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Travel Guide: Rome

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Vatican At First Light

Rise and shine, as your day in the Eternal City starts with an experience like no other! Today you become the Vatican's gatekeeper, assisting the Clavigero - the custodian responsible for opening its doors - on his morning duty. A truly unprecedented, exclusive tour to soak in all the beauty of the Vatican at first light.

Your experience begins at 6am sharp. You better be awake, as you're about to unlock some of the most famous doors in the world, those of the Vatican Museums! First to unlock will be the main museum doors: enter the site by yourself with no one else around to witness your discovery. Then it's up to the Four Gates to retrieve the 400 keys to heaven, including one you definitely can't keep - the key to the Sistine Chapel. Room after room, gallery after gallery, we'll head to the Scala Simonetti to open the doors to the museum of Pio Clementina before walking to the Gallerie Superiori and discovering a series of rooms not open to the general public: the 'Candlestick', Arazzi, and Geographical Map room.

Then to Raffaello's room and open the Prima Sala before passing through the lmmacolata & Sobiescki rooms, continuing to the stairway of Saint Pio V.

As if this wasn't already an experience for the ages, your tour will end with the most historic key of them all, key n. 401, the Sistine Chapel.

Be the first to enter and turn on the lights, literally, so those thousands and thousands of visitors who will follow that day can see the beauty of one of the world's most renowned ceilings. An exclusive visit of the Sistine Chapel before we accompany you to the Cortile of the Pigna for breakfast.

For those desirous of more, join us for a traditional Vatican tour after breakfast.

Inside The Vatican Museum

All roads lead to Rome and no visit to the Eternal City is complete without a visit of the Vatican Museu1n. Regarded as one of the most important museums in the world, it is within these walls that Popes have preserved some of the greatest artefacts and masterpieces of all time.

Comprising one of the largest and most venerated art collections in the world, the Vatican treasures span 54 rooms, dozens of chapels, galleries and apartments of the Pontifical Palace, and a unique glimpse into the incredible wealth and power of the Church throughout the centuries. Representing one of the greatest testaments of human artistry, creativity, and aesthetic sensibility, this noteworthy and extensive collection of art and antiquities is a main draw of the city and well~worth planning ahead to make the most of your time amidst thousands of priceless works.Enjoy a fascinating, private tour as we discover the history of man, from ancient times to the modern era. Our private guide will lead you on a unique journey, ensuring you take in the most important highlights of the impressive collection. We'll see highlights such as the Gallery of Maps, the Candelabra Gallery, and the Tapestries.

Working your way through Raphael's astounding sequence of frescoes, including the celebrated School of Athens painting. Egyptian antiquities, Roman statues, and Renaissance paintings, all at your fingertips as your tour culminates with the unrivalled highlight, the Sistine Chapel. Completed at the end of the 15th century,  the Sistine is known for Michelangelo's elaborate ceiling fresco depicting the history of creation and the Last Judgment. Admired as one of the greatest works of art known to man, it is unquestionably a wonder to behold in person.

For a truly complete experience, ask about our tours that include St. Peter's Basilica or our special, after~hours tours when the site is closed to the public. There's enough to marvel at for a lifetime and we'll ensure you have an unforgettable experience!

*Entry to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica is permitted only to appropriately dressed visitors. Low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and bats are not allowed.

Ancient Rome

The Eternal City boasts an incredible wealth of heritage and monuments that shed light onto its fonner glory, none more famous than its most preeminent examples, the Colosseum, one of Rome's greatest works of architecture and engineering, and the Roman Forum, the epicenter of day-to-day life in Rome. Today you join us for a fascinating journey across these sites and thousands of years of ancient Roman Empire history.

Our Ancient Rome tour includees the Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill, one of the fabled Seven Hills of Rome, which can enchant you with unparalleled views of the ancient Roman Forum below, if you're courageous enough to walk to the top... As Rome's marketplace, business district and civic center, the Forum was nothing less than the beating heart of the empire. This extensive archeological site includes treasures such as the engraved marble Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the House of the Vestals and the fabled Palatine Hill. While you make your way through this impressive archeological park, your guide will paint a picture of daily life in ancient Rome and help you understand the function and relevance of the major buildings still standing after thousands of years. We guarantee: this is like nothing you've ever seen before!

