Back to Dennis & Michael
My wife and I took the Angels and Demons tour last November. Michael was our tour guide and I just have to say... WOW!! That man is a walking, talking encyclopedia of ALL things Rome. He truly made our trip spectacular... Thank you so much for everything! I will definitely be recommending Michael and your site to everybody who is visiting Italy.Anthony and Gina G.
Thanks for emailing. I had intended to email you but, as you might expect, am trying to catch up after being away. In short, the tours were all wonderful and we had an excellent eight days in Rome. Here are some highlights (no minuses to report!):
Walking Tour: Very relaxing and Michael was great to be with. We started in the Jewish Ghetto and crossed the bridge to Trastavere, seeing a few churches along the way. A more interesting part was when Michael knocked on a door at the main church and a nun answered and ushered us upstairs where the nuns observe mass. There were beautiful paintings and Michael had our 10 year old son playing detective, trying to figure out which of the apostles in the painting was St. Peter. Afterward, we bought rose petal marmalade made by the nuns.
Thanks for all your help. Everything went extremely smooth.
It was a great trip and your web site had a lot to do with it! There are things we wish we had seen and things we feel we wasted time on, but I am sure that is true with everyone. We especially enjoyed the Spanish Steps Walk and the day in Chianti. We did not do your walking tour in Florence, but would do so next time. We stayed in your recommendation, Duomo Palace, and were very pleased. A little more info on the trains would have been good. We flubbed up a little on every train ride, but still managed to make all our destinations on time. One thing was we didn't know was to board and then go to our car, so we almost missed one that was 35 minutes late but stayed at our stop one minute! Also, if someone is riding the train they really need to hold down on the luggage size.
I was just preparing a few notes to let you know how fabulous our trip actually was. I don't think there was anything we found that would be negative as we always found people and the actual friendliness of the Italians that made every moment enjoyable. The weather was extremely cooperative and we had the most beautiful days...
Starting in Rome, our location was not far from some interesting villas owned by important and influential Italians from many years prior and are jewels that Dennis showed us on our walking tour with him. Dennis has been living in Rome for 35 years and being an Art History professor, was just so knowledgeable and taught us a lot about the different periods. He showed us the art in many cathedrals to make his point. We learned a lot from him and he introduced us to the owner of one of his favorite restaurants which was just a few blocks from the French Embassy. The embassy was only a block off the square and the Pantheon was only a few blocks from there. Past the Spanish Embassy was a fancy villa owned by a prominent family with the monument to the 4 rivers right in front. This was only another block from the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain. Dennis gave us a good detailed bit on all the history, which we found inspirational.
I think you can tell that our experiences were wonderful everywhere we went and our accommodations selected on the InItaly site were exceptional. I want to personally thank you for your assistance and help in planning this whole trip. The In Italy site is the best and I would recommend it to anyone. All of the tours, pick-ups at the airport were there on time and there wasn't any glitch on the whole trip. This will be a trip that the four of us will have memories for the rest of our lives. Jessica I want to thank you and the others helping on the In Italy site for making it all possible.
The walking tour in Rome with Stefano was excellent. He has a very pleasant manner and took time to answer all our questions. One of the churches he recommended us to visit was the GESU church, the headquarters for the Jesuit priests around the world and a restaurant called "59". I do not have the address but very walkable from the bottom of the Spanish Steps. You may already have these items on your site.
Thanks again for all your help.
Yes, I'm back in body but the big questions is will I ever be back in heart. What a fabulous vacation!! Although cruising the Greek Islands was a marvelous way to sample the area and decide where we'll want to stay in Greece next time it didn't allow us an opportunity to get an insight into the culture and knowledge of the people like our 4 days in Rome.
We were on our own in Rome except for the 1/2 day with Dennis and what a day that was! Thankfully our tour with Dennis was at the beginning of our stay in Rome because among many other things he gave us the desire and confidence to really become as much a part of his magnificent city as we could in the short time that we were there. The information he provided on the fountains, buildings and piazzas we visited was not only impressive but presented in an extremely interesting manner. He was completely in command of his knowledge and able to answer any questions without hesitation. With all of that said I must mention that perhaps the most significant thing that contributed to our total enjoyment of the afternoon was Dennis himself. His ability to make us instantly feel comfortable with him and his obvious joy in sharing the wonders of this most glorious city with us was unparalleled.
We will be back and we will recommend this most satisfying method of touring Rome to all.
With a light but sincere heart,
We had an amazing time! It was the best vacation of our lives, honestly. We will definitely be coming back, there is so much to see. Our private tour with Michael was one of the high points too.
Mark & Joanne S.
