• Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • rome-trastevere-neighborhood
    Trastevere Neighborhood
  • Pantheon
  • Vatican Museum
  • St. Peter's Basilica

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Rome in 7 Days Tour

from $1,795 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $525

See Tour Dates

Rome serves up Europe's most intoxicating brew of dazzling art, earth-shaking history and city life with style. On this tour, your guide will resurrect the grandeur of Ancient Rome's Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon and nearby Ostia Antica. From the Renaissance and Baroque eras, you'll marvel at St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Borghese Gallery. You'll also enjoy today's Rome, with a cooking demonstration, neighborhood walking tours, memorable restaurants, and time to explore on your own. Join us for the Best of Rome in 7 Days!

Dates & Prices

2015

    • Jun 7–Jun 13 (Su-Sa)
    • $2,295 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Sep 6–Sep 12 (Su-Sa)
    • $2,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 4–Oct 10 (Su-Sa)
    • $2,295 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 11–Oct 17 (Su-Sa)
    • $2,295 + Air

    Join Waitlist

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Rome come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 16 sightseeing events • Pantheon • Evening walk through Rome • Panoramic bus tour • Catacombs of San Sebastiano • 7-day Metro Pass • Ancient Rome walking tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • San Clemente Church tour • Rome neighborhood walking tour • Italian cooking class • Day trip to Ostia Antica • Vatican Museum • Sistine Chapel • St. Peter's Basilica • Borghese Gallery tour...and more
  • All group transportation during the week in and around Rome
  • 6 nights accommodations in a memorable, centrally-located hotel
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Rome guidebook, Italian phrase book, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Rome

Let's get together at our hotel for a meeting at 3 p.m. this afternoon. After an orientation walk through our neighborhood, we'll get oriented to Rome's efficient metro system and then enjoy an "Am-I-really-here?" la dolce vita stroll through the heart of Rome, soaking up the city's evening ambiance at the classy Piazza Navona and the remarkably-preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon. Our day will end with a chance to get acquainted during a "Welcome to Rome" dinner together. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: Ancient Rome

After breakfast we'll ride the metro back in time to Ancient Rome. We'll arrive at multi-layered San Clemente — a 12th-century church sitting atop a 4th-century basilica and a previous Roman temple. Then we'll tour and hear vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum. After a break for lunch, we'll tour Ancient Rome's birthplace: the Forum. You'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to wander through the nearby Palatine ruins, see Michelangelo's Moses at St. Peter-in-Chains Church or climb to the top of the Victor Emmanuel Monument to enjoy the city view (don't forget to savor a foamy cappuccino in between). Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Neighborhood Rome

This morning we'll take a more intimate look at Rome, with a Vespa-dodging walking tour through our guide's favorite Roman neighborhood, followed by free time to make your own neighborhood discoveries. Later today we’ll regroup to create a tasty dinner together during a fun and informative cooking class. Walking: moderate.

Day 4:  St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum

Today we'll focus on Renaissance Rome. We’ll meet our local guide on the other side of the Tiber River and introduce you to the greatest church in Christendom, the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. Then we’ll take you to the sprawling Vatican Museum, where you’ll see an endless collection of treasures as you make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Your afternoon is free to explore more of the interesting market streets in this neighborhood. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5:  Day Trip to Ostia Antica

Today we'll venture outside the city, touring the ruins of Rome's first colony, Ostia Antica, the ancient seaport which connected Rome to its ever-expanding Mediterranean empire. 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. 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. On the way, we'll continue down the ancient "Queen of Roads," the Appian Way, stopping to tour the eerie Catacombs of San Sebastiano. Arriving back in our Rome neighborhood, you'll be free for dinner on your own. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Rome's Baroque Treasures

We'll begin with a guided tour of sheer beauty in the Borghese Gallery. Bernini's most graceful and lifelike sculptures reside here — his athletic David and delicate Apollo and Daphne — as well as masterpieces by Canova, Caravaggio, Titian and Raphael. Your afternoon is free to relax in the surrounding park, ramble through more of Rome, or do some last-minute shopping. Tonight we'll have one last dinner together to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. We'll say our final farewells and head for home — or further adventures in Italia. Arrivederci, Roma!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Rome in 7 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate through the city on your own.

Reviews

Thomas

Hermosa Beach, CA

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We usually to it "our way" when we travel but this time we thought we would try a Rick Steves tour after all the things we've heard about the tours. Nina was an excellent guide and made us feel like everything would go well. We weren't disappointed. She was friendly, knowledgable, approachable, organized, and kept us all moving. We couldn't ask for a better guide. We would love to have her as our guide if we ever do a RS tour in the future. The other guides were excellent, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No question. When Rick Steves was waiting at the Borghese Gallery to take the tour with us, it was something we'll always remember. When I was 10 and the Disneyland Band got on the Fantasyland Carousel with us and played their tunes, it was magical. 56 years later, I still remember. I expect to remember meeting Mr. Steves 56 years from now.....or, at least, for a good long time."

Audrey

El Reno, OK

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the great guides. Usually I travel with friends and family not by tour. I did appreciate that there was plenty of free time. The few other tours that I've taken tried to fill in all of our time. I usually leave those groups for alone time - once even for three days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Colleseum was good but the tour and guide of the Borghese Museum was award winning."

Maryann

The Villages, FL

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were wonderful, the hotel clean and elegant with great food and we had lots to keep us busy in our 7 days in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That first evening in Rome seeing the sites, meeting Nina our guide and our first group dinner together. WOW. We also got to meet Rick Steve's on the last day too!! He was very gracious to all of us took a photo with us."

Jerry

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unless you become able to control the weather we couldn't have asked for a better Rome experience. I can't say enough about the wonderful job Nina did, even though she was feeling more then a little under the weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I show everyone the picture I took of the pyramid in Ostiense. Completely unexpected. The Borghese Museum was and still is incredible. Francesca's love of the art came through and is still with me. The other picture I show everyone is of a double rainbow that appeared Friday evening right of the terrace of our room in the Hotel Lancelot."

James

Pittsburg, CA

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, very well organized, excellent tour guide and city guides. A special treat was meeting Rick Steves in person on the last day of the tour. Nina is an especially talented tour guide, professional, concerned and caring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out of the metro subway at the Colosseum and seeing it all cleaned up and towering over head. Still and overwhelming and impressive structure even aftger standing for over 1,900 years."

Donald

Essex Junction, VT

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Although I should have been, I wasn't quite prepared for the very long walks. You earn every lesson learned and every site seen in Rome. Overall a very good experience, I would recommend this tour to others. It seems to me that a tour is the best way to experience Rome. Hard to do on your own and get the best bang for your time and money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I have visited Rome before my best moments came when I was on my own time. The Capitoline museums for instance and some of the churches. My best day was when I stayed after one day and went out to Assisi. Thanks to Nina who helped me with train schedules and ticket info. There really is a spiritual feeling to the Basilica there that I have not experienced in other great churches in Europe quite apart from the wonderful frescos. The town was interesting also, I used a RS walking tour."

Elisa

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience and it was educational, entertaining and enlightening. Our group ranged from 14yrs old to over 60 and the interaction between everyone was perfect. Our guide and area guides were informative and friendly. The hotel lancelot was perfect. Employees were welcoming, helpful, and caring. Could not have had a better experience. Would definitely tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult to answer. It was my first time to Rome. Everything was a wow moment. Being in the middle of history and seeing everything up close put it into perspective. What took my breath away was the Sistine Chapel and the Bernini sculptures."

