A Roman Holiday: of Vespas and over-qualified tour guides
When visiting Rome, you know you are in for a historical adventure as you traverse the Roman ruins. Yes, it gets extremely crowded with tourists, but the Colosseum and the ruins are not to be missed.
But skip the unnecessary queues by booking a tour online before your travels. We chose Through Eternity tours as it came highly recommended by friends. We took the in-depth tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
As promised on the website, we skipped all queues and were guided by a professional tour guide who actually has a Masters in archaeology and was part of the excavation crew for some of the sites. Talk about more than we bargained for!
I believe our tour guide was what really enhanced our experience there in Rome. Touring around the ruins would have been pretty meaningless without the guide telling us what each stone represented.
Of course, the Colosseum is pretty self-explanatory but with the guide, we were able to fully understand the depth of history behind it.
I would also recommend buying a Through Eternity tour for the Vatican City tour. We happened to be in Rome during Easter and the air was buzzing with excitement. But it was also packed with people heading there to see the Pope during Good Friday processions.
For the other parts of Rome, like the Pantheon, we opted to go for a Vespa tour - another unique experience that should be fully taken advantage of. It's a great experience to scoot around Italy in a Vespa and learn about the sites. We went with Scooteroma Tours for the Vespa tour. Each tour is customised to what you want to see and what they think will be of interest to you.
The whole experience is extremely personalised. You can pick from street art tours to foodie tours to a cinema tour. They are versatile and speak brilliant English. This can be a costly experience but one that should not be missed!
Through the Scooteroma Tours, we were brought to sites not typically seen by mass tourists - you know what I am talking about. We were brought outside the main centre of Rome to the Non-Catholic Graveyard where Shelley, Keats and other famous artists/poets/creatives were buried. Back then, non-Catholics could not be buried in Rome and had to be buried outside the walls.
Break away from big tours and opt for the smaller tours when visiting Rome. It's worth the price but best for couple travellers.