Trish and I wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much we enjoyed the tour you gave us. It truly was one of the highlights of our trip. Each Church was more magnificent than the last one, but your commentary and knowledge was what made them come alive. While in Rome we saw all of the major sites as well as taking a trip to Tivoli which happened to be closed because a tree was knocked over during a wind storm the morning we went. Our driver then took us to the village he was born in, San Paolo Cavelleri, where we had lunch in a small Trattoria which was fun. In Florence we had a great time seeing all of the artwork and sculptures. David is so impressive.
We did check out your website when we got home. You are very talented. I had no idea we were in the presence of such a great artist. You are so lucky to live above Piazza Navona, what a great way to spend your life. We hope to be back in Italy soon with our two boys. Thank you again for a most interesting experience.
Marc and Trish T.
Thank you for mailing me. I have mailed Michael directly to thank him for his tours that were not just informative but worked at a good pace in particular for the children. His patience with the children's queries and ability to come up with nice places for a quick pit stop for refreshments was great. His knowledge of ancient Rome and of the city itself was excellent.
In regards to the Vatican tour that was harder for the children but Theresa was kind enough to get a short stop into the tour and arrange for us to still take everything in. I think this tour is harder for the children in particular one of Jack's age of 6 to complete and impossible without a stop. I know Jessica (age 11) really found Theresa easy to relate to in terms of her manner of explanation.
Treasures I don't know but we did spend many evenings picking up an ice-cream from a little shop just at the end of the Vittorio Emmanuele St. where it ends at the bridge over the Tiber. It was the best one we found in the district around St Peters.
Thank you lastly for all your organisation.
Yes we did have a fantastic trip to Italy. Loved the tours we booked. We had to cancel the walking tour of Florence because of where we had booked our Agritourim B&B. It was too far to drive. We enjoyed Stefano in Rome. He was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot from him. Also the Vatican and museum tours were fantastic. I will definitely contact you again for hopefully future trips.
Our guide on the walking tour in Rome, Dennis, was gracious, knowledgeable and on time. He took us through Rome and showed us the big sights but also some small things a visitor could miss. We loved Rome, it was our favorite. We hope to visit again. Thanks to Dennis for making it memorable.
Our guide on the walking tour in Florence was also fabulous. She too was on time, knowledgeable, and fun to be with. It was a hot afternoon in Florence that day and we all stopped to buy bottled water. She took us all around and showed us the sites and didn't even seem to be bothered by the heat.
I had never booked a trip on line, you and your staff made it so easy. My family said I did a great job, but it was you who did the great job. Thanks again.
With great appreciation,
First of all, the Fountains of Rome Tour was the best tour we had in Rome and a highlight of our trip. Happily for us, the weather during our stay was RAIN FREE!
Stefano was an EXCELLENT guide - VERY knowledgeable and VERY personable. We hit it off right away. He did remind us of our son which was fun for us!
Prior to our tour with Stefano, we were at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel and Stefano guided us through our use of the Metro to get to the Barberini Piazza. We used the Metro many times after that!
The tour was very thorough and even though it was 3 hours in length, it seemed much shorter. During the past year I had a hip replacement and was anxious about lasting through a walking tour but i amazed myself.
These following comments we told Stefano about but perhaps you would like to know this also.
Both Jim and I had recently read Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (author of The DaVinci Code). The major part of the book (Angels and Demons) takes place in Rome and covers the fountains, obelisks, Patheon, ect. in an exciting murder type mystery with a historical backdrop. After reading the book, I searched the net for a tour of the fountains of Rome and ecco-la - your tour!
I felt I was reliving the book and am going to reread parts of it after this GREAT tour!
Other people may mention this book to guides of the Fountains of Rome Tour. Perhaps, you might even mention the book in the blurb about the tour and/or create a tour just following fountains, ect. in the book. The only fountain not in your tour was one of the fountains in St. Peter's Square (does this entice you to read the book?). Also Castel Sant' Angelo plays a major role in the book and Jim and I went there on our own and that was also FABULOUS.
At any rate, we would recommend this tour to anyone and I'm sure that your others are excellent as well! When we find ourselves in Rome again, we will return to you for another "walk"
Give Stefano a raise!
Jim and Lucie K.
Our tour of Medieval and Ancient Rome with Michael was very interesting and was filled with beautiful ancient frescos and mosaics that we would have never seen. My daughter who was just graduated from college and a history major was delighted.
Our tour of the Vatican was very good with Katarina, who was an expert in art history. I only wish that we would have been able to stay at least another hour.
We were recently in Rome and So enjoyed your Fountains of Rome tour. Was once again on your website and found this WONDERFUL book which you recommend. Too bad I didn't read it before we went. Another reason to return to Rome with the book in hand!
Also will look forward to some of your other walking tours. Have recommended you to everyone planning a trip.
