Rome is truly an amazing city and any tour guide can provide you with a lengthy list of magnificent sites to visit. However, to help you go one step further and have a truly unique experience of this magnificent place we have discovered the most original and exclusive ways to encounter Rome. From special tours to unknown sites and fun workshops, here you will find the top ways to make your trip to the capital one of a kind.
Rome has lots of iconic sites worth seeing from the Colosseum to the pantheon. When it’s come to unique and interesting tours, Rome has a lot to offer. Obviously, these monuments are worth a visit along with other equally notorious spots, such as the Trevi fountain and St. Peter’s Basilica. The question we hope to answer here is not whether to visit the city’s most magnificent locations, but how to experience them. The choice of unique tours in a city flooded with tourists is, naturally, endless and eclectic. Whether you wish to try out a new, trendy form of transport or have a fun, family day-out you are sure to find something that suits your tastes.
Forget exploring the city on foot; why not try one of the innovative-transport tours on offer. First up is the stylish vespa tour, which involves touring the city on the stylish, Italian scooter. This is the ideal way to navigate the city’s streets, since it allows you to see places that cars cannot access and travel much faster than you would if you were walking. Your guide will drive the moto, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Another top choice is the infamous fiat tour, which offers you the chance to discover Rome whilst riding in a vintage fiat 500. The Cinquecento is a famous, Italian symbol and a knowledgeable tour guide who tells you about Rome’s monuments as you drive past them leads this unique trip. Tours run both during the day and at night. Indeed, if you wish to see Rome by night, there are guided tours designed exclusively for that purpose. Finally, there is the segway method that gives visitors the unique, exclusive opportunity to travel by a more modern form of transport. The tour starts with a tutorial explaining to you how to navigate the segway, then you are free to experience the city accompanied by an informative audio-guide, which you listen to on headphones. It is worth noting you must be at least 16 years old to experience this excursion.
The aforementioned Rome by night tour allows you to see the city from a perspective that many never even consider. The capital by night is very different from the one typically seen by tourists during the day. You will hear all the ghostly legends and see the city at its most atmospheric. The tour feels all the more exclusive because groups can contain no more than 20 people, ensuring that your trip feels intimate. All guides are expert and English-speaking and will reveal to you Rome’s greatest supernatural mysteries as you get to know the city’s “dark heart”. Visit www.darkrome.com for more information.
Never fear, there are many equally original ways to experience the city if you are traveling with children or as a family. Eternally Young: Rome for children is, as the name suggests, the Roman tour designed specifically for kids. It includes all of the capital’s main sites from the Pantheon to Piazza Navona.
Except for the trip to the Castel Sant’Angelo, admission to all of these spots is included in the tour price. Other good options for families include the opportunity to become a Roman gladiator for a day. It involves dressing up as a gladiator and a visit to the Roman Gladiator museum. If you don’t wish to take part, you can watch free of charge as the little ones have an experience they will never forget. However, we recommend giving it a go no matter your age as it is guaranteed to unleash your inner child.
Another exclusively Roman experience is the chance to visit the Colosseum dungeons, which allows you to explore the hidden underground passages of one of the city’s most famous monuments. If you like the idea of getting to know some of the city’s sites in a way that goes far beyond the traditional tourist experience then an after-hours visit to the Sistine Chapel should be added to your list. This can be arranged privately and allows you to see the chapel’s most magnificent masterpieces, including the Raphael room, without crowds of tourists. You can also take advantage of the opportunity to go under the Circus Maximus and gain a greater knowledge of the antique religion Mithraism. Finally, a highly recommended method of visiting the Vatican museum is by buying jump-the-queue tickets, which allow you to visit the museum without having to wait in line.
All of the above tours, offered by Select Italy, give you the chance to experience the city in a truly original and unforgettable way. However, there are also many other ways to make your trip unique. For example, you can take advantage of many of the artisan workshops on offer in Rome. For example, you can sample crafted beer at Bir & Fud where the owner, Mirko, will tell you about the brewing process and also sells his own grains and brewing guides in case you wish to recreate the experience at home. Another favourite is a visit to the Bridge’s boutique; this bottega specializes in leather goods and runs workshops that explain how its creations are manufactured. Contact them for more information.
The city’s top sites are notorious, but if you want a unique experience then you should also tour some of its lesser-known but equally interesting museums. Palazzo Valentini uses a wide range of modern technology, from lasers to sound effects, to introduce you to the archeological remains of the oldest Roman houses. Never before has the city’s ancient architecture been seen in such a state-of-the art manner. It is also very well located, a short trip away from Piazza Venezia and is both pedagogical and enjoyable.
If you wish to enjoy the city without breaking the bank, there are also many original things to do on a budget. The top pick is a trip to the city’s Cat Sanctuary at Largo Argentina. This “no-kill” cat shelter allows you to see the city’s strays lounging in all their glory amongst the ancient monuments. It is a great trip if you are traveling with children and free tours are available in English. This spot is also worth visiting from a historical point of view, since it is close to the place where Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C.
Another unique way to enjoy the city for free is by visiting some of its parks. Obviously, the notorious top-pick is the Villa Borghese, however if you are looking for a more original experience, why not try the Villa Sciarra, which not only has its own playground but is also situated next to a bird sanctuary.
If you enjoyed seeing the underground dungeons of the Colosseum, then the lesser-known crypt of the Capuchin friars is also for you. Its walls have been decorated with bones!
When it comes to purchasing good food, many tour guides can inform you of the top restaurants and even the tourist trap trattorias. However, few will tell you the local secrets that allow you to taste some of the city’s truest delicacies. A particularly special experience is going to buy some fresh Italian bread and then visiting the Campo dei Fiori early in the morning. Here you can sample the freshest and finest olive oils and balsamic vinegars at the daily market. Another unique culinary experience that comes highly recommended is a visit to the Jewish quarter to sample ‘Carciofi alla Giuda’. Indeed, the company Eat Italy hosts its own food tours if you really want to discover all of the city’s hidden gastronomical secrets.
Finally, a unique visit to Rome would not be complete without venturing into some of its lesser-known quarters, including the cool, hip and alternative Monti district. Moreover, if you are willing to travel a little way outside of the centre, you should head to Monte Mario to see the city from its highest peak. The stunning panorama seen from this point is missed by most visitors who only frequent its more famous spots and is a spectacular and truly unique way to see Rome in all its glory.