But the piece de resistance of today's tour is the Eternal City's most famous archeological site, arguably the world's most renowned stadium, and the true symbol of Rome's greatness. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum, dating back to 80 AD, is the largest amphitheater ever built and is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. This spectacular arena could hold up to 80,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, executions, reenactments of famous battles and dramas based on classic Roman mythology. A breathtaking testimony of the brilliance, wealth and power of the formidable Roman Empire, this worldwide famous monument inevitably astonishes anyone who steps inside its walls.

So join us for a glimpse into one of the most renowned corners of the world and a tour you will never forget!

Monumental Rome

Join us on an orientation walking tour that will take you through some of Rome's most majestic sites. To the recently renovated Spanish Steps, one of Italy's most sublime urban monuments, the Roman,Baroque design that calls to visitors form the world over. Through Rome's most exclusive shopping district, Via Condotti, as you walk down Italy's version of Rodeo Drive. To the Trevi Fountain, Nicola Salvi's architectural masterpiece, where the legend states that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the water, you will be sure to return.

Experience the Pantheon, the ancient Roman temples dedicated to the Roman Gods, and Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. To Piazza Navona, the famous Roman piazza built above an ancient Roman arena serving as a popular meeting place for the locals to The Column of Marcus Aurelius, a sign of power, like the name that bears its signage.

Discover its most treasured piazzas, always lively with painters and street performers that put on their shows for pedestrians passing by. And all while accompanied by a lively guide that will bring all of Rome's most important town squares to life!

A great experience for guests of all ages and a marvelous orientation to the Eternal City!

Castle Grandolfo

The Apostolic Palace, the 17th,century papal palace that has served for centuries as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the Pope, is now open for the first time for you to experience its awe.

Join us for a visit to the Pope's magnificent secret gardens overlooking the lake of Castel Gandolfo, where the splendor of art and the glory of nature co,exist in admirable equilibrium. An unparalleled space of immeasurable beauty, opened to the public for the first time ever.

The Barberini Gardens, the least known of the Papal Gardens, belonged to the Barberini family before passing to the Holy See by the concordat of 1929. From the magnolias to the Path of Roses, from the aromatic herbs to the Lilies and the square of the holly oaks, you will see why these gardens are considered 'heavenly'. As the area of Villa Barberini was the site of Emperor Domitian's Villa, you can pause among the ruins of the imperial Theatre or discover the crypto,portico, a grand and romantic ruin, with panoramic views extending out to the blue lines of the sea.

The Antiquarium, housed in the gardens of Villa Barberini and built on the structures of the villa of Domitian in 80 AD, hosts a remarkable collection of works in seven separate rooms, coming primarily from the villa of the Emperor, its theatre, and the Bergantino nymphaeum of Diana. Some of the artifacts include original floors, historical fragments from both the Domitian Villa and its theatre, a beautiful collection of statues, sculptures found in the nymphaeum Bergantino, and remains of sculptures from Polyphemus and Scylla, dating back almost 2000 years.

And today you get to see it all.

Choose from a variety of visitation options, from small group tours to exclusively private after,hours experiences. For the truly curious, ask about entry to the secret rooms of the Apolostic Palace next door.

San Clemente Basilica & Case del Celio

Just a few steps away from the Colosseum lies one of the Eternal City's most fascinating archeological sites, the San Clemente Basilica. Known by the locals as "the lasagna church", this basilica is a magnificent multi~tiered complex allowing visitors to actually travel in time and see how life in the Eternal City evolved through the centuries. Follow us on this exciting private tour as we unveil the complexities of Rome's underground!

The first (and lowest) tier, dating back to the 1st century AD, was built as a private residence and later transformed into a mytraeum, i.e. a temple to the sun god Mithra, whose worship was particularly widespread in Rome before the triumph of Christianity over paganism.

Before the basilica was erected on top of it, the mytraeum also served as the site of clandestine Christian rituals. By the 4th Century, the church was completed and embellished with stunning frescos reflecting the emerging Catholic Church's growing legitimacy and power. The Basilica was dedicated to Pope Clement I, the third successor to St. Peter in Rome, and enjoyed unparalleled glory until the 11th century, when it was brutally damaged by the Normans during the infamous Sack of Rome.