Ciao! Roger and I wanted to say thanks for the great walking tour in Rome last week. Even though we've been at home for a day now, we're both still reveling in the splendor and beauty of your city. Your enthusiasm and knowledge of the city, its art and history is contagious - and the presentation delightful. I can assure you we will recommend your tours without hesitation and that we will see you again!
Already when relating our adventures in Italy the first thing we talk about is our tour in Rome!!!
Thank you again. Have a wonderful autumn...I'm off to check airfares for Christmas!!!
Michelle and Roger Y.
We had an excellent guide, very well-informed, but also not overly "programmed" and able to adapt himself to our interests. We were only sorry we didn't arrange for a second tour with him of the Forum.
A note of thanks for supporting our efforts to find the right guides to go with the two tours we selected. We had only a brief stay, so we wanted to maximize our opportunities with personal guides. We so enjoyed our time with Michael, who did a great job stimulating us all (including our young teenager) with lots of fascinating historical info. on our walking tour of Rome's Hidden Treasures. He also recommended THE best gelato shop right near our hotel next to the Pantheon, and we loved his list of restaurants, and the most appreciated spot for cappuccinos, etc.
We are back from our trip to Italy and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the very informative and entertaining walking tour that you had given us in Rome. I am now certain the difference between "Renaissance" and "Baroque" sculptures in a way that I would have never been otherwise! Your students are very lucky to have a teacher with as much enthusiasm as you and I am sure it is reflected in the amount of information they obtain and actually absorb.
Thanks again for a memorable tour and I will be sure to refer you when I have friends traveling to Rome!
Thanks for your welcoming note. We really enjoyed our tour with Stefano in Rome. He is knowledgeable and a very nice young man. He made Roman history come alive and the three hours just flew by. I will recommend this tour. We spent a day in Ostica Antica and found the ruins most interesting. It is an easy metro/train trip from the city and the ruins are well marked. While in Florence, we walked up to Piazzale Michelangelo and walked thru both the iris and rose gardens on either side. They are lovely, especially in spring, and uncrowded, and should be recommended.
Michael in Rome was fantastic! Even though he's probably guided hundreds of people over the past three years, he remembered my mom and my niece from our previous time with him - even to the point of where he had taken our picture. His accompaniment and knowledge shared re: the Roman Forum and other parts of Rome cannot be compared!
The highlight of our trip was the private tour with Stefano. What a marvelous young man who brought to life for us the history of Rome. He even tailored it to meet some of our personal interest about Paul and Peter and the early Christians who suffered in Rome for their faith. We would definitely recommend taking the private tour! We watched group after group of 20-30 people tagging along with a guided group while we had the total attention of an archeologist who was superb!
Cathy & Spud A.
My wife and I arranged for two personal tours with Michael in Rome. The first morning we did The Drive Through the Centuries tour, the second morning the 2000 Years of History Tour. We would heartily recommend both of them. Michael (an American from San Francisco/Chicago) is an excellent guide. He is extremely knowledgeable and as a teacher, can relay that knowledge in an easy to understand way. If you're not into the type of tour whereby you're lead around in a large group by someone waving a flag - but still need someone to help explain what you're seeing - this is a good way to go. The extra cost in minimal compared to the cost of a full-blown package tour, and much more personal.
Tom & Brenda N.
The three tours we did with Stefano (two) and Michael (one) were truly the highlight of our trip. We had other tours that nowhere near compared to theirs. Not only were they knowledgeable, SO helpful, friendly, patient with our questions, but they just added some extra touches that were just great! We've been raving about them since we returned. Rome was everything we had dreamed it would be and more, thanks in large part, to our walking tours.
We did pass on one restaurant recommendation to them - PIETRO near the Piazza Navonna - truly great!
Thanks for all your help!
I wanted to convey my appreciation for the excellent experience my compatriots and myself shared during our Walking Tours of Rome on September 24, 27 and 28, 2002. Peter, Michael and Dennis were our respective guides for the Vatican, Fountains and 2000 Years of History.
We left each to their own discretion in planning what highlights to emphasize since our "Gee Whiz" attitude towards Rome left us open to suggestion. In every case did their attention result in a memorable and learned tour it was our pleasure to enjoy! I cannot recommend your services more highly and look forward to their advantage in the future. Please convey these commendations to each of our guides.
Passing by other "Mobs" of tours only reinforced the judgment we had chosen the superior of alternatives.
I told both Stefano and Michael how fortunate I felt for finding your website. They were both fantastic tours. Stefano was wonderful and was willing to answer any and all questions concerning the Roman period. Michael was so informative and knowledgeable. What a rare find they both are.
I would have to say besides the sites of Rome and the Vatican area Jan. is a great time to be in Rome for SHOPPING!!! Everything is ON SALE.
