Obviously I knew we had to be flexible with our schedule with closings and odd hours, but I think Stephanie (our guide) did her best to try and accommodate the group based on our interests. We enjoyed all the places we went with the tour and liked the Hotel Lancelot as our place to return to each night. I did not think I would see and hear from the Pope while visiting the Vatican, but I was wrong. I especially appreciated her guidance on crossing the street, an early lesson. "The Capitoline Museum had a surprising variety of painting masterworks, including Rubens, Caravagio, and Raphael, as well as the suckling she wolf, Dying Gaul and the ancient bronze equestrian statute or Marcus Aurelius.". I enjoyed the other folks in the group, too. "Walking into the Colosseum and into the Forum.". Another "wow" moment was seeing the actual Pope at the Vatican and taking in a small Mass inside the Vatican Church as well as the Sisten Chapel. Capuchin Crypt Decorated with the bones of 4,000 Franciscan friars. My family and I had an AMAZING time in Rome with our FANTASTIC guides, Sarah and Francesca! This was a return to visit to Rome--and the able guides Stacy and Anna helped us to make the most of it!They were fabulous, and took into account our interests and needs. See more ideas about rick steves, europe travel, travel. But I'm happy to say that I can't wait to go another Rick Steves tour. All good, "We were able to get really close to see the Pope as he rode around the Vatican grounds". The tour was fantastic and no waiting time to get in. Studying the sculptures at the Borghese was so moving, I would have never approached the art this way without her guidance. Great tour. What can I say but It was a life time adventure, and thanks to Ben and everyone associate with Rick Steves tour. Art, History, Architecture, Culture, Religion, Food, and Community. "I love how peaceful Ostia Antica is- both the ruins we visited and the modern-day town where we stopped for gelato and I saw the indoor natatorium with the green roof. It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. The guest lecturers were entertaining and knew what they were talking about. Saw more beautiful things and places than I ever had. The "Best of Rome" Tour was simply outstanding. It was immersive and that is just what I had hoped for. "Hard to say. I've always wanted to go to Rome. Although my wife and I have been to Europe before to visit relatives, we don't consider ourselves "experienced" travelers and this was our first Rick Steves tour. (one carry on size bag and a back pack). So cool to go into the neighborhood shops and sample the foods! This is the first tour that showed you how to use public transportation that was extremely helpful. We liked staying in one place and each day was a good balance of structured and free time. In every tour, there has been plenty of time allocated for exploring on one's own, so you are not tethered to the group all day every day. I also had a very emotional reaction to the Pieta in St. In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's hotel is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. Then going to the Vatican Museums. Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO). After a short meeting and an orientation walk through our neighborhood, we'll get introduced to Rome's efficient metro system and then enjoy an "Am-I-really-here?" Rainer was absolutely fantastic. So many "wow" moments, but many of them were facilitated or enabled by the guides, so the guides get the biggest "wow" credit!". Feel like we saw and learned a lot about Ancient Rome, the religious sites, Renaissance & today's Rome. "Seeing the Bernine sculptures with our local guide Francesca.". Sleep in Rome. Karin did an outstanding job ensuring we were all comfortable, informed and happy! That was the only day that seemed like a normal tour experience.". The overall tour was weary good and all the guides were outstanding. 3. The guides were fantastic, especially Stephanie and Francesca. They made our experience so interesting! "It's hard to narrow down to one but the Galleria Borghese.". Europe - Rick Steve's audio tours vs. Tour Guides, please help! Most everything was covered and our tours were well timed and planned. The Rick Steves Best of Venice, Florence & Rome tour begins with Venice's timeless St. Mark's Square and Basilica, then on to Michelangelo's stunning David and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and ends with Rome's Ancient Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. I would have been overwhelmed trying to plan even half of what we did on this tour. We sat and listened and were amazed. We learned to see the world differently. The Amazon Book Review Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. This was such a wonderful tour in so many ways. We had free time to explore. For me, walking into the room at the Vatican and seeing the real full-sized School of Athens for real in context was like a dream I never even expected to come true. ▲▲ Church of San Giovanni in Laterano Grandiose and historic “home church of the popes,” with one-of-a-kind Holy Stairs across the street. I love churches, architecture, sculptures, so much to see. We were overwhelmed by how well prepared and researched our tour was. "Seeing the Pope in his Wednesday AM 'audience'. She was a wonderful story teller and set the stage for an excellent visit to the Vatican Museum, the Borghese Museum and the Coliseum.". We truly enjoyed each others company. After a break for lunch, we'll tour ancient Rome's birthplace: the Forum. Got goosebumps when Francesca brought us in to the Colloseo the way the Gladiators came in! The second was the Borghese Museum. The tour structure provided us the opportunity to get to know Rome's history, evolution and culture as a group and allowed for further personal immersion during the ample free time. My "wow" moment for art was The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio in San Luigi dei Francesi, which we saw in our free time. The adjacent cabbies were backing away pretty fast. (36:16), Rome II: Beneath the Surface As we head back to Rome, we'll take a panoramic bus tour as we continue to peel away the jumbled layers of this fascinating city, learning about Rome as Italy's political capital, the capital of Catholicism, and the center of the ancient world. It was an inspiring moment. Incredible art with our own private expert guide to help us appreciate many things that most people would easily miss when observing a masterpiece.". "The ruins at Ostia Antica were incredible. The tour was wonderful, and I enjoyed the Hotel Lancelot immensely. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. We were able to experience so much more as she provided excellent commentary on the sculptures and paintings.". "Borghese Gallery. Unlike Rome's politically oriented Forum, our walk through Ostia gives us a chance to envision the daily lives of merchants and craftsmen and appreciate beautifully preserved mosaics. ▲▲▲ Capitoline Museums Ancient statues, mosaics, and expansive view of Forum. From booking to leaving everyone was so helpful. They were dry gracious and accommodating. Terrific sites, good weather, and good food. Stephanie our tour guide was AMAZING and was able to navigate us through the history and brilliance of the city. I sure did love that 7 day travel pass for the bus/tram/metro. Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Rome tour: Group sightseeing events subject to change. "My wife and I visited a medieval church recommended by Rainer. From day one till the last day was just amazing. Seeing Pope Francis at the Wed Audience was more than a WOW! We also thought there was a good balance of tour time and free time. It was a lovely experience. Our group guide Stephanie was excellent in giving us the confidence to explore and in providing all sorts of interesting sites to see and foods to try. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | I think we got a great overview of Rome and had a good balance of programed and free time. "To see Rome lit up by fireworks on New Years Eve was incredible and a once in a life time experience. "So many... the St.Clement church, Borghese Museum, The Pantheon OMG I learned a lot. "From a learning/understanding/experience basis, our first day tour of the Basilica of St Clement with Elaria was a "wow" moment, introducing me to the many layers of Roman history. The tour was a perfect way to be introduced to the many aspects and layers (the lasagna) of Rome. 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