Walter

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded our expectations in every way. The hotel was perfect. We could not have had a better guide than Nina. The balance between tour time and personal time was perfect. I liked the flexibility of opting out of activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most unexpected aspect of the tour was the cooking class. It was a great experience. I absolutely loved it."

Howard

Avon Park, FL

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel I learned about the significance of Rome and I now feel I have experienced Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived a day early and went to San Clemante Sunday morning. On Monday we went back to the cathedral and saw the secrets that would only be available with a knowledgeable guide."

Linda

Hermosa Beach, CA

Tour: 03/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of our Rome Tour! All of the scheduled excursions were things that I would have chosen to see/do on my own, but we had the advantage of knowledgeable guides to lead us through each experience. Our group guide, Nina, was wonderful. She became a friend to all, giving us "local" tips that enabled us to explore on our own with confidence, and gave us perspective and details about the city that only a "citizen" could.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to the Borghese Gallery was an amazing end to our week together. And, just to top it off, we were joined by Mr. Steves himself! He participated in our entire tour, and was kind enough to pose for photographs and answer questions at the conclusion. I believe I learned more from viewing the artwork from different angles, and our guide Francesca's commentary than I would have in an Art Appreciation course at a local college or university."

Christine

Killingworth, CT

Tour: 03/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an absolutely sensational time in Rome. I had never taken a Rick Steves tour before, and was debating whether to book the tour or 'go it on my own'. Booking this tour was one of the best decisions I ever made. I still had plenty of flexibility to 'go off on my own' on free afternoon, but always within a wonderful peer group and safety net. And after having been educated on how to navigate the city safely independently. I loved the "feel" and paradigm the tour operated within.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"all of it"

John

Harrisburg, PA

Tour: 03/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect tour for me. In the past, I have relied on Rick's books to plan and enrich travel in Europe. This time, I decided to leave the responsibility for planning and organization to someone else--the tour--and I was very satisfied with the experience. The tour had a great balance of planned events and free time. I saw Rome's major sights, mingled with locals, had some great food, and really enjoyed the company of guide Stephanie and my fellow tour participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was good. But on the first full day, we toured San Clemente, the Coliseum and the Forum. The experience was dramatically enriched by the knowledge and enthusiasm that guide Francesca offered to us. She's a rock star among guides. She made ancient Rome accessible, alive and relevant."

Michele

Houston, TX

Tour: 03/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was outstanding!! The hotel was comfortable and not too far from the subway, which we used everyday. Our guide taught us about the different subway lines so that we could travel through the city on our own during our free times. It rained on us the first two days. Note to readers of this review...waterproof everything before you leave home. Your purse, backpack, shoes, cap, everything. The rain didn't dampen our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was St. Peter's Basilica. Second would be strolling around Piazza Navona."

Elaine

Atwater, CA

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! Love the passionate, expert guides (local/city and tour guides), love the like-minded tour group & love the smaller, personal hotel...and I have not even mentioned the Rome-experience! Without the Rick Steves approach, there is no way I would have fully appreciated the antiquities, art, churches and musuems. Rome came 'alive' for me because of the tour guides...They gave us background, perspectives and details that helped me see & understand the treasures of Rome,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I literally said 'wow!' every time I stood before the amazing sculptures in every church and museum in Rome. Pictures cannot portray the life-like dimension that every master created in their works."

Melinda

Houston, TX

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was superb. Unfortunately, as described below, the experience with our luggage purchase was very dissappointing.

Chris

Crescent Springs, KY

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group, accommodations, format and itinerary. We couldn't have asked for better guides. Looking forward to another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the colosseum was incredible."

Manuela

Greenbelt, MD

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first Rick Steves tour and hopefully not the last. Rome itself was wonderful. Our guide Cicilia certainly helped make it so. She know how to surprise us every day and help everyone have their own customized experiences, along with the scheduled activities. I will go again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at a cafe bar with the bartender teaching me how to say "cafe dupio" so I can order a double espresso. Taking mass at Santa Maria del Angeli, seeing the Sistine Chapel in person. Standing in the Forum and Colosseum where 2000 years ago people have stood. Too many moments to count."

Patricia

San Jose, CA

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fell in love with Rome on this trip. Cecilia was outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment actually happened the day before the tour started. My husband and I were wandering on the side streets, shopping and we when we the corner there was the Pantheon."

Maurice

San Jose, CA

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour and tour guide, Cecilia. I liked having the cooking class, the neighborhood walks and trip to Mercato Trionfale mixed in with the sight seeing. It gave us a chance to see what it's like to live in Rome and not just be tourists. The Happy Hour was a great idea and the restaurant was perfect. The wine tasting and farewell dinner was a perfect end to a great tour. Cecilia did a great job that evening. And during the entire tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments: Basilica di San Clemente, St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Catacombs of San Sebastiano. To choose one it would be walking into St. Peter's Basilica."

Lisa

New York, NY

Tour: 02/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rome was incredibly picturesque - in a variety of ways! To stand before the famous sights to gain a sense of scale, history, and culture was quite amazing. The food was enjoyable, although, I have to say it wasn't outstanding. The gelato was a delicious treat, as was the coffee. MMM. I really enjoyed the overall group camraderie, the tour guide Cecilia and her personality, as well as, the choice of activities, the knowledge shared/gained. Nice mix!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Encountering something amazing - architecture, to church, to art, to food, at every corner. Although, I have to say, the Spanish Steps were pretty amazing - from top to bottom. The view at the top of the city is pretty fantastic, and the chill vibe as you sit on the stairs looking down, is really relaxing."

Thomas

Durango, CO

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been in Rome before - and stayed almost a week, following the RS guide book. This trip was a spur of the moment decision to celebrate my 70th birthday in Rome. Even tho we had seen many of the places we visited before, the addition of an excellent tour guide and local guides made them come alive and we wondered what we were doing before! The tour was short but we feel like we got immersed into Rome and more clearly understand the city and its people. A wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several - of course. But first was our guide, Susanna. She made the city come alive for us. Second would have to be 'The School of Athens" at the Vatican Museum. While we had seen it years ago, the recent cleaning and the local guide made the experience a "wow" moment. Finally I have to say Ostia Antigua was a wow moment but in a different more understated way. Walking through it with Susanna I felt what life was like there for the Romans."

Mary Ann

Durango, CO

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! This was our third tour with Rick and rather spur of the minute to celebrate my husband's 70th birthday -- and what a way to do it. Susanna made every minute fun, educational, and exciting. Just can't say enough about her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual on a Rick tour, there were SO many . . . the Vatican, the Forum, the Colosseum, the Borghese, the Church of San Clemente, the Jewish Ghetto, the cooking lesson, our many walks, but our day trip to Ostia Antica was my biggest wow, thanks to Susanna. She made this ancient seaport come to life in a way no book or wandering around by ourselves could have. Amazing."

Susan

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To begin with the enrollment for the tour made me feel that I was being helped as much as possible to meet my date request. Following that, I was given options on how to pay that would save me money. All of the information that was sent before the tour was very helpful and had suggestions for packing that I would not have thought of. The only addition to that list would be what I could have brought to be able to plug in my curling iron. The hotel accomodations were beyond our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was how our guide got us into a seating area that allowed us to be within a few feet of Pope Francis. That was not expected. All of the sights that we were taken to were expected, but the additional 'cooking class' was a very pleasant surprise, educational, and a lot of fun."

Mark

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we hoped for in a Rick Steves tour. The tour guide Cecilia Bottai, was knowledgeable, patient, and went way beyond just showing us Rome, she was able to make us experience what life is like being Roman. We learned to navigate the various means of mass transit, interact with the Italian people and experience the great wines and food that Rome has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The priceless art and vast size of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica exceeded our expectations."

