, Trevi, the Four Rivers, the "Facchino", as well as the other anonymous fountains in other squares like piazza Colonna, piazza del Pantheon, piazza Navona.
Off the Beaten Paths
This walking itinerary is aimed at discovering masterpiecess hidden in the churches of the Eternal City: painters like Caravaggio, P.P. Rubens, Pietro da Cortona, Cavalier d'Arpino, Carlo Maratta, Raffaello Santi (or simply Raphael) left some of their celebrated paintings and frescoes in our churches. We can also see the residences (or Palazzi) where the princes of the Church were living, surrounded by a magnificence and a sumptuousness hardly conceivable. On the other hand, some of the medieval buildings (now restructured) and narrow streets (still narrow) where the commoners were living. If you have already seen some famous highlights always full with thousands of tourists, like Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, this is the ideal tour to discover another side of the city (and to go deeper in its history!).
Our walk will start from the Tiber banks to locate the most important commercial port in the ancient Rome city, and to see the seat of the first Juvenile Reformatory ever conceived in Europe thanks to the enlightened pope Innocent XII. We then will venture in the intricate maze of these medieval alleys where the "common people" of Rome has always lived, from the republican to the imperial ages of the ancient Rome, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We'll enter in some early Christian churches to admire medieval mosaics as well as baroque decoration and statues (like the Beata Ludovica Albertoni by Bernini, or the St. Cecilia by Stefano Maderno), we will see the evidence of the popular devotion and superstition still surviving today, we'll pass in front of workshops where artisans are still working today on leather of wood or iron with their hands, we'll see the streets of one of the most lively districts of the roman movida, packed with restaurants, wine-bars, pubs, pizzeria, gelato-shops where hundreds of thousands of people spend their Friday and Saturday nights without any idea of the many medieval buildings that still give Trastevere its unique character. We will the end in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, first to visit one of the most impressive mosaics of the 1200, and then to leave you at one of the sunny tables of a nice traditional restaurant facing the relaxing (only pedestrian) square for your roman dinner.
The starting point of our tour is Gianicolo Hill, from which you enjoy the most beautiful view over Rome. Following the wave of the uprisings sweeping over Continental Europe in 1848, the Romans rebelled against the Pope and on February 9th 1849 created a short lived Roman Republic. The hill saw the strenuous defence led by Giuseppe Garibaldi against the French army of 30000 men led by General Oudinot who fought to reinstate Pope Pious IX. Reporters from all over Europe followed with trepidation the events. Nowadays the equestrian monument of Garibaldi watches over Rome.
As we descend, we arrive at the church of S.Pietro in Montorio housing a marvel of the early Renaissance: the Tempietto by Bramante, the architect of Pope Julius II. In front of it the grand Fontanone created at the beginning of the 1600s to celebrate the restoration of the ancient aqueduct dating back to Emperor Trajan's times.
We continue downstairs until we reach the busy part of Trastevere - a district revolving around the Medieval church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. [see our tour Trastevere 1] where life has been going on for more than 2000 years without interruption- with its small shops, lively winebars and eateries. The last hour of our tour will be dedicated to the splendid renaissance mansion of the wealthy Siena- born banker Agostino Chigi. The villa, now a museum, hosts amazing wall decorations by great masters as Raphael, Peruzzi and Sebastiano del Piombo.
In the footsteps of Caravaggio
Following the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio’s death, we propose an itinerary in the footsteps of the most revolutionary artist of the XVII century, the “Damned Painter”, the painter of “brush and sword”.
Rome is home to the widest collection of Caravaggio’s paintings and is therefore the perfect location to fully understand his genius and his importance in art history.
Our walk takes place in Campo Marzio where we find the altarpieces which decreed his fame and aroused scandal in Rome and throughout Europe: the church of San Luigi de’ Francesi with the “History of St. Matthew” told in the three paintings which set Caravaggio under the spotlight of the artistic circles of Rome; the church of Sant’Agostino with “Our Lady of the Pilgrims”, a deep-felt subject in Rome, especially during the Jubilee years; to finish with Santa Maria del Popolo with the paintings describing the most important moments in the life of our Patron Saints: “The Conversion of St. Paul” and “The Crucifixion of St. Peter”.
You can combine the above tour with the visit of the Borghese Gallery – home to six of his canvasses - devoting one full day to Caravaggio!
Renaissance & Baroque: The Borghese Gallery and the church of St. Maria del Popolo
Your private walking tour starts at the Galleria Borghese, the beautiful palace where Cardinal Scipione Borghese set his famous art collection in the heart of Rome's most beautiful park, the Borghese Gardens. Unlike some other important private Roman art collections, Cardinal Borghese's is still largely intact and now a National Museum. The visit of the Borghese Gallery will introduce you to the sculptures of the prodigious Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the creator of the Baroque, exceptional paintings by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Correggio, Bellini, Domenichino and other masters, which form the contents of a building that is itself a wonderfully decorated building.
After touring the gallery, we'll take a walk through the gardens to reach Piazza del Popolo. Here you'll see the Renaissance church of Santa Maria del Popolo, with two of Caravaggio's most famous paintings. You'll be able to compare the order and harmony of Raphael's Renaissance Chigi Chapel with the emotional and sensual strength of Caravaggio's artworks.
Outside the church, the view of the square with the setting of the Egyptian obelisk and the so called Twin Churches concludes the tour.
Together with sculptures and paintings, mosaics have been a relevant part of classical Roman art all the way into the so called dark age. Very few are the examples of ancient Roman wall paintings after 79 A.D. and few are the medieval frescoes in Rome which can be considered intact. Looking at mosaics we understand how strong the figurative decoration must have been. Hundreds of archeological sites still witness durable and outstanding pieces but this magnificent art form undeniably reaches its best in fine and important churches set in this quaint and yet lively hill of Rome: the Esquilino.
The guided tour starts focusing on the wonderful body of works left by craftsmen way back in 390 A.D. in the church of Santa Pudenziana , then we will go right into the remarkable Byzantine treasures set in the church of Santa Prassede and just two steps away we’ll be visiting the richness of the only Papal church dedicated to the Virgin Mary - Santa Maria Maggiore. This comprehensive tour will end in one of the oldest workshop of Rome with a fun informative 50-minutes private masterclass [ € 50 up to 5-6 people] on how mosaics are made.
Feel free to ask questions: this family has been into the mosaic-making trade for over a century! Today, restorers and contemporary artists are part of this unique group of professionals ready to get you started in such a great experience.