Does anyone ever have enough time in Rome? I’ve been a couple of times, neither of which was long enough to see half of what I wanted to see. My biggest mistake? Trying to go it alone.
I won’t go into too much detail but I still have scars from the blisters and a bitter taste in my mouth about all the things I wanted to see but either couldn’t find, or found when they were closed, overcrowded and utterly impossible to access. Not to mention the trauma of finding an open cab, a clean bathroom and a reasonably priced bottle of water at the height of tourist season.
I’m a DIY travel warrior, but Rome-in-a-day on my own tested even the likes of me.
If you want to make the most of your limited time in Rome, especially if you are trying to see Rome in a day and/or at a busy time of the year, you want to tour with a reliable company like LivItaly Tours.
Thanks to LivItaly Tours for showing us around and helping us make the most of our to brief time in Rome!
What I like about LivItaly Tours Roman tours:
The Roman tours offered by Livitaly are all small group experiences or private/family tours, led by friendly knowledgeable locals who want to share their city, and their passion for their city, with you. You are not going to have to don a headset, listen to a boring recording, or worry about keeping up with a random flag waving tour guide. Amen.
Tailored to Suit You:
Because of the small groups, the guides have a little more flexibility to tweak each tour to suit the tourists. Particularly for private and family groups. Not sure what kind of tour is right for you? Check out all 29 of the Livitaly Tours currently offered in Rome – everything from Vespa tours to foodie walks, art tours, segueway tours, a forays into the catacombs and even a Ferrari driving experience.
Knowledgeable, intelligent, local guides:
Your guide is what makes your tour and we could not have had a better experience. Livitaly hires locals who are passionate about sharing their digs.
Off the beaten path insight:
Because of the smaller groups, you will get to do and see things with LivItaly that you could not possibly do or see with a larger tour group. Your questions will get answered, and you will be able to experience the city with a native, more like a native.
Let’s face it, you’ve saved and saved to get to Rome and there is so much you want to see. Sure you could scour the internet and use Google Maps but I guarantee you, you won’t enjoy it. Rome is full of back alleys and secrets and stories that no Internet search or guidebook or cattle call tour will be able to map for you. The prices for these once in a lifetime tour opportunities are about the same price you’d pay for a fancy dinner at a really nice restaurant. The memories, photos and information you’ll absorb, will stick with you a lot longer.
Our Experience with LivItaly Tours
One of the neighborhoods I knew I wanted to explore on my second trip to Rome, was the Trastavere neighborhood and Jewish Ghetto. We’d had no time to poke around in this area on our first trip, to Rome, and regretted not having a look, so it was a priority for us on the return trip.
We met Rachel, our LivItaly tour guide, near our Airbnb apartment at the Largo Di Torre Argentina. This large square plaza filled with ruins is notable as it has been identified as the place where Caesar was murdered. It contains the ruins of multiple temples from ancient times, including one dedicated to Aphrodite. It also contains cats. Lots and lots of cats. Head down the stairs and you will find a feline sanctuary, started by nuns many decades ago and still in operation today, caring for the city’s strays.
We had already visited the Roman Cat shelter, which was full of a motley assortment of street cats that are rehabilitated and up for adoption. In addition to local adoption, several cats are cared for thanks to the donations of sponsors. You can read more about distant adoptions on the shelter’s site. I was taken by the “kangaroo cat” above. He had no use of his front paws but did not seem to mind too much.
Although the cat shelter wasn’t on our tour agenda, when she realized my daughter’s interest, Rachel was able to tell us quite a bit about the history of the cat sanctuary.
From the square we headed to the Campofiore food market and then on to the Trastavere neighborhood. As we walked, Rachel wove a story of Roman life through the ages, and pointed out the little architectural details that we might have noticed, but would not have known the backstory about. We wound our way through alleys and streets lined with tales, and replete with photo ops, like this chef preparing fresh pasta in a cafe.
History is nothing without context which is why I am so glad we toured with LivItaly and I got to see the arch that was designed by Michelangelo, just beside the Farnese Mansion.
We also stopped to admire the Fountain of the Mask, outside the famous Palazzo, imagining it brimming with free wine for the locals.
Had I not been walking with a knowledgeable tour guide, I would not have been able to fully appreciate the eco friendly, somewhat temporary art along the Tiber. William Kentridge’s “Triumphs and Laments” celebrates the history of Rome, with an exhibit of reverse graffiti – the images are actually created by washing away years of dirt. It won’t last for long, which makes having seen it a triumph for us. It’s hard to appreciate the massive scale of this art in a single photo!
While walking we learned about the fate of many Jews in Rome during World War 2. We paused outside an otherwise ordinary apartment building, one of many such apartments in Rome so Rachel could point out the brass “stolperstein” markers in the cobblestones – marking the Jewish residents who were taken from the premises and sent to the camps. It’s incredibly moving to look into an ordinary courtyard, in an ordinary apartment building and then look down, and realize that not that long ago these people lived and worked and dreamed here. And then they did not.
Practical tips and advice for seeing Rome flowed throughout our tour, like the fresh cold water at the many fountains where we stopped along the way. Rachel knew where to stop for a restroom, where to eat dinner, where to take a photo and where to shop for custom handbags, amongst other tidbits.
LivItaly Tours has group tours in Rome starting from 29 EU. In addition to their Roman tours they offer tours throughout Italy, check out LivItaly Tours tour offerings in Venice, Pompei, Tuscany, Florence, Verona, and more.
There’s no substitute for a guided tour through a city with a knowledgeable local. Sure you could cram and attempt to go it alone but on your one or two days in a foreign city that you’ve long dreamed of visiting, you shouldn’t have to. With LivItaly Tours you don’t have to worry or stress about your plans. You will have memories to last a lifetime.