Marilyn

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about our trip was awesome. Our guides Cecilia, Ilaria & Paolo brought Rome's art & history alive through their knowledge & enthusiasm which made me really appreciate what I was seeing. Lancelot Hotel, centrally located, was clean with the most helpful & friendly staff. We ate well with our group where wine flowed & friendships forged. Lots of walking on cobblestone streets & stairs for a 72 yr old, but I managed them. Wouldn't trade one tired moment for the forever memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient city wall & part of the colosseum from our taxi as we made our way to the hotel was a wow, we are in Rome moment! Following my heart, I loved going down into the cat sanctuary at Largo Argentina & interacting with the well-cared for cats and devoted volunteers."

Patricia

University Heights, OH

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I can't believe so much was packed into the week we had in Rome! It was a wonderful trip. Cecilia did a great job keeping us on track, and including extras that were memorable experiences: sunrise over Rome on one day, sunset on another, dessert on the Spanish steps on a third day, the happy hour with tappas. The art historian guides were invaluable for our ability to understand and appreciate the works of art we saw. I could not have had this quality of travel on my own. Highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both museum tours were spot on. Rather than a cursory nod at dozens of pieces, the guides chose key works, explaining each in detail and it context in history, culture & in the artist's life. Never remove Ostia Antica from the tour; it was was incredible to (in effect) stroll through an archeological dig. It was easy to imagine (nearly could see/hear) the sights and sounds of the city as it was centuries before."

Louise

Ottawa, ON

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves. We had used his tour books on previous trips and had seen his TV shows so we knew we would be in good hands when we signed up for the Rome tour. My husband and I were a little apprehensive about being the only Canadians on board but we had no trouble fitting in. I really appreciated being part of the tour the day Don came down with a cold and was too sick to join the activities. Knowing there were 22 other people to keep me company was reassuring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Borghese Gallery in the company of our guides Hilaria and Cecilia. Cecilia organized transportation by taxis so that we could all get to the gallery for 9am. I appreciated not having to travel by bus or metro in rush hour. Hilaria has a degree in Art History and talked with passion about the beautiful sculptures and paintings we saw."

Terry

Waveland, MS

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After the Europe in 21 days, this tour was much more relaxing as it should with no travel. Our guide was so excited to be with us. She taught us how to use the Metro, city busses & taxis. It was quite an experience. Also, Cecilia taught us some basics about the wines in Italy, including her own vineyard which most of us would like to visit! Our group was friendly and willing to explore with others in the group, we meshed very well. The hotel was outstanding! Comfortable, clean, good food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ostia Antica! What a beautiful city it was. It gave us a clear picture of everyday life in an important port city. A great find! The cooking class! The best time ever!"

Joy

Burien, WA

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

1. The radio does not work inside Vatican. 2. Cecelia was horrible at giving directions, and she does not like it when we want to use the map. 3. Itinerary is poorly constructed. Some days are too heavy. The cooking class took up the better part of the day, rendering the rest useless for anything other than a stroll in town. 4. Too much sales pitch on wine from Cecelia's family. 5. Apparently nobody bothered to read about my diet restriction ahead of time, kept having to explain myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"BERNINI stole the show for me; without him, Rome is really not worth the visit; it's dirty, smelly, unfriendly, extremely difficult to walk without potentially falling flat on your face."

Peggy

Skokie, IL

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can not use enough superlatives to describe our tour experience.My husband and I every day would look at each other with a smile on our face and say "There wasn't one wrong thing that happened today it was just the best it could be".This is the first Rick Steves we have used and we would not hesitate to book another. Our group of travel mates were lovely,positive minded people and we couldn't have enjoyed their company more. Thank you,thank you,thank you for such a fabulous trip to Roma!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight of my trip was the thing I was least looking forward to and that was the cooking class.I didn't know if we were going to watch our food being prepared,if we would be cooking or really what we would be doing.The cooking school Cecilia took us to so we could prepare our lunch was a magical time for me and our group.We cut,we diced,we minced and we laughed together and then ate one of the best meals I had in Rome.What a great bonding experience for the group and what fun!"

Donald

Skokie, IL

Tour: 02/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best travel experience of my life !!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Church of San Clemente. The cooking class The Vatican"

Mary

Kent, WA

Tour: 12/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided the right amount of group activities and personnel time to explore the city. Our tour guides were amazing and provided wonderful insights into Italy culture and history. The group meals were amazing, and the hotel was very nice and close to several sights and public transportation options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment of the tour was getting to see Pope Francis."

Brian

San Diego, CA

Tour: 12/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! Our lead guide, Alfio, was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the Colosseum and Forum with our outstanding day guide Franchesca was amazing. She really brought everything to life. It was like we were walking through Rome 2000 years ago. It was awesome!"

Debra

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 12/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My experience was very good. The sites we visited were awesome. The tour guides were exceptional, informative, friendly and fun. The food was okay. The cooking class was a nice change and I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the"

Kari

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 12/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the tour was really neat. I learned so much but also had a lot of fun. There were many things that were planned that I though made the tour even better. The local guides also added so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum with the local guide Francesca."

Rhonda

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 12/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time Rick Steves' tour I was not disappointed. I felt the Rome itinerary captured all the grandest highlights of the city. I would love to stay another week and see more. Would you consider another week tour in Rome of the other highlights?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was laying eyes on the Colosseum and the Roam Forum. After years of studying, researching and dreaming I was finally walking in the footsteps of the Romans."

George

Glencoe, IL

Tour: 12/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Just what I expected! We were unlucky with weather - temps in the 30's - which put a damper on outdoor touring, but you can't help that. Otherwise, we got great tours with excellent guides, terrific meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We're ancient Rome buffs, so walking the Forum where some of the great events in Roman history occurred was meaningful to us. Also, getting a feel for the continuity of 2500 years of Roman history was very satisfying."

Terry

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 12/25/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

One great part was Francesca. Loved her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing Francesca was a "WOW". All the tours with her were amazing."

Mary Lois

Austin, TX

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was unfortunate that tour guide Lisa had her medical issues at the beginning of our tour, but I must say the Rick Steves organization handled it in such a way that we hardly noticed. Cecilia was fantastic and the additional local guides (Francesca and Paulo) added so much to our experience. Francesca in particular made ancient history come alive for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seriously? I simply can't name one "wow" moment. They included ancient Rome with Francesca, the Vatican tour, Cecilia's "happy hour", and our final dinner complete with wine tasting (all planned and executed by Cecilia)."

Michael

Austin, TX

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ceciilia was a marvel and a delight on our tour. She was not just a guide but our friend. Lisa's illness was most unfortunate, but I was impressed with the Rick Steve's response and the results. Thinking I knew a fair amount of the history, I was happily stunned with the scope of new learning I had thanks to Cecilia, Francesca, and Paolo (Vatican)--both historically and culturally. I came away with a much deeper appreciation of art and culture especially.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the San Clemente Church and putting the long history of Rome into a physical perspective through the "levels of history". I never knew about it, but would never fail to show it to any friend I had along for a visit! Also, the walks and learning the streets and byways through the city is always fun as part of the life of any city and Rome showed a life all its own!"

Kathryn

Dalton, GA

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My grandson and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The guides were professional, knowledgeable, pleasant, entertaining and obviously enjoyed sharing the love of their City. We thought the balance of organized touring and free time was ideal. The guides were very open to having older children with us and were kind to them. Fortunately most of the time the kids were attentive. The only addition I would suggest would be a chance to enjoy some music in a nice venue one evening during the week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were often wowed by the large cathedrals, the ancient ruins that were preserved and the way Italians enjoy the out of doors and city streets in the afternoons. What a pleasant tradition."

