Join us off the tourist trail as we seek out Rome's most valuable hidden treasures.
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Why Choose it?
Explore however you like: by Mercedes, Vespa, or even a golf cart.
Wander Rome’s wonders - from Caracalla’s Baths to the Aventine Hill.
Discover Testaccio's man-made mountain, in existence since antiquity.
What better way to experience the Eternal City than by discovering all the hidden gems that Rome's ordinary visitors never see. Your expert native guide will accompany you around the city as you seek out its most rewarding sites. From an ancient church and gigantic imperial bath complex to a man-made mountain made from ancient pottery shards, this special tour offers the best way to unlock the real Rome.
This is your tour, so you get to choose how you want the journey to be. So whether you want the comfort and luxury of a Mercedes and private driver, the thrill a Vespa while the Roman breeze blows through your hair, or the nimble speed of your own private golf cart, strap on in as we go in search of Secret Rome.
The Secret Rome Tour starts at the Church of Quattro Coronati.
Situated between the Colosseum and St John in Lateran, the Church of Quattro Coronati is dedicated to four ancient martyrs. It originally dates back to the 5th century and boasts two courtyards and a monastery with a cosmatesque cloister. This church has many surprising treasures: the private Chapel of St Sylvester and the foundling wheel - where unwanted babies were left to be raised at the church orphanage - its two most famous.
Discover Rome's ancient ramparts at Porta San Sebastiano.
Ancient Rome was surrounded by walls - first the Servian Wall, then the Aurelian Wall. Sections of both survive, the the latter obviously bears slightly more fruit. We'll be visiting the best preserved section of the Aurelian Wall at the Appian Gate, otherwise known as Porta San Sebastiano. From here we'll be journeying down theAppian Way - one of the first roads leading (and from!) Rome. Lined with many pagan and Christian tombs, the Appian Way is incredibly atmospheric. We'll soak in this atmosphere as we make the scenic journey down its 2,400-year-old Roman cobblestones.
Our journey continues to the Baths of Caracalla.
Caracalla was a terrible emperor, whose assassination in 217 AD (by the roadside while stopping off to urinate) was greeted with profound and universal joy. He did however leave one positive legacy in Rome: the imperious Baths of Caracalla. These public baths were monumentally enormous, towering over the nearby Circus Maximus. Home not only to an ingeniously engineered baths system (also comprising heated pools and a steam room), the Baths of Caracalla was a multipurpose area, containing shops and libraries. It remains remarkably preserved today, and its relative lack of visitors makes it perfect for a Secret Rome itinerary.
We then move on to explore the Aventine Hill.
Our visit to the nearby Aventine Hill introduces us to many secret and surprising spots. Once home to ancient Rome's burgeoning plebeian population, the Aventine is now a tranquil, gentrified area. Offering sweeping panoramas over the River Tiber and distant Vatican, the hill is home to such monasteries and ancient churches as Santa Sabina, where we'll be visiting. Santa Sabina is among Rome's oldest churches: its original structure dating back to the 5th century AD. Discover all its wonders with your own expert guide.
We then move to the neighbourhood of Testaccio.
If Aventine was the ancient city's working class district, Testaccio was the modern equivalent. Or at least it was until a few decades ago. Springing up around the ancient city's port (Emporium) and subsequent meat market, Testaccio is still widely considered as the real heartland of Rome. And certainly itsculinary center.
We'll be visiting Testaccio's Monte dei Cocci – an artificial mound made of fragments of broken amphorae (vases) from ancient times. After hearing about its fascinating history, we'll make our way towards Secret Rome's final destination.
Our Secret Rome Tour comes to an end at the Janiculum Hill.
Atop one of Rome's highest hills, the Janiculum, you'll be treated to an unparalleled view of the Eternal City. The ancients used to send scouts up to the top of the Janiculum to look for enemies whenever they held meetings outside Rome's ramparts. From its dizzying heights, it's not hard to see why. But it's not marauding Etruscans you'll be looking for this time. Instead, you'll be taking in the unforgettable sight of the Eternal City stretching as far as the eye can see - the perfect way to finish your Secret Rome Tour.
Licensed tour guide
Car and driver at your disposal