In the future I am passing along your information to coworkers and friends living in Europe.
Have a wonderful weekend!
I was searching for some information on Italy and found a link to your site, so I thought I would say "hello". You may not remember, but you gave my wife Lianne (originally from Australia and stunning mother of four!) and I an enchanting tour of Rome two years ago. Afterwards, you invited us up for some wine at your apartment and we enjoyed each others company while Lianne and I felt the pulse of Rome surround us; thanks to you and your friend who joined us, as well as the sights, sounds and smells that flowed through your open studio windows from the streets below. After parting ways, we had such a magical time in Rome that we can't wait to come back!
The rest of our trip was tremendous, with cruising the Cote d'Azur and having the pleasure of meeting Roger Moore (yes, 007!) at one of our events in Monte Carlo. What we remember most fondly, though, is our mad, frenetic time in Rome and the exquisite introduction you gave us to "la dolce vita." Thank you for starting us off properly the best vacation we've ever had! We hope to come back within the next two or three years and would like to see you again and maybe impose upon you once more for some additional exploring of Rome. Until then, hoping all is well with you and yours,
We had a marvelous time in Italy. Michael was just a wealth of information, kind, and personable. We left him feeling that we'd spent a charming morning with an old friend. He gave us confidence in how to get around in Rome, and gave us the historical background of everything we were seeing. Thanks so much, Michael! You were wonderful!
Denise and Mike B., and Matt
Thank you again for a very enjoyable and informative morning. Your passion for the subject and your ability to communicate that passion makes you a wonderful teacher. I envy your students. Your art also shows that passion. There were several pieces that we liked very, very much and will contact you when we are ready to make an acquisition.
Thanks also for the restaurant guide. We had a fantastic lunch at Antica Taverna, so fantastic that we stopped there the next day after the Vatican Museum and St. Peters. I think it was Nietzsche who said "hell is other people ". He must have just visited the museum. These people should be limited to the gift shop, they would never know what they missed. We also saw The church of St Mary in Travestere which was fantastic.
The next day we visited the Palazzo Barberini which I really enjoyed. I fell in love with Fornarina.
Our time in Rome was really magical and we have you to thank for a lot of it. We hope to be able to visit you again soon.
Thanks for a wonderful tour in Rome. We really enjoyed our short time in Rome and you made it a very rewarding experience for us.
Even though we arrived in Rome 12 hours late and lost that entire day, we were so fortunate to have arranged for our tour with you. We felt as though we learned more in three days than we could have in a week on our own.
Dennis, it was a pleasure to meet you and get to see the famous Trevi Fountain, along with several wonderful fountains, churches and sights. We learned so much in our visit with you and just had a wonderful time.
Thanks for getting us in to Tre Scalini and for the champagne before dinner. We had a wonderful meal that really capped a fantastic day in Rome. We sat and talked and talked about what a wonderful day it had been.
We also managed to visit the Campo de Fiori the next morning before we left for the Princess cruise. It was great - another one of our highlights!
Thanks for your companionship - our time with you was certainly a highlight of our three week Mediterranean vacation. We are looking forward to our next visit to Rome!
Bob and Sonia H.
Our hidden treasures tour was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to italy - stefano ws engaging, knowledgable, and quite a delight. Both my 14 yr old daughter and i would definitely do it again. Thank you.
The Rome tour was terrific and the highlight of our two week trip to Italy. My husband and I were fascinated by the sophistication of the ancient Romans, a topic we have discussed several times since returning home. Our guide, answered all questions arising during our tour and catered the discussion to our interests. He painted a picture of in our minds of the Roman Forum in its working glory, and he brought us up to speed on Roman History, a topic long buried in our college textbooks. The "2000 Years of Roman History Tour" is a "must do" for all visitors to the Eternal City, and the private tour targets visitors all education levels and backgrounds.
As for suggestions in Rome, we dined at "al Fontanone" a wonderful, family-run, restaurant and pizzeria at Piazza Trilussa,46, in Trastevere (Tel. 06/58.17.312). The outdoor seating and friendly service made for a terrific initial impression. When we tasted the food, we knew "al Fontanone" was a gem. Our total bill, 39 Euros, included several appetizers, the main course, dessert, coffee, etc. We highly recommend the pizza. We will never forget this quaint, friendly restaurant in the trendy Trastevere area. Reservations recommended. Enjoy!
Lori Thompson C.
The tour was wonderful. If I go back I will definitely sign up for at least one more of the tours. The tour was the best thing we did in Rome as it gave us so much background, history, etc. We even recommended it to some people we met the next day waiting to get into the Vatican Museum.
