This private driving tour offers the perfect introduction and overall view of ancient Rome. As you view the city from the comfort of your private chauffeur-driven vehicle, your guide will be either Michael or Dennis, Americans who have lived in Rome for over thirty years. Dennis, an artist who has exhibited his works throughout the world, is also the head of the high school art department at one of Rome's most prestigious schools. Michael is the co-author of National Geographic's Guide to Rome, and teaches history at another of Rome's exclusive international schools. Here's what they offer their guests:
"Seeing the city from our insider's point of view, sit back in our chauffeur-driven car and cruise along cobblestoned streets, through spacious piazzas and past world-famous monuments. We'll also introduce you to equally beautiful piazzas, streets, buildings and churches that are often visited only by Romans. As we travel back through the centuries, we'll tell you the area's history, its scandals, even the pernicious rumors it may have inspired over the ages (for Romans have always loved rumors!). And we'll tell you how each neighborhood fits into modern-day Rome. We'll also be happy to help you plan your own self-guided itineraries, shopping trips, museum visits and so forth. And we'll give you a complimentary copy of our own Rome restaurant guide.
What we offer is an entertaining, personalized way to feel as though you actually live in Rome. If you're traveling with your kids, this is a great way to introduce them to the fun of history and art. It's also an ideal way, especially if you aren't able to do a lot of walking, to get an overview of Rome from some lovely panoramas of the city. And this itinerary has been specially designed to complement, not overlap, the walking tours we also offer. Most of the areas visited are rarely seen by occasional tourists because they are hard to get to - for this reason they are peaceful (well, as peaceful as a major Italian city can get!), and still retain the aura of the epoch when they were built. Tours are for individuals and groups of no more than five people."
- Pick-up at your hotel (if in the centro storico - if not, we will arrange for a convenient meeting spot) Piazza della Repubblica, where the fountain and piazza itself were built atop the perimeter of Emperor Diocletian's baths Quirinale Palace, former seat of the Pope, then the royal palace, now home to the President Drive past the Roman Forum and Coliseum (we do not stop!)
- Aventine Hill - one of the seven hills of Rome, considered the most beautiful by modern Romans, because of its exquisite homes and gardens. You'll get out to see the Orange Garden, with its breathtaking view of the city and, when the season is right, the nearby Municipal Rose Garden - then you'll see every Roman's favorite surprise on the Aventine - it will be yours too!
- Circus Maximus - you drive alongside the former arena
- Baths of Caracalla - your route takes you along an unforgettable road lined with Rome's famous umbrella pines. You look right over the ancient walls into the health clubs where imperial Romans spent a great part of their days
- Santa Maria in Cosmedin and the Mouth of Truth - remember Roman Holiday?
- From here you may choose the next part of the itinerary: If you feel like stretching your legs a bit, you'll get out and walk across the oldest bridge in the city, the Ponte Fabricio built in 62 BC, to the fascinating Tiber Island, then across the Ponte Cestio (also built in the 1st century AD) to one of the most picturesque - and truly unknown - squares in Rome. You'll stroll a few minutes through the lower, more mystical, part of Trastevere and meet your driver.
- Or visit the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which contains some of the city's most priceless mosaics
- You continue onward for the grand finale of your tour, the Janiculum Hill, where you'll stop to view the entire caput mundi and have a little fun identifying the many, many church domes of Rome
- Return to your hotel or another mutually established point in the center
Tours are for private groups of up to seven people and last about three hours.
2016 All-inclusive price: 2 people: 412 Euro 3 people: 412 Euro 4 people: 463 Euro 5 people: 520 Euro 6 people: 571 Euro 7 people: 602 Euro