Special Tours of Rome

The Lives and Scandals of the Borgia Family

Discover the intrigues and scandals of one of Italy's most infamous aristocratic families .

  • Availability

    On Request

  • Duration

    Approx. 2.5 hours

  • Start time

    On Request

  • Private tour

    On Request

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Why Choose it?

  • Encounter the notorious Borgias whose exploits shaped the city.
  • Journey through time and space on your private historical walking tour.
  • Explore three of Rome's most stunning squares with your expert guide.

Tour description

The name Borgia evokes a time in the history of Renaissance Rome when power-hungry cardinals schemed with and against one another to become Pope. This walking tour will lead you down some of the most charming hidden alleys of Rome to admire its monumental beauties and uncover the life of Italy’s most infamous family: the Borgias.

In 1492, through a Machiavellian web of machinations, Rodrigo Borgia became the Pope –  the most important figure in the Catholic world. Scandals, intrigues, affairs, poison, power, and corruption, these are some of the words that come to mind when speaking of the Borgias. Their fascinating lives – which have inspired a host of books, movies, and a TV series with Jeremy Irons – will unfold before your eyes as your expert guide leads you to explore the streets and neighborhoods frequented by the Borgias.

Our adventure begins in front of the Borgia Palace.

This ivy-covered building, set in a picturesque square, was the residence of a young lover of the Borgia Pope. After winding our way down the gentle slopes of the Esquiline Hill, admiring charming streets and some of the architectural gems of Rome as we proceed, we will reach the ancient Via dei Banchi Vecchi (literally, the Old Worktables). Your guide will unveil its historical secrets and conduct you to admire the site of a luxurious palace built for Rodrigo Borgia.

Process down the Pilgrim Road (Via del Pellegrino).

Following in the footsteps of thousands of faithful pilgrims who trod these cobbles to reach St. Peter’s, you'll discover all about the affair between the Pope and Vannozza Cattanei, who bore four of his children. As we reach Campo de’ Fiori, one of the concealed gems of Rome, we will discover more about the life of Vannozza, who owned a business on this square, and the daily life of Romans who in the past, as much as in the present, flocked here for food and drink.

Wander from Campo de'Fiori to Piazza Navona.

As your guide takes you to Piazza Navona – perhaps the most stunning square in Rome – you will discover further details about the political maneuvers of the Borgias. The tour will end in Piazza Fiammetta, which takes its name from an audacious concubine who stole many a heart in 15th-century Rome, including that of the Pope’s son, and obtained many favors in return.

*If you wish to delve even further into the life of the Borgias, combine this tour with our Vatican tour and let us take you to visit the apartments of Pope Alexander VI with frescos by the prominent Renaissance artist Pinturicchio.

included:

Licensed tour guide

itinerary:

  • Borgia Palace (exterior)
  • Via dei Banchi Vecchi
  • Via del Pellegrino
  • Campo di Fiori
  • Piazza Navona
  • Piazza Fiammetta

meeting point:

Hotel lobby

see on map

excellent guides

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for the inspiring cultural heritage of our Italian cities. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!