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Tours Companies/Guides in Rome?

Hi Everyone! 

What does everyone suggest when taking a tour of the Vatican, Coloseo, Sistine Chapel, basically all of Rome.  Do you have your favorite Tour Companies/Guides? 

Thanks a Million! 

6 Answers

top answer by
Krista from San Francisco

Hi Carolina,

Krystal is spot on! The other guides I'd recommend outside of the activities you mentioned:

Scooter Roma Tours: Annie, an American, offers a wide range of awesome tours by scooter and bike (including a food tour)

Vayable: Hire a local to guide you through anything/everything you want to see, at a super reasonable price

Walks of Italy: Walking tours that cover the most popular sites

For monuments worth seeing/time to spend at each, I recommend booking a day for the Colosseo & Foro Romano (one ticket covers entrance to each), 1/2 day for the Palatino, an entire day for the Vatican + Vatican Museum (the museum is separate - so you can't see the Sistine Chapel simply by visiting St. Peter's Basilica), and a couple of days for walking around and seeing other sites, including: Trevi FountainPiazza NavonaPiazza di SpagnaVilla BorgheseCampo de' FioriTrastevereCastel Sant'Angelo/St. Angelo BridgeMonte Mario.

Enjoy your trip, Rome is amazing! :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Trevi Fountain (attraction)
  2. Piazza Navona (attraction)
  3. Piazza di Spagna (attraction)
  4. Villa Borghese (attraction)
  5. Campo de' Fiori (attraction)
  6. Trastevere (neighborhood)
  7. Castel Sant'Angelo (attraction)
  8. St. Angelo Bridge (attraction)
  9. Monte Mario (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)

answered first by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Carolina, 

I don't have a specific preference although I will say you do need to book everything in advance because things fill up (especially during the summer). I would recommend looking around because there are certain companies where everything is all inclusive... you can get separate tours at each, but that will end up being more expensive. There are museum/attraction cards that let you choose 2 places for a certain price. Mostly what tours will get you is a front of the line pass (and obviously a talk-through). I definitely suggest a tour of the Colosseum because all the history is really interesting and you can't really imagine everything on your own - plus they have pictures to show you. There is a night tour offered as well which will make it a lot less busy. Also, there are tunnels underneath where the people/animals/props would be before they came out - this is only available through a tour. I personally don't think the Vatican/Sistine Chapel needs a tour, it's very big and the groups get very large which means you're spending most time trying to hear the guide versus appreciate what's around you. I liked going at my own pace. I'm sure others will tell you otherwise, but that's how I feel. If you purchase your tickets online you skip the entire line outside. We arrived 5 minutes before our entrance time, waltzed passed the line and started touring around. The one thing people will tell you is that there is a bit of a walk between the different attractions and only with a tour can you take the little shortcut that leads you right to the the Basilica.I'll let you in on a little secret haha, when you get to the Sistine Chapel, look around, spend as much time as you'd like and then head to the right, that's the door that will get you straight to the Basilica, if you go to the left you will have to walk around and I hear it takes a while. When you see a group exiting just get behind them and walk out with them, there is only one guy next to the door and they aren't really checking. This saves you time and helps avoid walking in the blistering heat. 

Hope this helps!

- Kristal

4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Kelly from Rome

I would just add a few of my personal favorites to the tours/guide list of all the great suggestions here.

For a real in-depth and personal guide if you are interested in history, art and more about the whole context of Rome, Understanding Rome is one of the best private tour guides in the city.

For group tours with heart and soul with experts about Rome you can book a variety of tours with Context Travel.

If you love food, market culture and Italian cuisine, you could also check out Eating Italy Tours 

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Scott from San Francisco

Viator doesn't do a bad job.  You get to jump the lines in the summer.  If you're going off season, you do not need a tour unless you really want the info.  Viator also always offers some sort of deals so sign up for their e-mail list.  To be clear, I don't really like tours that much, and none of them have ever been a home run.  But for the Vatican City, and for Pompei it's of some value to have someone to relate the history to you.  

Be aware too that Viator also sub-contracts out their tours so it can be confusing when you arrive.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vatican City (attraction)
  2. Pompei (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Donna from North Carolina

Hi Carolina, City Wonders does a great job.  We booked a couple of tours through Viator last year, and as someone else mentioned, they contract those tours out to local companies (in our case, City Wonders).  You can book directly with them as opposed to going through a third party.  They did our Pompei tour as well as Borghese Gallery and Museum.  The guides are super knowledgeable and very personable.  Everyone travels differently but I prefer to do as many tours/excursions as I can afford-- you just can't beat the benefits of local knowledge.  I hope you have a great time.  Italy is a wonderful country and the people are so nice.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pompei (attraction)
  2. Borghese Gallery and Museum (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Ben from London

You cannot go wrong with Alex Mariotti at Dolce Vita (

He will make you look at a stone in the Forum & be transfixed by it & take a million photos! He makes the whole city come alive & I can't recommend him enough

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