Helen

Marshfield, MA

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had such a wonderful time on my tour! I cannot stop telling people about it. All the tour guides (Cecilia, Francesca, Paolo and Lisa)were incredible. I felt like they were inviting me in to "their" Rome and shared some insights that I don't think we would have got on some other brands of tours. The hotel was great, the activities were engaging and the other people in our group have now become my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite "wow" moments was being given the opportunity to the Pope. It was incredible to see such an important world leader interact with the crowd and speak. Another "wow" moment was a subtle one. Francesca began our first day at San Clemente and wove a story about how Rome is built on layers and that the present day Rome always is connected to the past Rome. It was interesting to see as the week went on and we saw more of the city we could make the connections."

Wanda

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the experience and I'm glad I went on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel is "wow"! I saw it in 1972, but the colors are so much better now (after the restoration)."

Gary

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum was huge, beyond my expectations."

Janet

Richardson, TX

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never done a tour before so did not have many expectations. I had a wonderful trip! I got to see & do more than I had anticipated and all our guides were so helpful & knowledgeable. I learned about Italian culture as well, which I think as a traveler is very important. Everyday was special in its own way. I would not have changed a thing. I enjoyed everything we did and can't wait to go on another tour soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say going to the Vatican museum. I had no idea how much is in that museum! I also have to say that seeing the Pope was another "wow" moment. We did this on our own but I'm so glad I did it. Rome is a very special place and everyone should spend some time there."

Katherine

Austin, TX

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite huge challenges, Rick Steves, Lisa Anderson, Cecilia Bottai and Francesca came through for us. Lisa became seriously ill our first night, life-threateningly so, but she still walked/talked us through Rome to our dinner date; and she still lined Francesca up as our sub for the next day. Lisa was missed, but Francesca was amazing - kind to me about my new widowhood/grief, funny, smart, engaging and taught us the evil eye for traffic control. Cecilia took over and dazzled us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trick question! How could I pick one? Francesca's 'summation' of Rome as lasagna and as 'our city' in the Roman Forum is the first that comes to mind because without that knowledge foundation, the rest of the week would have meant less. "You see what you know" she says! Next wow - the Borghese's GL Bernini sculptures - oh my gods! Next question is a trick too in a way - my rating covers all three guides, Lisa, Francesca & Cecilia."

Mary

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized, the tour guides were extremely knowlegable. I have never taken a tour before and can not say enough good things about Rick Steves. The tour gave you not only a cultural experience but also a art experience. And we were given the little hint about how to enjoy traveling and being safe at the same time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it."

Mary

Freeville, NY

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th Rick Steves tour so my expectations were high. From the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, the Forum and Ostia Antica to the magnificent grandeur of the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica every day was a treat for the eyes and mind. The genius of Bernini and Caravaggio at the Borghese was awe inspiring while the walk through the Jewish ghetto and our cooking lesson brought everything down to human scale. The Best of Rome did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The totally unexpected opportunity to attend a Papal Audience (with a few thousand of my closest friends) and be within a few feet of Pope Francis was the "wow" of all "wows." The man never stopped smiling nor did the thousands he held in thrall with his message of inclusion and acceptance. Thanks, Ben, for making this happen. (In second place were the works of Bernini and Caravaggio at the Borghese.)"

Lietzie

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rome in 7 Days tour exceeded my expectations. We saw all the major sites, ate wonderful food, and received suggestions on things to do and see in our ample free time. I will definitely take another Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wow moments. Even though I am not Roman Catholic, the Wednesday audience with Pope Francis was inspiring. As a retired Latin teacher, however, I most appreciated the day trip to Ostia Antica and the Appian Way. Seeing the tomb of Caecilia Metella and the mile markers of the Via Appia, something I had only read about and seen pictures of in books, were overwhelming. Would that I had visited while I was still teaching!"

Elliott

Belmont, MA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pretty much perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Size of the Colisseum"

Karen

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Small group of 24 people were very friendly that traveled well together. Rome would have been completely over whelming to me with out our guide, Ben. I really liked how each day was varied in the amount of hours we spent together as a group and the time to explore or relax on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente"

Lorraine

Ithaca, NY

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to all of my expectations promised by Rick Steves through his "Europe Through the Back Door" philosophy. The hotel, guides, food, sights and travel were well planned with back-up plans if needed. Everyone was friendly with a good sense of humor. I had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That had to be our morning with the Pope outside St. Peter's Basilica. It wasn't part of our itinerary but it was a big surprise to be able to see and hear him address the people of Rome in different languages."

Gregory

Palos Hills, IL

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience exceeded my expectations. Saw the highlights and had plenty of time to see other interesting sights and to just see the city of Rome on my own terms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel. These are things that I've only just seen on TV or movies. But to stand there and take in their scale and splendor was 'wow'."

Jo

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! Twenty-four people and no one was a grump. The weather cooperated with the only rain late one night. Ben, our guide, is an upbeat guy who sheperded us through an amazing city. The Colloseum and Forum tours were conducted by an expert Roman who not only loves her city but embraces its history and helps us to appreciate what is was like to live there a few thousand yrs ago. A visit to the Vatican with the Sistine Chapel and St. Peters was included and we got in quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A guided tour of the Galleria Borghese was a once in a lifetime experience. We had 2 hours to tour and our guide, Ben, got us there, in the midst of a "strike", on time. A "palace" filled with paintings by Caravaggio and Bernini sculptures (among others) was amazing and our guide, Francesca, was the most knowledgeable art specialist I've ever known. To have Francesca point out the differences in three of our greatest artists interpretations of "David" blew me away."

Lucia

Blandford, MA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To capture feelings about my experience is like trying to keep a gelato from melting. At each day's end I felt that if I had to leave the next day, I would have been thrilled with my experience. Our days were filled with stories, history, and day-to-day life. We saw starlings migrating overhead at the Spanish Steps at twilight. We made new friends. We walked six miles one day. Ben encouraged us to imagine being in Ancient Rome. I'll order Caramel with chocolate striata. Grazie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I traveled with my lovely daughter Kate. I will always remember hugging her as we looked up at the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel. A second moment was at Saint Clemente as Francesca guided us below the street level. Can you put yourself there in ancient times walking in this narrow alley. Look at this fresco of Saint Clement. See the anchor that signifies his death. A very moving story from a very passionate guide."

Teresa

Culver City, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best time on this tour. Ben was a fantastic guide who made us feel like we had known him for years and his patience and knowledge made our time in Rome so incredible. I loved that our tour group was small, and we got to spend some time each day doing our own thing. Ben really took the time to make sure we understood the public transit system so we could venture off on our own. That helped a lot! We had a beautiful trip and are so happy with our Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Francesca guide us through the Coliseum was pretty amazing. She has such a way with setting the scene for you and getting you to feel like you connected to ruins from centuries ago. I am so glad she joined us! She was fantastic and I learned so much from her."

Jim

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was really great. I wouldn't change a thing. Ben was the perfect tour guide. Francisca and Alisandra were both really good. I felt like I was taking a class in art history. Really added a huge amount.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be the Coliseum and the Forum. When Francisca said "Julius Cesar walked here!" it was powerful. The food and wine were awesome. I've been craving fresh fettuccine ever since I got back!"