It was nice to have such a small group. We each got to ask Dennis questions and of course we could here everything, unlike what happens in large groups. It was also nice to meet someone that made us feel safe despite the reports of trouble on CNN. I wouldn't recommend the hotel we chose and according to Dennis we could have gone through you guys for that as well (we stayed at the Quality Hotel Nova Domus). Live and learn. We had planned to rent a car to drive from Italy to France but quickly changed our mind after seeing the driving they do in Italy. We decided it was much better to fly (something else you guys probably could have told us right?!).
Again, the tour was great and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Phenomenal--Michael in Rome was incredible. I am recommending him to everyone I know. I don't think he could have been better in any way. We loved his vast historical background, his humor, his personal experiences as an American in Rome, his tips for good restaurants and cutting through lines--EVERYTHING! He was so good to my mother-in-law in her wheelchair, too.
We had a wonderful trip and our tour of Rome was great. The one hidden treasure we found in Rome was our tour guide Stefano. With his unique background in History and Archeology as well as being raised in Rome made him uniquely qualified to show us the city. My two girls (age 11 and 7) loved him and can't stop talking about how much they enjoyed the tour and our guide.
My friend Fran and I loved our Rome tour!!!! Stefano was wonderful! Friendly, personable, patient, respectful, knowledgeable, etc. He has a lot of passion for history and it showed throughout the tour! We did the history of rome-2000 years tour. We wish we'd also booked a tour that explored the vatican. Thanks so much and thanks to Stefano! We also reserved tickets for the accademia and the uffizi in florence and were very thankful-walked right in both times! Thanks for a great service and a great informative website! Take Care!
Thank you once again for a wonderful visit. I cannot imagine visiting Rome without spending an afternoon in your company. You always manage to surprise and delight, even though I predictably and stubbornly request the same tour each year. My sister was completely enchanted. You are my "red roman spider", spinning your magic for me each year. The fine silk thread gets stronger every time I return. Thanks to you, I have a permanent love and attachment to the most quixotic city in the world.
Whenever you feel the need for a quiet respite, please remember that my invitiation to stay with us is sincere.
Our walking tour with Stefano was all we had hoped for and more. We called the day before and arranged to meet Stefano in the afternoon instead of the morning. So, after walking for six hours, we met up with him and walked another four hours. It was great. We don't know what it would have been like with Dennis or Michael, but Stefano was a great resource of information - I am still amazed that he remembers so much about the history of Rome and all the names.
Patrick and Arlyn C.
Scott and I just wanted to tell you what a great job Stefano did on our tour - it was great hearing his perspective. Being raised in Rome and having an archaeology background was a great combination - we are sure that we got more information than all the big tours that we were surrounded by.
Again, please convey our appreciation to him - he helped make our stay in Rome special.
Scott and Cathy C
We had a marvelous time in Italy, fascinating and exciting, but hardly relaxing! Rome is so large, so layered, so densely packed with history, even so daunting, and Florence is so sophisticated and elegant that relaxation didn't seem like much of an option.
We did relax, though, by spending a lot of time in the Borghese Gardens, partly because our hotel (the Lord Byron) was located at the northern end of it. The weather was lovely, and tutta Roma seemed to be taking advantage of it in the Garden.
The highlights of our stay in Rome were our two tours, one with Dennis (Baroque churches) and one with Michael (Imperial and Classical Rome). We've traveled a lot, and typically try to organize some sort of guided tour to give us an overview if it's our first visit, or hidden secrets if we've been there before. We've had a lot of good guides (and some rotten ones, too), and some excellent ones, but never before have we had guides like Dennis and Michael. What struck us most about them was not just their knowledge, which is profound, but their ability to convey information so effortlessly yet effectively.
Although it takes no particular sophistication to walk through Rome admiring its beauty, marveling at its textured historical density, and simply enjoying the street life, one needs some guidance to get beneath the surface impressions. Both Dennis and Michael excel at that, emphasizing the critical issues so you get the point immediately.
I'm a fan of Baroque churches, so Dennis's tour was a wonderful way to begin our stay in Italy. He pointed out a building near Piazza Navona, an anthropological sculpture museum, which he suggested we visit if we had time. Well, we made the time and it was a spectacular experience! (I'm a bit vague on the name, since my notes are in NYC and I'm writing this in Massachusetts)
Michael's tour was exceptionally helpful since he's so skilled at pointing out the iconographic elements in the art work that may not be familiar to non-Christians. Instead of just looking at murals or mosaics as interesting historical artifacts, we were able to understand their meaning as well as their beauty.
I feel as if we've made good friends with both of them, in just a few hours, and I can't say enough good things about them as individuals and as tour guides. They provided very special moments that meant a lot to us.
