Rome Walking Tours

Will you be in Rome – with a free day? Your Own Italy will help make it a perfect day. We offer a range of tours focusing on history, art and culture as well as the possibility to develop a custom tour just for you. All tours are privately guided and include skip-the-line tickets. Our Day Long Tours are conducted by private drivers and English-speaking guides, offering experiences designed to make our beautiful country Your Own Italy.

Vatican Tours

Looking up at St. Peter's dome from the Vatican Courtyard

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel for this signature Your Own Italy tour of The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. The art of The Vatican is among the most recognizable in the world. In leading you through the museums, your guide will convey the tantalizing background of these Renaissance masterpieces, the geniuses who created them, and the powers who commissioned them. In the Sistine Chapel, below the largest and most renowned fresco in the world, your tour guide...

Looking up at the Sistine Chapel in Rome

Stroll through the galleries of the Vatican museums after dark! On select Friday evenings you can enjoy ancient sculptures, iconic paintings, and centuries of history brought to life by your private guide, and in the former palaces of the Pope you'll have the opportunity to view sculptures from antiquity that inspired Michelangelo almost 2,000 years later. You'll view the fantastic frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartments, named after the private chambers of Borgia Pope Alexander...

Looking up from the Courtyard of the Vatican Museum

After visiting the stunning Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Maps, and Raphael rooms, you will enter the magnificent helical Bramante Staircase, commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1512 and designed by Donato Bramante as an entrance to the Papal apartments that could also accommodate horses. The Niccolina Chapel, a private chapel of the Pope, is closed to most visitors and decorated with delicate frescoes by the early Renaissance master Fra Angelico. In the Sistine Chapel are the famous wall and...

Coffee cup & cornetto in the Vatican Museum Courtyard in Rome

Breakfast will be served outdoors in the Vatican's famous Pinecone Courtyard, when the Vatican Museums are still closed to the public. Following your meal, you will tour galleries of sculptures, paintings and tapestries before entering the Sistine Chapel to contemplate its masterpieces at your own pace, far from the noise of crowds. Among the great works to admire in St. Peter’s Basilica are Bernini’s baldachino and Michelangelo’s Pietà, as well as the monumentality of the Basilica itself...

Art and Museum Tours

Bird's eye view of St. Peter's Square in Rome

You will visit the three great patriarchal basilicas of Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest and most important, has been set aside for use by the Pope as his own parish. The lovely Basilica of St. Mary Major is the largest of the 26 churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and has an exciting history, including a miraculous snowfall on August 4, 358 AD. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle and contains a fascinating series...

Exterior view of Galleria Borghese in Rome

Commissions and acquisitions of masterpieces by Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Bernini made the Borghese family the premier collectors of their day, and their former suburban palace turned private museum is now one of the most important, and certainly one of the most elegant, museums in Rome. Handed over to the Italian state in 1902, the present-day museum covers two floors, with sculpture on the ground floor and paintings on the upper. We will spend equal time in each and will also examine...

Detail of face on plaster decoration at Roman Villa

This walk will take you to two illustrious Roman noble residences: the Villa Farnesina and the Palazzo Spada. The Villa Farnesina, designed by Peruzzi and frescoed by Raphael, is located in the Trastevere ("across the Tiber") neighborhood, an area of wonderful small restaurants, workshops, and side streets. The Palazzo Spada, near Rome's historical center, boasts Borromini’s famous trompe l’oeil perspective and the Spada art gallery, one of the few art collections of a noble family in which...

Michelangelo's La Pieta showing Mary holding Jesus' dead body

Discover the Eternal City in the footsteps of Michelangelo the painter, the sculptor, and the architect. An expert guide will lead you through Rome to view the master's works in situ, and will explain the history and context of his art as well as anecdotes about his life. The tour begins at Porta Pia, a gate to Rome that was one of the genius's last works. The second destination, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, is a masterful architectural reorganization of an ancient bathhouse into a...