Barbara

Ithaca, NY

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 4th RS tour & I was not disappointed. Rome is not the easiest city to embrace, but with Ben & Francesca's love for the city & good guide skills, I came home loving Rome, myself. I learned a great deal & I learned how to learn a great deal more from my travels. I look forward to many more Rick Steves' Tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise and delight of coming across the Pantheon at night, lit beautifully and surrounded with music; and circling Bernini's Pluto and Persephone at the Borghese Gallery, will never be forgotten."

Michael

Centennial, CO

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

overall grade of the tour: A+ Ben and Francesca did a wonderful job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wandering around Rome... looking at the Coliseum and the Victor Emanuel Monument. 'Here we are... Can you believe it? Sistine Ch apple St Peter's Basilica"

Thomas

Allegan, MI

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on the Rome 7day tour with the intention of just seeing the city of Rome's ruins. I came away with a completely different appreciation of what ancient Rome must had been like! The tour guides Ben and Francesca (hope I spelled it right), stated they would present Rome in such a manner that a person would actually be able to feel ancient Rome. Through their tone of voice, their knowledge and ability to focus on important subjects. They accomplished that plus more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring through the Colosseum and understanding the really meaning behind the purpose of the structure. Letting the Romans know just how powerful, wide spread and important the Roman Empire was in the daily life of the populace."

Bobbie

Gainesville, VA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was wonderful. A perfect balance between activities and personal time and a highly effective way to encourage folks to explore on their own with confidence utilizing the knowledge gained from expert guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, there was a 'wow moment' every day of the tour. Each day's tour highlight was awesome and I left Rome feeling like there was more to see, but that we had been shone the best of everything."

Stephen

Gainesville, VA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wouldn't change a thing, except make it longer. From great new friends including Ben our guide, to great restaurants, we had a wonderful time. Loved the hotel, the staff, the Chef and his mother. Really enjoyed the freedom the tour allowed so we could have time to enjoy the moments. If I had gone into the forum on my own, I would have looked at it and said it was a bunch of rocks. But with our guides, the area came to life and I learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many...but #1 was walking by the Pantheon at night while a guitarist played "Dark Side of the Moon" in the plaza out front. It was the perfect music to hear outside a 2000 year old build where so many people have gone before."

Maria

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of my adventure in Rome. Ben was outstanding as a tour guide. He was generous with his time, knowledgeable, funny and accommodating. He and Francesca ( a local guide) made my experience positive and memorable. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I would highly recommend the tour for anyone who wants an authentic, cultural and fun vacation in the eternal city that is Rome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite "wow" moment was standing in the colosseum with local guide Francesca and experiencing the majesty and the horror of the spectacles as would a Roman two thousand years ago. I will never forget how Francesca brought ancient Rome to life!"

Vernon

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Villa Borghese!"

Steve

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole program was an excellent experience. My wife an I found that there was some much to see and do and could not be complete with a great Tour Guide (Ben) and local guide Francesca. Both Guides brought out what really happened in Rome and is still amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Borghese Gallery Museum. There were some artifacts that definitely above board and the craftsmanship was outstanding.Francesca Caruso provided some key points that were hidden to the casual tourist. Very Interesting."

Gary

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben And Francesca were excellent guides. I am hard of hearing and I used Bose noise-dampening headphones to improve the audio parts of the tour. Unfortunately the transmitters on the three instances where they were used were not equal. (Vatican's were best.)My wife and I would have traveled through Rome more on our free time if a printed bus route map had been included in the hand outs. We took advantage of Metro and the trolley system and did ride some busses. Loved the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the Victor Emmanuel top was unexpected and the best overall to see Rome. Sort of like the duomo moment in Florence. Well worth the price of the elevator."

Elizabeth

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, wonderful group and excellent guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine Chapel"

Diane

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was exceptional. We could not have done it on our own. I had a fear of the city but I think if I would have had 1 more week, I could have adjusted well. Ben was incredible. The buddy system is a great idea and made it fun! It was so organized. Liked the idea of taking a picture of each day events to separate pictures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the coliseum and understanding the history behind it. We had toured it the day before but it was just another ruins until we understood the whole story of what was going on in that period of time."

Karen

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Seeing Rome through the lenses of two gifted guides made all the difference to us-- we wouldn't even have gotten to the point of figuring out one bus route had it not been for Ben's able teaching, and both Ancient Rome & the Renaissance came alive through Francesca's eloquent insights. The camaraderie fostered by the tour made our experience merrier, and the inclusion of our two German friends at the end of the trip iced the cake for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's focussed tour of the Borghese Gallery[INVALID]she challenged us to decide, after examining four major Bellini sculptures there, if he was not at least equal to Michaelangelo in his masterpieces. I felt as though I'd been given the chance to learn about sculpture from a world clan university professor."

Marlene

Centennial, CO

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly amazing. We saw a lot and more importantly learned a lot. I really valued spending time immersing in understanding the early culture to gain perspective on what we were seeing. Truly a city with so much history that cannot be appreciated without understanding the people who created. it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The depth of emotion in the Bernini sculptures that Francesca so beautifully taught us. Also understanding the life and times of people who attended events at the coliseum. I guess the other Wow moment was that Rick Steve's Tours might actually be OK! We have avoided tours in the past, but truly did gain a profound depth of knowledge that can't really get from the Rick Steve's tour books that we always travel with."

Richard

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most thorough and interesting tour I have ever taken. I was well prepared by the information and map you sent prior to the tour. Rainer did a great job with ease and aplomb. He was clear about our activities, managed our expectations, and set "ground rules" all of which made the process of the tour flow easily. We had additional guides to help us understand specific tour sights. They were Francesca and Alexandra who were well prepared and gave us an understanding of what we saw

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Francesca guide us through the Borghese Villa and explain the art works there."

Sharon

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From our first contacts with your office until the present, we have been more than satisfied with our experience. The tour itself not only met our expectations but exceeded them in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost impossible to pick just one. For me, it was walking through the Roman Forum with Francesca helping us see what was in front of us and so much more."

Shirley

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rainer was relaxed,informed, and professional on all fronts. All guides were extraordinary, especially Francesca. Our tour companions were highly compatible...no wimps or whiners. Hotel Aberdeen provided everything we like/need in accommodation without going overboard, and it was well situated with fabulous staff! There is nothing I would improve upon in the tour and I thought there was a good balance between tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things: the density of the ruins and sculptures and artifacts in Rome. The way Francesca schooled our group in learning to read ruins such as the colosseum and sculptures and paintings...really eye opening."

Allan

Acton, MA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The logistics were well and transparently handled. Everything was just ready as advertised. The local guides were amazing as was the tour leader. The group meals were fantastic and I felt like we had enough time to see what we went to see and enough free time too.

Maureen

Hooksett, NH

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was the first time we traveled to Europe with a tour. We have always made all our arrangements for travel ourselves. We were always impressed with the Rick Steve's programs on PBS and thought his philosophy matched our way of traveling in Europe. We decided to give it a try and believe me, we were not disappointed!! our experience was everything we hoped it could be. All the group members were fun to travel with and made the trip more memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"way too many for 500 characters!! but I think the realization that Rome is a city that has reinvented itself over the centuries strikes me as a wow. To visit the church of San Clemente and seeing that there were entire civilizations buried beneath and then reborn fascinated me. all the major sites made me appreciate the awesome power of history."

Harry

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was even better than we imagined. Our tour guide, Rainer, was extremely helpful and knowledgable and entertaining. Our local tour guides, Franchesco and Allesandro, were great too. The tour was a perfect blend of group activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum and the Forum for the first time was truly a breathtaking experience. However, my real "wow" moment came when I saw Bernini's sculptures at the Borghese Gallery. Our tour guide, Franchesco, explained what we were seeing and then when we got time to walk around each of statutes on our own I was completely blown away."