That's the good news. The bad news--we don't think the food in Italy is as good as it used to be. My recollection is that you had to work really hard to find a bad meal. Now both Rome and Florence seem much more like NYC, where you have to know where you're going or you're in for a disappointment. This was particularly true in Florence, which seems to be verging on becoming a Disneyland. Perhaps this is because we've always traveled to Italy in November or December, when the crowds are thinner. And of course the dollar is so strong against the lire that even more tourists are visiting. But still, I found attitudes in Florence reminiscent of those in France, where Americans have long been scorned (remember Mark Twain's comment that human beings were defined somewhere on a continuum between the angels and the French).
But those are minor complaints. Visiting Italy is a life-affirming activity, one which we hope to repeat many more times. Thanks for all your help with our tours and the Borghese tickets.
We had a wonderful month in Italy!! Our tour with Michael was GREAT!! We'd love to do another tour with him on our next trip to Rome! Michael took us to a part of the city we hadn't explored on previous visits, and it was most interesting to learn the history of the churches we saw. In addition, we ate at one of his recommended restaurants the evening of our tour and had an excellent meal!
The Villa Borghese was fabulous---we're so glad we reserved the tickets so that we could see it. Thank you for arranging things for us. We'll be in touch when we decide to return to Italy!
For all the people that are hesitant to book online, don't be! Rome will now have special meaning for my husband and myself because of Dennis! We booked two tours online, both tours gave us the overview of Rome that we never experienced before. Each tour was so comprehensive, even with the heat, humidity, and blisters on my toes, Rome will be forever in our hearts through a true artist's eyes. Dennis, thank you again.
Linda and Ron S.
Wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had on our Rome tour with Dennis. It was truly the highlight of our visit to Rome. It was so much more than we expected that we are still discovering things about the walk.
Not being great students of the arts it was a superb learning experience for us. For days after the tour we found ourselves strolling through Rome with an opened eye toward the beauty of Rome.
Dennis' passion for the sights and sounds of Rome helped us see past the crowds and smog to how amazing this city really is.
When we return to Italy in the future, our first stop will be The Piazza Navona to meet Dennis for another walking tour.
Rick and Dawn R.
We met with Michael on Wednesday, September 23rd across from the Coliseum. He first explained how he organizes the tour and asked us what our interests were. We explained how we were interested in the Roman influence on Christianity. He then tailored our trip specifically to our needs. We saw places that looked insignificant from the outside, but upon entering and learning about its history, we found it fascinating.
Since our tour occurred on the first day we arrived in Rome, we asked what would be interesting for us to visit by ourselves on the subsequent days. Michael was very helpful in describing what we should see and even the busses and metro lines we could use to get there.
I would recommend this tour to anyone. It is an intimate journey through Rome that can only be done by a guide such as Michael. As a matter of fact, after our tour was over, and my wife and I were having coffee in front of the Piazza Venezia, we met an American couple who had arrived a few days earlier and we recommended this trip to them. We gave them Michael's number -- I hope they called for the time of their life.
Rick and Lori T.
San Diego, CA
We had a wonderful time in Rome and thoroughly enjoyed our 2000 years of history tour with you, Dennis. You described yourself as looking like Henry VIII in shorts, so we easily spotted you outside the metro station near the front of the Coliseum. You were a pleasure to be with, full of energy and information. You patiently answered our numerous questions and moved us along if we lagged in one spot too long. Since our time in Rome was limited to 2 1/2 days, we appreciated how much we saw and learned during our tour. You certainly gave it your personal touch, and that is exactly why we booked a private tour instead of a less expensive but much less personalized bus tour with a large group. Our only regret was not having enough time to return to the Piazza Navona to visit you in the afternoon and view your artwork. Thanks again for a great tour.
Nancy and Brad P.
We had a wonderful time in Italy and Rome was our favorite city. We connected easily with Michael and found him to be a very knowledgeable and generous guide. He geared our tour of the Coliseum and Palatine Hill to the pace of our six year old and seemed to enjoy some of her questions about Julius Caesar and caesar salads etc. as much as we did. Obviously we weren't able to plumb the depths of his knowledge of Rome in three hours but he gave us enough information to really help us locate ourselves in history and have an idea about the ways people lived and enjoyed themselves in this Paleo-Christian era. I particularly loved one of the churches he took us to on Palatine Hill with a gorgeous mosaic and I was in heaven the next day at the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Michael left us with a great restaurant list, one of which we tried in the Jewish Ghetto and loved called Piperno. We also had a high end dinner with friends at Il Camponeschi in the beautiful Piazza Farnese. This was too pricey to go to with children but how often do we get to Rome? It was a lovely meal and setting. We hated to leave Rome and had just discovered (!) the whole area north of our hotel along Via Veneto and never got to Trastevere. Our daughter loved the bumper cars in the Borghese Gardens and we spent an afternoon relaxing there. It is obvious one can't "do" Rome on a single visit. We also missed St Peter's but saw the Pope. Thanks for all your great information and I'm happy to recommend initaly.com and your tours to all our friends.