Detail of multiple figures at the fountain in Piazza Navona, Rome

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) helped change the face of the Eternal City. His monumental projects, perfectly-shaped marble statues, and fountains full of fantasy and intricate detail created and defined the Italian Baroque, a period that Rome embodies to this day. He lived most of his life in Rome, and his art is scattered throughout the city: in the fountains he designed in Piazza Navona, Piazza Spagna, and Piazza Barberini; on its buildings, including the facades of Palazzo Chigi and...

Face of Medusa with open mouth by Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio lived in Rome from 1592 to 1606, and his bold, naturalistic style soon became the rage of art collectors of the day. The strong contrast of light and dark, good and evil, both in his art and in his life, make him a compelling figure to modern art lovers as well. The tour begins at the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, where the stories of St. Matthew come to life in three splendid, dramatic works by Caravaggio. Also in the church are...

City Tours

Closeup view of fountain at Piazza Navona in Rome

It will be just you and your personal guide traveling back in time to ancient Rome. You will uncover the secrets locked in Bernini's work, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain and ensure your return to the Eternal City. Or simply enjoy Rome's charming streets in a leisurely Italian fashion. By the end of the tour, you will realize that your local guide has not only shown you around Rome, but has taught you how to get around Rome. You will know how to travel Rome like a native, where to shop, eat–...

Night view of narrow Roman street

Rome is an entirely different place at night: it glows in the warmth of amber streetlights and shimmers with the golden flames of candles on cafe tables. The stones of ruins and bricks of piazzas take on a surreal and breathtaking quality in the evening that can only be described as romantic. Our leisurely late stroll will include many of the most important sights in the city, and your tour guide will point out their history along the way.

History and Underground Tours

Partial view of arched facade of Colosseum at dusk

At the Colosseum, one of the largest structures of the ancient world, Romans once gathered to watch gladiator games, animal contests, and even reenactments of sea battles. A massive stone amphitheater which seated an estimated 60,000 spectators, it was built in only eight years. Your guide will tell you about its design and construction, political purposes, fighters (both willing and unwilling), and eventual demise as an arena. At the Imperial Roman Forum, you will hear about the myths and...

Evening view of the Roman Forum

Find out how a great empire falls and then reemerges in a different form on this tour of the "dark ages": the period between the demise of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The church of San Clemente is a twelfth century church built on the remains of a fifth century church built on the remains of a Mithraic temple and other Roman structures (perhaps the Roman mint that is reputed to have been located in this area). The layers of buildings are amazingly intact and...

Facade of Tempio Maggiore, Jewish Synagogue in Rome

Ancient Rome, like contemporary New York City, was a sprawling area of diverse people trying to live and do business together. They were Greek, North African, Sicilian . . . and Jewish, many of whom went to Rome to work but ended up settling among their compatriots, building homes, raising families, and becoming vital parts of the Roman community for centuries. Your tour of Jewish Rome begins on the Janiculum Hill, which offers a breathtaking panorama of the entire city, and where you’ll see...

View of trees along the Appian Way in Rome

The Catacombs, a maze of quarries and tunnels, are ancient underground cemeteries that also provided refuge to Christian communities during the Roman persecution. They offer surprising insights into the emergence of Christianity from Rome’s pagan origins, with frescoes that include the earliest depictions of the Virgin Mary and the Three Wise Men. The medieval basilica of San Clemente, a Catholic church dedicated to Pope Clement I, is built atop a Romanesque church, which was built atop...

Looking up at mosaic tiles in the apse of Basilica San Clemente in Rome

The medieval Basilica of San Clemente, a Catholic church dedicated to Pope Clement I, is built atop a Romanesque church, which was built atop numerous ancient edifices, including a temple to the god Mithras. On this tour, the past becomes tangible as you walk backwards in time while descending underground layer by historical layer! The ancient Roman houses on the Celian Hill, which have recently been restored and re-opened to the public, offer a glimpse into what life was like 2,000 years ago...