Rosemari

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour and our first visit to Rome. I enjoyed everything about this tour from meeting our guide, Reiner and the group to our final evening. Our primary guide was friendly and knowledgeable. He has a real gift for facilitating a group as well as caring for one of our group who needed some special consideration. The Italian tour guides, Francesca and Alesandra, were excellent. Particular praise for Francesca who has great depth in her presentations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We took advantage of the free morning to attend the General Papal Audience. Equipped with our new found skill on the Rome Metro we made our way to St. Peter's and obtained great seats within 20feet of Pope Frances route on the "pope mobile." Very exciting! The Borghese Gallery with Francesca was a real "wow" followed closely by our time looking at Ancient Roman sites."

Peter

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour proceeded smoothly: well organized and well paced. I enjoyed a good mix of intense learning time coupled with more relaxed assimilation time. The tour kept me intellectually and emotionally engaged, with adequate exercise to ensure that my brain was oxygenated enough to handle it all. The sequence of activities worked well for me, beginning with the wow factor of the Colosseum power show and ending with the popes' power shows. The group mixed well, with no apparent issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca, one of the finest teachers that I've encountered. The Colosseum overwhelmed me; like seeing the Grand Canyon, pictures just don't do it. The physical grandeur, coupled with Francesca's weaving of antiquity to modernity, made for a profound experience."

Anne

Acton, MA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just as I expected when I booked the tour for me and my husband. We wanted a tour focused on education, art, and history, and that is what we experienced. The participants in the tour, our RS guide, and the local guides hired were all wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides were amazing and worth every penny of the trip cost."

Delores

Bloomfield, NJ

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I thought the tour would be was a hundred times more fascinating than imagined. I knew we were going to see a lot, but much more so than we had expected. This was a gift for our 50th anniversary and thanks to Rainer, our guide and his knowledge and easy going manner it was the perfect tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's really hard to pinpoint one specific wow moment, because it seemed there was always that "wow" at every turn. One sight always changing from this is the best, to what is coming around the next corner is the best. We have so many favorite places, the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Ostia Antica, the cooking class was wonderful."

Andrew

Hooksett, NH

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Not having to wait in long lines for tickets to events or historical places is absolutely one of the best reasons to take a Rick Steves' tour, they are very organized to save us time. Thus, able to enjoy the visit without the frustration. Our guide, Rainer was perfect. Answered our questions, knew Rome like it was his home, directions to places, customs , places to eat and visit on our free time, and just talk about the history of Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE COLOSEUM ...................Francesca as the added historical guide was outstanding; she is the added wow of knowledge."

Sharon

Rocky Face, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After several trips to Rome [via other RS tours], I enjoyed several sites that I had not previously visited...etc. Ostia Antica, the Catacombs, San Clemente, the Appian Way and the elegant Borghese Gallery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On Wednesday we left the hotel early to travel to the Vatican to attend the Pope's Blessing in St Peter's Square. By arriving early we were able to obtain chairs for the then 2 hr further wait. Our position allowed us to see the Pope on the 'Pope Mobile' as he was driven around the square. That was indeed a "Wow" moment of all my trips to Rome. A Special Thanks to Jamie for escorting such a small group to the Vatican for this event."

Pat

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Jamie was a terrific guide. The tour was educational and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Borghese Palace. This was my fourth time in Rome, but the first time for the Borghese. It was incredible."

Candace

Alliston, ON

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time on Rick Steve's tour, and won't be the last!! Loved the tour size-only 25 people. The hotel location in the center of things was big plus as well. We were able to walk most places. Lots of restaurants and gelato shops around too! Our guide was excellent-great sense of humour, very smart!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trip to Ostia Antica-was great to get away from heat and crowds of Rome for awhile. Had never heard of this ancient seaport before. Lots of ruins to see, and Jamie was a great historian. Also scored a great pair of earrings at the gift shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Carey

Nashvlle, TN

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour of any kind because we (i.e. my wife) usually does all the planning and we like the freedom of making our own schedule. We were told that Rome was the kind of challenging experience that a tour could make more enjoyable. Very true. We have used RS books for years and the tour could not have been better. I will highly recommend and use RS tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's was everything as advertised. I don't list the Sistine Chapel because it was expected to be spectacular."

Mary

Nashvlle, TN

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hotel was very nice, good location, roof terrace for breakfast allowed for mingling. Group was much like us educated, interested, interesting, wanting to learn. Guide was super. Extra guides were very good made things we were looking at come alive, gave us knowledge to learn & understand more. Tour was paced well with enough down time & "alone" time. Cooking school was a good activity for the group but lacked much in actual learning experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum, Sistine Chapel--need more time in Chapel"

Jill

Ringgold, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Saw lots of sites and got a good history of the area. This trip was very physical with LOTS of walking on cobblestone streets. It was not for the faint of heart!

James

Rocky Face, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our 10th tour with Rick Steves "Europe Through The Back Door " in the last 10 years, I can truly and positively state that your tours are the most economically and well organized to expose the tours members to the " The Best Of The Best" in Europe. Your tour guides and local tour guides are all very outstanding and professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "7 Days Of Rome Tour" allowed us to see Roma, Italy the way it should be experienced and enjoyed. WOW moments have always been each second of each minute during these tours."

Raymond

Ringgold, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The history of Rome is so incredibly over-the-top, and the guides (Jamie and Francesca) presented a very palpable, compelling, even emotional re-telling of the story. I was very deeply impressed and by their knowledge and touched by their passion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca told the story of "power and memory" regarding the driving forces behind much of the built world of Rome. I found it to be powerful and memorable."

Larry

Deatsville, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The central location of our hotel was perfect for exploring and experiencing the atmosphere that Rome had to offer. Jamie our tour guide was spectacular with his knowledge and afforded us an opportunity to experience his favorite sites and cuisine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "WOW" moment was standing in the Roman Forum and realizing the thousands of years of history that surrounded us and the amount of history yet to be unearthed."

Alexis

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves Tour.. Love it...

Lois

Collingswood, NJ

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ha! The joke was on me. I thought I was going to "Hang Out" in Rome for 7 days just sitting in the piazza with my expresso, watching people and enjoying fine dining. Of course I read the guide book. Of course I knew the itinerary. But, I am NOT a history buff. Seriously,I was amazed with myself..amazed at my total involvement and digestion of every single moment.This has everything to do with your guides. Bravo!!I felt sorry for those tourists who were reading info books as they toured.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bernini sculptures..especially "Apollo and Daphne""

Regan

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had one specific week to visit Europe; this tour fit perfectly and it was still open! There were 25 of us in ages ranging 20's-70's. We traveled well together and plan to stay connected. All interesting, kind travelers and companions. Our guides, Nina, Francesca, and Paola were excellent speakers and guides. Their knowledge of and passion for their subjects were at the level of college courses I have taken. I had a wonderful time and hope to RS again soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nina's quotes from people of the past showed us their humanity, brought them to life. Ancient snack bars at Ostia Antica!"

