Join us for a walk through the very heart of the Eternal City, known as thecentrostorico (historic center). From majestic monuments like the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps to the atmospheric backstreets, you’ll discover the most beautiful parts of the city center, and understand why Rome has been enchanting its visitors for centuries.
Highlights of our Rome city tour include the Pantheon – the Ancient Roman temple that underwent an unusual transformation – and Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. You’ll also have the opportunity to climb the Spanish Steps and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain (thus guaranteeing your return to Rome).
In the company of an enthusiastic, expert guide, you’ll learn all about Rome’s 3,000 year history, gaining fresh new insight into some of the most important monuments and historical sites. This is the ideal way to experience Rome, seeing the sights and hearing the stories of the emperors, popes and artists who transformed the city over the centuries.
Discover the sights and secrets of Rome as you explore the winding backstreets that are tucked away behind Roman ruins and Renaissance palazzi — a passeggiata that will stay with you forever.
NB: During Christmas season, the tour ends in Piazza Navona, in the very heart of Rome and the location of one of the most beautiful and suggestive Christmas Markets in Italy.
During the Christmas season, between mid-December and January 6, date of the famous coming of the Befana, this walking tour of Rome city centre ends in Piazza Navona. Here the guests can visit one of the most famous Christmas markets of the capital as well as Italy itself, the “mercatino di Piazza Navona.” This mercatino has been closed for years, but this year is going to be held again. It will feature tens of market stalls with toys, candies, sweets, and stalls dedicated to craftsmanship related to the art of presepe.
(For more about the Christmas markets visit our Experiences section with a link to our amazing full-day tour of Christmas markets)
Ask a Roman where to go shopping, and they’ll direct you to Via del Corso. This lengthy street is always buzzing with shoppers, browsing in the elegant arcade Galleria Alberto Sordi or the upscale department store La Rinascente. During your stroll down the Corso on your Rome tour, you’ll discover the little-known Ancient Roman history of this lively street, and understand how it has always played an important part in the geography of the city.
The Corso forms part of the trinity of streets known as the Tridente, along with Via di Ripetta and Via del Babuino. These three streets all meet at Piazza del Popolo before diverging, and feature a vibrant mix of designer shops, luxury hotels, Baroque churches and historical oddities. Your guide will reveal some of the secrets of the Tridente, such as the often overlooked “talking statue” known as il Babuino (“the baboon”), and stories of the famous families who inhabited – and, in some cases, still inhabit – some of the most luxurious residences in Rome.
Experience the Rome of La Dolce Vita on a tour of the Trevi Fountain, one of the most iconic monuments in the world. This theatrical Baroque fountain – gleaming whiter than ever thanks to recent restoration work – has been a beloved landmark ever since its construction in the 18th century, but its history begins much earlier. The fountain is located at the end point of an ancient Roman aqueduct, which provided the city with fresh water for centuries.
On your visit to the Trevi Fountain you’ll have ample time to admire this spectacular monument from every angle, while learning all about its history and symbolism from your guide, who will also show you the correct way to throw a coin in the fountain. According to legend, throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain will ensure that you return to Rome one day.
For more information, including some tips for visitors, check out our Trevi Fountain guide.
A walk through the backstreets takes us to Piazza di Spagna, location of the Spanish Steps and an unusual fountain known as the Barcaccia. Taking its name from the nearby Spanish Embassy, Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous – and most beautiful – squares in the city, surrounded by graceful old buildings and palm trees. At its center, the Spanish Steps rise up the hill, leading towards the church of Trinità de’ Monti. On your Rome group tour of the city center you’ll climb the steps and admire the spectacular panoramic views from the terrace, gazing out across the rooftops and domes of central Rome.
In the middle of Piazza di Spagna is the Barcaccia (“ugly boat”), which was inspired by a dramatic flood in 1598. The English Romantic poet John Keats would have heard the trickle of the fountain from his room overlooking the piazza, in a house that has since become the Keats-Shelley House Museum.
An undisputed highlight of our Rome city tour is the Pantheon, one of the most well-preserved Ancient Roman buildings in Rome. It has been a sacred place for more than 2,000 years, and visitors often consider their tour of the Pantheon one of their most memorable experiences in Rome.
Although there’s no shortage of historical buildings in Rome, the Pantheon stands out for its complex history, and its remarkable state of preservation. Built on the site of an even earlier temple during the reign of the emperor Hadrian in the 1st century, the Pantheon was originally a pagan temple, dedicated to the Ancient Roman gods. When Christianity became the dominant religion in Rome, many pagan temples were pillaged and destroyed, but the Pantheon survived due to its transformation into a church. Today, it still functions as a Catholic church, and crowds gather at Pentecost for the famous rose petal shower, where thousands of petals are thrown through the oculus on the roof.
Your guide will tell you the story of the Pantheon, explaining how it was constructed using revolutionary architectural techniques. You’ll also see the tomb of the Renaissance master Raphael, one of the few people who was granted the privilege of a burial inside the Pantheon. While the Pantheon may strike you as an example of architectural perfection, it’s not without its flaws. Find out more about the secrets of the Pantheon on our Pantheon blog post.
A short walk from the Pantheon takes us to Piazza Navona, a stunning oval-shaped square lined with elegant restaurants and the imposing façade of the Baroque church Sant’Agnese in Agone. But it’s the fountain that’s truly attention-grabbing – Bernini’s astonishing Fountain of the Four Rivers features four river gods gathered around the base of an Egyptian obelisk. During your visit to Piazza Navona on your Rome City Tour, you’ll hear the story of the fountain’s creation, and discover why it was once so controversial.
As you stroll through the square, past painters and street artists, you’ll also discover how the piazza came to have such a distinctive shape. Piazza Navona sits above the remains of the Stadium of Domitian, a 1st century athletics stadium that was also – according to Christian legend – the site of St Agnese’s martyrdom.
Our Rome city center tour is the perfect opportunity to learn about the history and myths of the Eternal City, while exploring some of the most atmospheric parts of the centro storico. Join us on a journey through the piazzas and backstreets, past fountains and obelisks, to discover the immortal beauty of Rome.