P.S. It was also very nice of Michael to take us back the way of the Jewish Ghetto which I'd forgotten I'd mentioned our interest in seeing. It was fun to share books with him as well and we look forward to hearing about his new guide when it's published.
Just wanted to compliment your wise decision in choosing Dennis as a guide in Rome. My friends and I had the pleasure of his expertise on May 12th, and we all came away with the impression that Dennis is a treasure on a par with the artifacts he walked us through!! Please relay our sincere thanks for his exceptional tour.
I just wanted to thank you and Dennis for a most amazing tour of Rome. I cannot believe how quickly you were able to accomodate us and set up the tour just a day or two before we left for our vacation.
Dennis was great! The information just tripped off his tongue and we were riveted by everything he said for the full three hours. We did the tour our first day in Rome and it was the smartest thing we did- Dennis was able to give us a sense of the city both past and present. It helped us immensely to get our bearings on so many levels.
We have several friends who will be going to Rome in the coming months we are going to strongly urge them to take a tour. It was such a treat!
Thanks again to you and Dennis,
With visions of Basilicas, Grand Canal's, and Medieval Towers dancing in our heads, we are still living those wonderful moments in Italy. We've shared our photos and some funnier stories with friends and have told them all that they must see Rome with you as their guide! We still chuckle about crossing the streets of Rome with "DETERMINATION"- It's become our latest Mantra. We do want you to know how much we enjoyed your tour. It was a pleasant journey through history and a great education. I hope you enjoyed your own vacation as well, and added some interesting tidbits to your personal guide book.
Thanks again for sharing such a wonderful day with us, and we both hope to "walk the streets" again with you someday.
Harry and Maureen B.
We just returned from our trip and I wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed our tour with Dennis. He made Rome come alive for us!! He was a fantastic guide and made our trip a very memorable one. We appreciate all that he did. THANK YOU!!
Kimberly and Jeff R.
Great trip...we'll definitely go back. The walking tours exceeded all expectations. They were perfect and would highly recommend to first-time travellers and repeats. Michael and Dennis are splendid. They helped plan the rest of our itinerary on Rome and Italy. Great tips on restaurants and stores to purchase stuff (Michael told me to go to Datti in the shopping district near Spanish Steps to buy a suit...a fabulous experience). Best restaurant for us: Tre Scalini in Piazza Navona. Of course all sites in Rome are great.
Again thanks so much. When we go back in 5 years...we will definitely do Pompei with Dennis.
Ken and Sally H.
Rome was exciting and Micheal was a treasure. I'm sorry our time was so short. The weather wasn't cooperating but I was able to get some wonderful photographs. Thanks for your email -- I will contact you for my next trip to Italy.
We booked and took a guided tour for June 7. Everything was as you said it would be, and Mike put together an excellent tour. The day was brilliant; it being Saturday traffic was low; and Rome exceeded our expectations. All in all a very good experience. Thanks.
Larry and Joyce D.
Buona Sera Michael:
Thank you so much for the wonderful tours we had. I have a few books at the cottage on Rome I hope to get into this summer, I'm sure I'll enjoy them even more now that I can put them into place, both time wise and where things are in the city. I also found Verdi's Requiem today and listened to it. Nice, but I think it would be better in a "basilica" with an obelisk or two in the vicinity!! I've been doing a little survey, and those I know that said they did study Roman history said they didn't remember it anyway. Time for them to make a trip to refresh their memories Thanks again, and when I find the time to transfer our map of where we walked I'm sure I'll have questions of what the name of the churches were with the wonderful sheep in their mosaics, but other things call now.
Ciao, Colleen & Bob K
My Aunt and I took the Pompeii day trip with you in April. I am finally getting around to making a trip book. There was a wonderful fresco in one of the houses describing I think perfume-making. Is that right and which house? And that was where the sleaze-bag guide beside us said it was a doctor operating? The day trip was a delight -- one of the highlights. I especially enjoyed your description of the four styles of painting. Hope everything is going well with you.
We very much enjoyed our time with you and what we learned as well. Ed loved the 2,000 years walk, but, interestingly, after the second one, said he was really taken with that because it was so off the beaten path. I also think that your historical take on things, rather than the heavily artistic approach, was especially appealing to him. Thanks again for being one of the highlights of an otherwise terrific trip. So terrific that when my wallet "went missing" between Rome and London I wasn't even very excited.
Italy was marvelous, like we new it would be! My husband and I had been before but this was the first time for our two boys, ages 9 & 12. This was the best family vacation we've ever had.