Kristen

New Canaan, CT

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've done a lot of independent traveling, but never to Italy or Rome. When my husband suggested we explore Rome with a tour, I bristled a bit thinking, we're not "tour people". Boy was I wrong. Having just returned, I can't imagine approaching Rome without a guide and the Rick Steve's tour was the perfect one for us; a small intimate group of like minded explorers, with ages ranging from 20-70. The tour itself was the perfect balance of structured and free time to explore independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came on the first full day of the tour when Francesca took us into a church located by our hotel which we had already walked by several times & never gave a second look. Once inside the fascinating story was revealed; three separate and distinct churches, one built on top of the other, The "newest church is from the 1100's. The bottom or original was a pagan temple from the 2nd century. WOW!! What a way to kick off the tour. From there on out there was a WOW moment at every turn"

Harvey

Collingswood, NJ

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Niva was so helpful with our questions. She had a presents in making us feel as if we were living in Rome and not a tourist.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca knowledge and presentation of the Roman Forum."

Chuck

New Canaan, CT

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day had a great focus. We especially appreciated the expertise of Francesca and Paulo. They were a treat. We want to thank Nina for being friendly, welcoming and opening up Rome for us. Before I went on the tour I thought it was odd that certain dinners weren't included and that some days ended at 1 or 2 PM. But once on the tour, that free time was much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Towards day 5 or so, we realized that, aside from 8 blocks or so, that we had crisscrossed the Rome map. From east to west, from the Vatican to our hotel. And from north to south, from the Borgaese (sp) back to our hotel. Having grown up in NYC, I have been everywhere in Manhattan. I know that having a complete sidewalk view of the city makes that city your own. I feel that we were on our way to making Rome our own - giving credence to exactly what Nina said in her opening remarks to the group."

Joyce

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an amazing time - met lots of great people - guides were super, all were extremely knowledgeable of the various sites in Rome. Hotel accommodations were very comfortable, staff spoke English and were very friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had too many "wow" moments to limit it to one!"

Sharon

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Great overall itinerary. The first day's afternoon walk seemed wasted, one metaphoric roadblock after another, not well-planned. San Clemente and Ostia Antica were special, memorable, and important, and not usually part of other company's itineraries. Everything with Francesca was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's heart and soul pouring into her narrative."

Carl

Highland, IN

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The hotel location, staff, accommodations, and dinners were very good. I really liked the driver the hotel provided from the airport. It was great being so close to key sites, and several of the neighborhood stores and restaurants were interesting as well. The tour hit the highlights I wanted to see, and sufficient free time allowed me to explore other interesting sites and neighborhoods in the city. The local guides were outstanding and Nina was knowledgeable and fun, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't just pick one -- San Clemente, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the papal audience (addition), the Vatican Museum/St. Peter's, and the Borghese gallery were fantastic!"

Constance

Greenbelt, MD

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotel Lancelot was convenient and lovely. We flew in a day early and they helped us with directions and suggestions on pre-tour activities. The tour itself covered just about all the sites we wanted to visit. We paid a visit to the Capitoline and National Museums during our free afternoons. We walked around 50 miles over the course of the trip, but enjoyed it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was during our visit to the Vatican Museum. I was able to see "The School of Athens" for the first time. It was on my bucket list."

Mark

Milwaukie, OR

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right amount of activities and sites to see. I believe we hit all the major sites to see for a Rome tour. There was a good balance with group activities and alone activities. Having the tour guided help us to hit all the activities with low stress, short lines and more attention to the activity

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See the inside of saint peters basilica."

Dale

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Several phrases sum it up: We felt safe with our guides in a bustling place. Accommodations had great location, staff, and functionality. We got a feel for Rome that we could only have gotten by being there. Never boring! Always something cool to do. Nice mix of cultural and historical exploring. Would do it again. Have already recommended to others. Both our main guide, Julian, and our local guides were outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First morning - Saint Clement Basilica - completely surprised, we experienced a reverence and perspective from those visible layers of history. Our local guide Francesca set the stage for an amazing new way to look at this ancient city, this foundation for much of our modern civilization."

Russell

Lakeway, TX

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busy. Gained much new knowledge about art and Roman History. Group interactions were positive and enjoyable. As we learned the layout and landmarks of Rome it became easier to orient ourselves and get to new places more easily. We had spent three days in Rome on our own before the tour started, and had visited several of the places also covered by the tour. However, the guides' explanations added much to what we had perceived on our own. Guides were excellent. Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a sculptor. Seeing the Bernini sculptures in the Borghese Gallery was great. The Vatican Museum was also outstanding."

Beth

Lakeway, TX

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed getting to know about Rome and its multi-layered history. We were on the go with great guide, Julian, and others chosen for the tour. The location of the Hotel Lancelot was great and the staff was very accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Forum tour was most enriching and the day trip to Ostia Antica was marvelous ( with a stop for gelato at the beach!) Sistine Chapel was inspiring and easier to understand with the great guide's explanation of it. Borghese Gallery Top of the Victor Emmanuel Monument (thanks to Julian)"

James

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

if I had it to do again, I would have budgeted an extra $120 for taxis. wanda and I did walk 100% of the tour at our age (70) and did fine and the bus pass was good,but we preferred the taxi. the guides, julian and francesca were great. would recommend that members bring their own headsets .If you want to book extra nights at the hotel, call, do not email.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"probably the passion that julian and francesca had for showing and explaining their "Romo" to all of us. they both had super patience and thoughtfulness in all situations. because of this we never got to see "the face " julian uses when he gets tired of us. wow wow to the expressions of understanding fransesca had to warn us not to judge to harshly of past generations and things they did that might seem harsh. future gen may see things in our time we did that seemed harsh to them"

Katherine

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous experience. We had the right mix of guided visits to important sites and free time to explore on our own. Every guide was extremely knowledgeable. We were prepared to forge out on our own and walk everywhere. The hotel was lovely and all the people we encountered were wonderfully friendly and helpful. In addition, our tour group was so nice. We developed friendships and shared experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course seeing the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican Museum, Sistene Chapel and St. Peter's for the first time was a thrill, but a "wow" moment for me came on our last day when we visited the Borghese Gallery. It is a quite oasis with the most fabulous art, and we were led by an outstanding guide. A perfect way to end our tour."

Joy

El Campo, TX

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good mix of free time & group tours. We had a wonderful, fun group of people on the tour. Francesca was a GREAT local specialist. I wish the Vatican tour would have been earlier in the week. It was on Thursday and many of us were getting tired faster. The hotel was very good and I loved the hotel location. I will consider booking another tour within 2 years. Julian was excellent at keeping up with us and was always watching out for our safety. I appreciate that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel was so moving! It must be seen to appreciate the beauty."

Antoinette

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and will not be my last. I was extremely impressed with how well everything was organized. Also, the amount of site seeing time was well balanced with the amount of free time to explore on our own. Our tour guide, Julian was exceptional. I learned so much from him and he was so helpful. He gave us pointers on what to do on our own and how to get there using subways and buses. Our group was exceptional as well so that made my trip that much better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the artwork from the greatest sculptors and artists just a few feet in front of you is something you can't describe. You just feel it. Also, just being surrounded by all that ancient history and beauty makes Rome a magical place."

Kathleen

Martinez, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. Now I feel that I could return to Rome, navigate its streets, and appreciate even more the riches that are there in history and art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be seeing the Pope in St Peter's Square. Our guide facilitated this experience so well. We could have touched the Pope we were so close. Pope Francis exuded warmth and happiness."

Bill

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful understates the experience. We could have visited every site of our tour, seen everything we saw on our tour, but we would have missed the experience of hearing about the history of what we were seeing, overlooked the details of the art and architecture and missed a lot entirely were it not for Julian and his fellow guides. We walked a LOT but enjoyed it immensely. I highly recommend this tour as a way to see Rome without missing the important parts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Basilica of San Clemente was my favorite. Not the Christian or pagan basilica, but the layers of history throughout the excavation. It is remarkable."

