Our Tours in Rome – Group B are ideal for the traveler who wishes to learn in depth about the archaeology and art of Rome , as well as explore beyond its famous core to sites further afield, such as the Appian Way, Ostia Antica, and Pompeii. Please see Tours in Rome – Group A for additional tour options, including guided visits (both walking and driving) to the Roman Forum, Coliseum, and the Vatican.
Here are 6 guided archaeology and art walks available through RentVillas:
1. Via Appia: Rome’s Greatest Road – 4 hours
Overview: The Via Appia is the oldest and most prestigious of Roman roads, dating back to the fourth century BC. The Via Appia was a gateway to Italy, and eventually to the entire Greek world and beyond.
- This 4-hour tour, led by one member of a 4-person docent staff (an archaeologist, a classicist, an art historian, or an architectural historian), discusses the importance of this Queen of Roads to ancient Rome and the meaning and function of the structures, such as temples, altars, arches, funerary tombs, and other public structures, along its path.
- The tour begins at the Baths of Caracalla; from here, participants will be transported by private car to the Appian Way. The remainder of tour will be on foot and may include visits to the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, the Circus and Villa of Maxentius, or the excavation of the Villa of the Quintilli. Visits to the Sant’Agnese Catacomb on Via Nomentana and/or the San Sebastiano and San Callisto catacombs on Via Appia are also possible, however private reservations are not available and the tours inside will be led by catacomb guides.
- Cost: 135 Euros per person for 4 hours. 370 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 4 hours. Additional transportation/admission costs: 154 Euros per person (Appian Way car service; price may vary according to vehicle/party size); 6 Euros per person (entry tickets).
- Your tour meets at Circo Massimo.
2. Ostia: An Ancient Roman Town – 5 hours
Overview: After the fall of Rome, Ostia Antica, the city’s port on the Mediterranean, was buried by centuries of river mud. As a result, like Pompeii much further south, it is today one of the best examples of an ancient Roman town in all of Italy, with most of its buildings intact, fantastic mosaics, and oldest synagogue in Europe.
- Your 5-hour excursion begins with a short train ride to the coast. (Private parties may request car service, but please note that with traffic, driving can often take longer.) During the trip, your guide–an archaeologist or classical historian–will discuss the regional geography of the area, Ostia’s role as Rome’s port, and the historic background leading up to the town’s rise in the Imperial era.
- On site, you will spend 4 hours combing through the ruins, which include some of the best examples of baths, an amphitheater, and several Mithraic temples, not to mention a forum with temples. The focus of your visit will be the daily life of regular, working class Romans, including the economy of the empire and the commodities that made their way through Ostia every day.
- Participants are free to linger once the tour has ended (you’ll have round trip train tickets) or return to Rome with the docent.
- Cost: 90 Euros per person for 5 hours. 405 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 5 hours. Additional transportation/admission costs: 11 Euros per person (round trip train fare and entry tickets).
- Your tour meets at Piramide.
3. Full-Day Pompeii Tour (from Rome) – 8 hours
Overview: The ruins of Pompeii offer a complex snapshot of a Roman colony and are one of the best archaeological spaces in the world in terms of understanding the everyday realities and hierarchies of its people.
- The full-day tour of the history and culture of Pompeii is paired with a visit to the Naples Archaeological Museum. The museum, also one of the best of its kind in the world, houses a large percentage of the artifacts, mosaics, frescoes and minor arts that were uncovered during the unearthing of Pompeii in the late 19th century.
- This excursion, led by an archaeologist or a classical historian, will begin with a short drive from the city center of Naples, during which your docent will set up the preliminary socio-historical context.
- Upon arriving at the archaeological site, you will visit the ancient cobble-stoned roads, exploring the private homes, temples, shops, civic buildings and public spaces that intricately illustrate everyday activities in the city.
- Leaving the site by the early afternoon, you will return to Naples by car and have a quick lunch in a small, non-touristy restaurant in the city center, followed by a short stroll through the center.
- The group will then head to the Archaeological Museum of Naples to build on the knowledge accrued during your exploration of the archaeological site.
- Cost: 230 Euros per person for 8 hours. 635 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 8 hours. Additional transportation/admission costs: 118 Euros per adult (Rome – Naples round trip train fare) and 30 Euros per child (Rome Naples round trip train fare) and 22.50 Euros per person (entry tickets). Please note: Pompeii car service is available for 350 Euros per private party.