One of the definite highlights of our trip was our day tour from Rome to Pompeii. We can't say enough great things about Stefano. We have friends who used him for two tours in Rome last June and they loved him. We were not disappointed. Since we were going to be in Rome for Christmas we had concerns about what we would do on the 25th and 26th with most things closed. Well, taking this tour on the 26th was the perfect solution. We had been warned by others that it would be a very long day and involve plenty of time on trains to get to Pompeii. We are all so glad we decided to do it. Stefano made the whole day an effortless, relaxing, fun learning experience for our entire family. The train rides were fun and easy. The ride went quickly and there was plenty of beautiful scenery to view along the way. Pompeii was an awesome sight and much larger than we imagined. I believe it would nearly be a waste of time though without a good guide. Stefano is so knowledgeable and made the tour interesting to our kids. He involved them, asked them questions and kept their attention. Stefano is really a great guide for families. He's young and his English is perfect so he's easy for everyone to understand. By the end of our day we felt like we'd made a special friend.
I highly recommend the Pompeii from Rome day trip. It is an expensive, full day (7am-6pm) tour but worth every penny. I never touched my wallet till the end of the trip to pay the balance of the tour fees. Stefano took care of our train tickets, entry to Pompeii and a great lunch. A meal, maybe one of the best of our trip, that was in a nice restaurant not frequented by tourists. But most important to have a knowledgeable, very nice guide who can expose your family to wonderous sights, help you navigate train stations, a foreign city, and a language you have little skill with is priceless. If you're in Rome and have a day to spare away from the big city definitely do this tour.
Thanks Jessica and Stefano for helping to make our family trip one to remember a lifetime.
The Martinez Family
Both tours were outstanding. Stefano (Pompeii) and Roberto (The Vatican) were terrific guides. They both posses such a passion for what they do and that passion was transferred to us during the tours. There is probably no better way to experience Pompeii and The Vatican. We learned so much and our children (Taylor 12, Trevor 6) had a great time on both tours. Thank you for arranging these on such short notice. We will contact you the next time we are in Italy.
Your email is very timely, I was just going on to my associates about my wonderful trip to Italy and how the tour guides definately added to its success.
My family enjoyed Stefano, Michael and Dennis very much, especially Stefano. What a mature young adult - he handled a train strike and our diverse group fabulously!! Thank you very much for your help and best wishes to Stefano, Michael and Dennis.
Just a quick note to say how much my husband and I enjoyed our day trip to Pompeii (which really turned out to be a full day thanks to Italy's trains!) Stefano was a great guide and really gave us a fantastic insight to the ruins in Pompeii. He really knew his stuff and thanks to him I feel I really have a much greater understanding of both Pompeii and the classical city of Rome. We will be back.
Jackie and Charles L.
Not only were our tours perfect, we really appreciated your fine service to set them up, and your friendly emails.
Pompeii Tour. This was worth every penny. Dennis was the perfect guide: knowledgeable, personable, and accomodating. I am so glad that Dennis showed us around Pompeii that day. I had no idea that Pompeii was so huge that it would be a challenge to see a good representation in one day. Dennis guided us around knowledgably and efficiently, spending time explaining things with all of us and making sure my daughter (who was mostly hot and somewhat grumpy) took in some interesting facts and flavor of the place. The luncheon we had was especially memorable for many reasons (fresh calamari, cold limoncello, etc). Since we've been home I've been waiting for my chance to talk to friends who are traveling to Italy, so I can link them up with Dennis. This was a day we will never forget - our sincerely gratitude to Dennis for that very fact.
Phil and I had a wonderful tour with Michael to Pompeii. Everything was so smooth and Michael was so knowlegeable. We enjoyed talking to him on our train ride about many things, not just Italy. I plan to write him personally and thank him but I also wanted you to know that things went very well and to thank you for your help in arranging this part of our trip.
If It had not been for Michael we would have had a in and out tour but he gave us such an in depth perspective of the time and helped us avoid the crowds. We also had a most enjoyable lunch!!!
Thanks again for helping to make our trip to Italy that much more memorable.
Nancy and Phil D.
Dear affable Michael and Dennis,
Gentlemen, I wanted you to know that my trip was close to perfect from start to finish. The tour with Dennis opened my eyes to things I would not have appreciated otherwise, and the trip to Pompeii, from the train ride to the ruins to the mozzarella and limoncello, gave me another piece of Italy I would not have experienced.
Thanks to your help, Michael, in my first navigation of the Italian train system, I never experienced a problem. Knowing the unexpected might occur, I was even able to recoup when they moved the airport train to an unposted track.
Again, gentlemen, I will recommend you to everyone I know planning a trip to Italy. Thanks again,
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