Jeanne

St Louis, MO

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and it was a delightful experience. We covered so much more than I could have on my own. I particularly appreciated having all arrangements made by the excellent guides, and practical information,like using the bus and subway system, covered and demonstrated on the first day. The tour guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the classical history, art and architecture as well as Rome 2014. I feel that I've been given a passport to visit Rome any time I choose.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment--Realizing how much we had seen and how much more there was to see on my next trip to Rome !"

Virginia

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. Julian Brown was an awesome tour guide and Francheska(sp) also added so much By the end I was tired but happy and could get around Rome on my own which I did along with my husband as we stayed 3 more days. And what was so helpful was the Rome tour guide which we did use Julian added so many special details about the city and he also added treats along the way. Kosher treats In theJewish ghetto. Gelato one day. So nice and unexpected

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow positive. Just the chaos in the city which I learned to love. The really old along with the really new. Wow negative. I was so looking forward to the Vatican. I had studied lots about it. The crowds made it less meaningful for me"

Lori

Mesquite, TX

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very comprehensive tour of Rome. We had a wonderful main tour guide, Julian, as well as the local tour guides. Very please with the experience and glad we [INVALID]ed Rick Steves as we learned so much more about Rome having been on the tour than we would have otherwise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few, but I think seeing San Clemente and learning the history of Rome and that it is underneath the existing city with a lot more to discover. I also enjoyed visiting Vatican City and seeing the Pope."

Deborah

Faribault, MN

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had fun, learned a lot and shared ideas with my tour group. I enjoyed the various perspectives brought by the others from their previous experiences. Unfortunately, I had no experiences to speak of--however now I will in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have one favorite WOW moment. (But I did kiss the ground when we landed.) Not that I'm a nervous traveler. Actually, I did enjoy the Colosseum and the Vatican w/ their incredible scale and making me feel (a part of) history. And the National Museum of Rome brought home to me, even more, the experience and breadth of the past."

Donna

Davis, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I pleased with the Hotel Lancelot before I ever arrived because we had a few changes to make prior to our arrival that the staff took in their stride. It was a pleasant place and a real oasis after some very busy days. The tour guide, Julian couldn't have been more knowledgable, friendly and down to earth. He encouraged independence but if we tagged along with him he made that time rich in information. We were also lucky to have Francesca to show us the collussium and the Borghese Gallery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It surprised me that with all the incredible things I saw on this trip (I also went to Milan, Florence and the Amalfi coast on my own) the Borghese Gallery stays with me. Maybe because it was at the end of my trip, but the Bernini sculptures had to be seen to be believed. No Video or photograph could ever convey their emotion or technical perfection. I'm thankful to have had Francesca as a guide there."

Dorothy

Sitka, AK

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice balance between structured time and independent exploration options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going underground at the church of San Clemente."

Bruce

Wauwatosa, WI

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. Of course, the weather contributed greatly to the success of the tour--it was nearly perfect the entire tour. One of the attractions of the tour for me was the fact that we stayed in one hotel for all 6 nights. The 7-day metro card was a big plus. The surprise benefits were a very nice touch. Anything that is free, or perceived to be free, will be a hit, even the very little things--pitchers of wine the first tour meal, chocolate cookies at Ostia Antica, gelato at Lido O

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While on the way to check into our hotel the first day of the tour, emerging from the Colosseo metro stop and seeing the Colosseum right there! The very favorable location of the hotel and the pre-tour directions to the hotel, and the detailed info about how to use the metro to get there, enabled that moment."

Mary

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic !!! The best part were the guides- Julian was over the top. He helped all in the group to make sure their needs were met. I did not want to miss anything, so I got up early as he said. The local guides were equally great. There was a wide variety from seeing the Pope, ruins, museums etc. etc. etc. to the cooking class. I told my husband that we did not go into a museum until the fourth day.He did not go on the trip, as he is not fond of museums. Of course, all of Rome is a museum

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was the Borghese. Image building such a villa to house his magnificent art treasures. I think the guide, Francesca made the art come alive with great stories.Of course, seeing the Pope was extremely emotional for me. Image being right there in his home territory and the third one from the fence. I must note that I had been to Rome in 1964, but not to the Borghese."

Tom

Longmont, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding, just what we were looking for. Anyone can visit Rome and the antiquities, our goal was to see and learn the history of the sites. Thank you for a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum - it's been on my "bucket list" since college."

Linda

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Julian was appropriately friendly; knowledgable, helpful, etc. I feel he treated everyone in the tour fairly and did not show favorites at all. This was my 3rd and longest stay in Rome and it was extremely worthwhile. I learned things about the usual sites which I was visiting for the 2nd or 3rd time, thanks to the terrific guides. Also had time to enjoy the Museum of Rome and the Capitoline Museum not to mention a number of close by churches not on the tour and trastevere

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente Church; Ostia Antica, Borghese Gallery"

John

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time as usual. The tour guide was wonderful and very helpful. The hotel was very nice and comfortable. The experts added tremendous value to the tour and made Rome come alive and helped us to understand the history of the city. And finally, all of the people on the tour were wonderful, interesting individuals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always enjoy sitting in sidewalk cafes and simply watching people. Our visit to the Trastevere neighborhood, which was not on the tour, was one of my favorite moments, perhaps because there were fewer tourists around and one could enjoy the shops, cafes, and churches without the crowds ubiquitous in Rome."

Edith

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was fun to be with. The sites were beautiful. The food was very good. The gelato was quit a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The churches were absolutely beautiful. Julian arranged for us to go on Wednesday to see the Pope in the square. Though I didn't get to see the Pope, it was wonderful to be there."

Jane

Wauwatosa, WI

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first meeting before the start of the tour, until we left for home, this tour was absolutely perfect! We enjoyed every minute and in a large part this was due to Julian who was an outstanding guide. We normally go on our own when traveling and don't do group tours, but we felt that because it was our first time to Rome and there was so much to see, we wanted to try a tour so we wouldn't miss anything important. Also a great group of people on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn't pick just one, almost everything was a wow for me."

Teresa

Longmont, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We experience much more than we emailed possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The layers of antiquity. And.. how our guide broke down our preconceptions about people and history."

Deborah

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Helped understand the complex history of Rome. Rome is built and has so many layers, like an onion so this tour provided context and a great narrative of the historical time line that resulted in the crazy chaos you see in Rome today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exiting the Colleseum metro station and seeing the Colleseum!"

Weather

Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Rome: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your tour hotel, as well as contact information for your hotel in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Rome is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

For information about traveling by train, read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass. 

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Rome before your tour begins, use Rick Steves Rome guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Rome that we do not do as a group: Capitol Hill museums; National Museum of Rome; Etruscan Museum; Santa Maria Maggiore; Testaccio neighborhood; Castel Sant' Angelo; day trips to Naples/Pompeii (very long day, worth an overnight); Tivoli (Hadrian's Villa, Villa d'Este). Most museums are closed Mondays. Confirm your sightseeing plans with any tourist information office.

If you are interested in seeing the Pope, you may want to attend the Sunday blessing. You can check the Pope's schedule in advance.

Those with a couple of extra days to spend may want to extend their time in Italy. Rome is well connected for quick trips around the country. Florence is only 90 minutes away by train, Naples is two hours south, and Milan and Venice are less than five hours north.

For a more rural experience, explore the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. These regions are most easily seen by car but public transportation can work for those with extra time and patience! Some of Rick's favorites include Orvieto, Civita, Assisi, Perugia, San Gimignano, and Siena. When traveling off-season, always call ahead for hours and closures to avoid disappointment.

Packing

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.