HEART OF ROME
A Private Tour of Rome City Center
Rome City Center
Let our expert local guide take you through the winding streets of the city center. During this private tour of Rome we will discover together the powerful charm and beauty that has amazed travelers and visitors for centuries. Made splendid by the ancient Romans, sacked by the barbarians, rebuilt by the popes, embellished by architects and artists throughout the centuries, rationalized by the Italian monarchs and by the fascist regime, Rome is today an explosive mix an modernity and antiquity, the ancient and the new; layers on layers of stories, anecdotes, monuments and archeological finds, that only an expert guide can uncover for your curiosity and eagerness to get to know the real Rome. We will walk together through the small streets, the cobblestoned piazzas, the famous fountains that decorate the city: This Rome tour includes all the “must-sees” of the Eternal City that you find in the best guidebooks—only they are presented to you in a thick context as to allow you to experience first hand the Roman way of living today, as well as to learn about the everyday life of the ancient Roman. We will travel back to the times of the ancient Romans and the Renaissance popes and princes. This Rome tour includes a complimentary snack offered by our guide.
ROME'S HIGHLIGHTS AND HIDDEN GEMS
During this private tour of Rome we will see the Trevi Fountain, immortalized in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (as well as the famous film “Three coins in the fountain” which divulged the secret that if you toss a coin in the fountain you secure a second visit to Rome). The Trevi Fountain is now more beautiful than ever, having just been restored to its original shining white. We will then make our way to the Pantheon, one of the best if not the best preserved ancient building (more than two thousand years old), that was later on made into a church dedicated to all Christian martyrs, as it was previously dedicated to all gods—a brilliant example of the Christian reuse and conversion of ancient Roman architecture, as well as of the precedent pagan culture. The world-famous scalinata of Trinità de Monti, the Spanish steps, will be another of the many highlights covered during this Rome itinerary. Here we will also admire the famous Barcaccia by Bernini, also recently renovated. Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona will also be important stops during our journey. Campo de’ Fiori is not only the very center today or the Roman movida, but it also the very place where Giordano Bruno, the sixteenth century philosopher, was burnt alive in the year 1600. A statue of the martyr stands today in the middle of the piazza. Finally, we arrive at one of the most magnificent piazzas in Rome, Piazza Navona that has conserved the peculiar elliptical shape of the ancient stadium on which it was built. Here we will find another of Bernini’s fountain, even more magnificent and surprising: The Fountain of the Four Rivers.
PIAZZA NAVONA AND CAMPO DE FIORI
The legend says that the Field of Mars, originally a marshy area often flooded by the Tiber, had been a royal possession of the first kings of Rome, the Tarquins. Then the Tarquins were sent in exile and their property passed to the state that dedicated the area the God of War, Mars. This part of the city laid outside the pomerium, that is the area contained within the legal boundaries of Rome. In strict legal terms all that which was outside of the pomerium was not “Roma”, but simply mere territory. Since no arms or weapons were allowed inside the pomerium, the area where now tourists and visitors come to admire the beauty of Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori, there were fields dedicated to military exercises and political events. In the part that now goes under the name of Largo di Torre Argentina (part of the curia where Julius Caesar was killed on March 15, 44 BC) , not far from Campo de Fiori, in the heart of Rome city center, visitors can still admire the ruins of four temples built between the third and second century BC, which reflect the aforementioned civil use. But as the Republic disappears and the Empire grows, the whole Field of Mars gets reorganized: theaters and baths were built to replace military fields, and celebratory buildings are erected for the Emperor and his family. During the golden time of the Empire this was a rich area, abandoned only during the Middle Ages with the invasion of the Barbarians and the fall of the Roman Empire. However, once the popes got back from Avignone, they greatly contributed to rebuild this area, in the middle of which stands the renown piazza of Campo de’ Fiori, literally ‘the field of flowers’, one of the most vibrant and liveliest squares of Rome, as much now as it was then. During your tour of Rome city center you will be able to admire its traditional market (except on Sundays), the oldest in town. The other great piazza that we visit during our city tour, and that makes this area so famous is Piazza Navona, a beautiful elongated square, with curving narrow sides that had been once a stadium (built in the I century AD) for horse races and sport competitions, which could host up to 30,000 people. It still nowadays retains that form. In the middle of Piazza Navona stands the marvelous Fountain of the Four River designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Pantheon is one of the best preserved and most fascinating buildings of Ancient Rome. It was Emperor Augustus' son-in-law who started its construction in the year 27 BC, as we learn from the original inscription on the architrave. Augustus, however, refused to have this temple dedicated to himself, out of modesty and the sacred places was thus dedicated to "all the gods" (this is the literal meaning of Pantheon). Emperor Hadrian had the temple refurbished between AD 118-125 as it still stands today. The dome is constructed to resemble the vault of the sky with a circular opening in the center for the sun. This is indeed an architectural masterpiece in itself as it is the single largest non-reinforced dome in the world. Luckily for us, the Pantheon did not follow the fate of many ancient Rome buildings, including the Colosseum, that have been recurrently robbed of their most precious materials — bronze, marble and whatnot — and most often destroyed during the dark ages of Rome. Emperor Phocas gave it to Pope Boniface IV in the year 608 AD, who in turn transformed the pagan temple into a church dedicated "to all martyrs." He was also the one who probably initiated the tradition of throwing rose petals from the oculus ("the eye," the central opening in the middle of the dome) on Pentecost day to imitate the flames of the Holy Spirit descending on the faithful. Today, walking inside the Pantheon is one of the greatest experiences in Rome. The visitors have the opportunity not only to admire a building of incredible beauty but also to first-hand touch the glory and power of the Roman Empire at its peak. It is a breathtaking experience not to be forgotten and one of the most appreciated steps in our Tour of Rome City Center.
About The Tour
Prices Include All Entrance Fees
The fixed price is intended for 2 people regardless of their category. You will be asked to indicated the number of additional people only after choosing the date of your Rome private tour.
Meeting Point: Central Location in Rome to be provided after the booking.
*On Sunday you should start no later than 4pm if you would like to have the chance to see the Pantheon from inside.
**You have the option to customize your itinerary of Rome city center, during the booking procedure.
Read more about the Pantheon on blog
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