Private tour of Rome


Apr 14th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Private tour of Rome

Our group of 4 would like a one day private tour of Rome's highlights (probably not the Vatican as we'll do their guided tours). All the private tour operators on Trip Advisor seem to have 5 stars. Rates seem to be pretty consistent for the big ones at about 400 euro/day. The smaller/independent ones are closer to 700 euro/day. Some with a car, some walk.

Help! Who would you recommend?
sharonliz is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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What do you and your group want to learn about Rome?

It is pretty plain to me that a fair number of people go on walking tours of Rome, guided by a tour leader or following a guidebook, and manage to end up leaving Rome without any grasp of the relationship between the ancient buildings they are seeing and the political ideas of Rome and the Roman republic, and the Roman empire.

I don't know if you are American, but those ideas of the Roman republic inspired the American founding (no small moment in history) and the reasons for the implosion of Imperial Rome are rather interesting.

Roman engineering is also of particular interest to many people.

For others, having it suddenly become clear to them that the modern streets on which they are walking -- with designer label shops and touristy restaurnts-- are actually following right on top of the 2,000+ year old street grid of Rome suddenly brings the historic Rome into focus, and shows the Vatican to be outside that history, among other things.

Anyhoo, I would ask your group what you most want to learn about Rome, what you think you could relate to, and go from there. Look for somebody knowledgeable about what you are interested in, and check reviews on TripAdvisor.

Apparently some guides get many stars on TripAdvisor for being entertaining. I'm sure you can entertain yourselves in Rome.
zeppole is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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I have used Context Travel on several occasions. I like them because the groups are small (6 people) and their guides are of incredibly high standard. They pitch themselves to the more intellectual market and find out a little about you before you go so that they can tailor the day's activities towards your interests and what you already know about the area. They will also do private tours but if you looked through their website you might even find you could join two or three tours that covered what you want to see anyway.
mbloggs is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2012, 04:19 PM
kybourbon is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2012, 07:23 PM
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IMO you want 2 things in a guide, factual knowledge of the site and a (factual) storyteller.

If a guide can tie-in a human interest story it makes the site come alive.

I picked the Arch of Titus.

The guide spents 10mins on a detailed history but in closing tells this story.

While on campaign in Judea Titus met a Jewish Princess named Berenice who was the daughter of King Herod Agrippa I.
And they begin a passionate love affair.

She moves to Rome in 75AD where they live openly in the Palace on the Palatine Hill.
Titus has been divorced for years and she is for all intent and purposes his wife or at least viewed that way by the Romans. �

And when his father dies (Emperor Vespasian) Titus will become Emperor.
But Titus has a bad rep at this time that he will become a 2nd Nero.
Add to this the mood in Rome is very anti-semitic and xenophopia.

Plus she would have been thought of as a 2nd Cleopatra (and you see where that got Marc Antony).

Titus has no choice, the Senate and the People would never stand for this marriage or union nor his Emperor father, so he *must* send her away.

Suetonius wrote that their parting was very painful for both of them.

And they never saw each other again ;(.

After Vespasian's death she returned to Rome�but was sent away unseen by Titus.

2yrs later Titus lay dying, he looks up into the Heavens and in his dying words said;
"...there is no act of my life of which I have cause to repent, save one only".

Guide; now onto our next site.

Only Titus knows what his last words meant as he is dying unloved surrounded only by his servants and inner circle.

But later in your life whenever you seen the Arch of Titus on a documentary, book, magazine, etc what are you going to remember about it?
A tragic romantic love story perhaps? Or the facts and figures about the Arch the guide talked about ? Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Lots of good recommendations and names to follow up with. The master list seems to have all the popular names listed - thank you.
sharonliz is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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don't know how soon your trip is... but if you want to get a head start on rome and its architecture and history, there is a very detailed (very very) and really interesting free course you can stream online. lots of great information and many slides that demonstrate. a good warm-up. it's through open yale courses-
here is the main page...

but if you just have time to watch the introduction, it will give you a good foundation for understanding the city and its history.

we will be in rome in 2 weeks-- and i feel much more prepared this time to appreciate all of its amazing sights (and sites!) -kawh
kawh is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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p.s. to the above... not all of the lecture is on rome-- but on all roman architecture which translates back to what you are seeing in rome.
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