Eventually a new church was built in the 12th century: this is the third layer~ and today's basilica - are adorned with marvelous frescos, mosaics, and elements of the older building.

A short distance from San Clemente we'll find the famous Case Romane del Celio, situated under the Basilica of Saints Giovanni & Paolo. The complex, discovered in the late 1800s, consists of more than twenty rooms, so1ne of which were richly decorated with paintings dating from the 3rd through 12th Centuries and depicting details of everyday life in Rome.

Together with the San Clemente Basilica, this represents one of the most fascinating sites of underground Rome, due to the extraordinary state of conservation of the frescoed rooms and to its immense historical value (enclosing four centuries of history, these walls testify the transition from Paganism to Christianity).

This tour is suited to anyone, so join us on this fantastic journey through Rome's underground treasures!

Galleria Borghese

(& VIP after hours option)

Galleria Borghese, widely considered the highlight of the Italian art world, is your setting for this one,of,a,kind experience. The gallery, situated within the lush Villa Borghese gardens, the second largest public park in Rome, was originally designed as a suburban pleasure villa to house Cardinal Scipione's extensive art collection.

Today, Galleria Borghese is considered one of THE world's premier private art collections and is ad1nired for its incredible setting and selfreferential architecture: many pieces within the gallery correspond to frescoes on the walls and to ceilings of

the villa.

It is here where we will discover the wonders of Cardinal Scipione Borghese's priceless art collection during a very special tour. Housing various displays, including The National Museum of Musical Instru1nents & The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, specializing in 19th and 20th,century Italian art, your walk across history will include masterpieces by celebrated Italian artists such as Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Leonardo. The Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of pre-Roman objects excavated in and around Rome, awaits, as do stunning life, like marble sculptures and arresting Baroque paintings, all housed within this intricately decorated palazzo. Come along, as your expert guide will lead you through this elegant former villa, offering a unique look at the fascinating treasures found within its numerous rooms.

For a truly exclusive experience, follow us on a VIP after-hour visit, when the site is closed to the public. Marvel at Bernini's sculptures and 7 Caravaggio's, without crowds or distractions. Boy with Basket of Fruit, Sick Bacchus, Saint Jerome and David with the Head of Goliath along with a myriad of world,famous paintings await your peering eyes. Just you, your guide, and a gallery full of masterpieces, is indeed a once-in-a-life experience!

Those curious to explore the Borghese gardens can ask about a combo tour that extends your experience to include the heart,shaped gardens, where beautiful buildings, lakes, temples, and terraces abound, ending at Pincio, one of Rome's most panoramic terraces, overlooking Piazza del Popolo and prominently featuring St. Peter's dome in the distance.


Homemade Pasta in a Culinary Speakeasy - Food Experience

What better location to learn how to make hotnemade pasta than inside a fonner pasta manufacturing plant? Today, this wonderfully revamped industrial cotnplex bursts with art galleries, lofts, boutiques and restaurants.

Behind a set of large, iron doors, a short ride on an old hoist originally used for carrying wheat up and down the building, you will enter into a whole new world; a secret culinary speakeasy founded by a professional Chef, food designer, food consultant, and creator of several successful Italian food~projects. By her side is Chef Katie from Seattle, denominated as one of America's top thirty young culinary


Enter a cozy and refined world of soft pastel~colored seats, warm lights, and indulgent sofas, where traditional furniture and contemporary design pieces have been combined in harmony. In a wholehearted and familiar atmosphere, you will learn how to make three different kinds of homemade pasta with your two chefs, during a private cooking class. Enjoy bruschetta with local delicacies and glasses of prosecco while these two unveil their culinary secrets before gathering around the table to relish the meal you have prepared together. Today is a cooking experience like no other out there. From the one,ofa,kind kitchen space, to the culinary geniuses who are your points of reference for the day, this is a cooking class you can, should, and will want to do over and over again.

Your cooking experience includes:

  • Welcome Drink (Franciacorta)
  • Bruschette & Antipasti
  • A variety of different types of fresh, handmade pastas (ex: truffle and mushrooms / homemade pesto, etc)
  • Lunch or Dinner
  • Wine pairing
  • Dessert
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