- Your tour meets at the Naples train station unless transport is by private car.
4. Art, Power, and the Church in Renaissance Rome – 3 hours
Overview: During the Renaissance, powerful families from all over Europe descended upon Rome in order to be closer to the Vatican and Catholic Church. They erected magnificent palaces, paved streets, and commissioned such artists as Michelangelo and Raphael to create beautiful testaments to their power and prestige.
- During the course of this 3-hour walk you will plunge yourself into this world, exploring the great palaces of the Renaissance and the intersection of power and art outside of the Vatican.
- Your tour begins in an area of central Rome near Campo de’ Fiori where several important families from northern Italy built their palaces in the early years of the 1500s. Your docent, a specialist in art history, will help frame some of the basic concepts that informed the work of artists and thinkers of the time. You’ll also explore the social and political developments in Rome during this period, as each family vied with the other for the ultimate position of power: the papacy.
- Your walk continues through Piazza Farnese and may also include Palazzo Spada. Along the way, your docent will discuss the lifestyle of the aristocracy, including the lavish balls and parties that were thrown here and that figured critically into the larger political landscape of the city.
- The second half of the tour will focus on one of the best preserved Renaissance homes of the period, the Villa Farnesina, which is home to two major pieces by Raphael: “The Triumph of Galatea” and the amazing “Cupid and Psyche” ceiling fresco cycle. Quiet and rarely visited, Villa Farnesina will afford the opportunity to get close to the art that drove the Renaissance.
- Cost: 70 Euros per person for 3 hours. 305 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 3 hours. Additional admission costs: 5 Euros per person (entry tickets).
- Your tour meets by Piazza Farnese.
5. Caravaggio’s Rome – 2.5 hours
Overview: Early Baroque painter, Michelangelo Merisi (1573-1610), better known as Caravaggio, left an indelible mark on the world of art. Many know him only as a controversial artist who fled Rome after committing murder, but his art stands alone in its quality and originality. For some, Caravaggio and his influence defines Baroque Italian art.
- This 2.5-hour walk, led by a Masters or Phd-level art historian, explores the nature of Caravaggio’s art in the context of its time, in order to fully understand his innovation and the controversy surrounding him.
- This tour focuses on Caravaggio’s work that lies in-situ, that is in the places for which they were originally created. In this case, the walk includes visits to three significant churches in the historic center: Santa Maria del Popolo, San Luigi dei Francesi, and Sant’Agostino.
- Along the way, you’ll pass through the same city streets—largely unchanged—that Caravaggio inhabited in the 1600s, a lively and sometimes dangerous landscape from which he drew inspiration and (controversially) models for his work.The walk begins at Santa Maria del Popolo, then passes through the Piazza del Popolo and into the Tridente neighborhood where Caravaggio lived and worked.
- Cost: 65 Euros per person for 2.5 hours. 280 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 2.5 hours. Additional admission costs: 14.50 Euros per person (entry tickets).
- Your tour meets by Piazza del Popolo.
6. Galleria Borghese – 2.5 hours
Overview: This walk is an in-depth examination of the Galleria Borghese led by an art historian. Your guide will unfold the layers of meaning—social, political, and artistic—of one of the greatest private art collections in the world.
- The museum is spread out over two floors. Your tour will spend equal time with both the sculpture on the ground floor and the paintings of the upper floor. Your guide will also discuss the architecture of the building and its famed grounds and gardens.
- Over the course of the two hour visit (the maximum amount of time allowed for visits), you will develop a better understanding of not only the art the Galleria contains but the intricacies and politics of art collecting during the Baroque period.
- Note: Your guide will make the necessary reservation in advance. The price of this walk does not include the price of the entrance ticket which is to be paid in cash upon entrance.
- Cost: 75 Euros per person for 2.5 hours. 280 Euros per private party (1-6 people) for 2.5 hours. Additional admission costs: 14.50 Euros per person (entry tickets).
- Your tour meets at the Galleria.
Please contact RentVillas at (800) 726-6702.To confirm a reservation, a 12% non-refundable deposit is required. Upon receipt of the deposit, you will be put in direct contact with the Tour Guide, who will be able to answer your specific questions regarding the details of the tour, including balance payment, extra costs, and the meeting time and place. We recommend that reservations be made at least two months prior to your departure.