Food and Wine

Italian bruschetta and pasta dish served on outdoor table

This culinary experience includes shopping, immersing yourself in the art and pleasure of hands-on cooking techniques and learning something about Italian culture. You can experience the shopping component, where we'll explore local markets and visit a variety of different stores, just as one would do as an Italian. Stops may include an artisan butchery, fish market, cheese store, bakery, and fruit and vegetable market. We will then head to the Your Own Italy kitchen, where we will prepare...

Display of fruits at an open-air market in Rome

Italians think, talk, argue, and dream food! In this culinary tour of food shops and markets, your guide will describe the seasonal products on sale, explain their uses and preparation, and tell stories about the quintessentially Roman neighborhood, Testaccio. After this "taste of Rome," you will understand what locals look for when choosing food, wine, and restaurants, and will gain a basic understanding of Italy’s food culture that will equip you to make the most of your eating experiences...

Culture and Fun

Clip of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck dancing in Roman Holiday

To Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Julia Roberts, and many others, Rome was a backdrop. The fantastic Trevi Fountain was immortalized by Federico Fellini in "La Dolce Vita," while the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) played a cameo in "Roman Holiday." Woody Allen shot portions of "To Rome with Love" at the Spanish Steps and Piazza Venezia, and Julia Roberts was seen in Piazza Navona in "Eat Pray Love." The Circus Maximus was the setting of the unforgettable chariot race in "...

Day Excursion

Rows of amphitheater seats at Agrippa's Theatre, Ostia near Rome

The well-preserved ruins of ancient Ostia, including intact mosaics and an amphitheater that is still in use, offer much of what those of Pompeii offer, in a more accessible form to those based in Rome. Founded in the 4th century BC and abandoned around AD 900, Ostia, thanks to its location as a port close to the capital, was once an important Roman city, inhabited by over 100,000 people. Its main street, the Decumanus Maximus (main street), with its ancient houses, taverns, the Baths of...

Colorful marble decorating Il Duomo Cathedral with a view of Florence

Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you directly to Rome's train station to board the high-speed train to Florence, where your tour guide will be waiting for you. Among the sights you'll see before lunch are the Piazza della Signoria and its beautiful outdoor sculptures, symbols of the rise of municipal power, and the Piazza della Repubblica, originally the old Roman forum and later the site of the main markets and Jewish ghetto. The tour will continue to the Piazza del Duomo,...

Two story fountain of Neptune at Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Italy

Your full-day guided trip to Tivoli, a historic town lying east of Rome in the breathtaking Monte Tiburtini hills, begins at the Villa d’Este, a former Benedictine convent considered to be one of the most enchanting villas of the late Renaissance period. Your guide will explain how the building was created as a lavish home for the son of Lucretia Borgia, that scandalous Italian duchess who created so much drama in 15th century Italy. The famous Fountain of Neptune is only one of the the villa’s...

Plate of stuffed calamari in Frascati, Italy

Frascati, one of the Castelli Romani, or Roman hill towns, lies near the ancient town of Tusculum, which probably predated Rome itself. Its natural beauty, ancient ruins, and imposing baroque villas have smitten many a visitor, including Goethe, George Sand, and John Singer Sargent. A leafy spot dotted with lakes and hills, offering fresh, clean air and vineyards that produce wine that was Italy's first to receive the DOC appellation, it is nevertheless just a short ride from the capital. The...

Plaster figures decorating walls at ruins of Pompeii, Italy

If you must see Pompeii - and you must - but had not intended on venturing further south than Rome, let Your Own Italy handle the logistics. You will be driven in a private car directly from your hotel to the world’s most well-preserved ancient town. Your guide will lead you through its wealthy dwellings, whose residents enjoyed vivid wall frescoes and airy courtyards, as well as the more plebeian residences, whose inhabitants ate on the go, groomed at public baths, and attended the 500-person...