With a Driver

Roman Forum

If you are travelling with small children, only have a day to see Rome, don’t enjoy walking in the heat or simply want the back-up of a vehicle to get to places which are not within walking distance, the day can be made easier by having a driver.
Here are a number of suggestions that include the use of a driver with a minibus:

Rome in a day

Almost 3000 years of history in just 7 hours... Starting from the ancient ruins at the Forum, we walk a short stretch of the Sacred Way and see the Arches of Titus and Constantine. Visit the inside of the Colosseum before being driven up round the Circus Maximus for views across this old race track and all that remains of the imperial palaces up on the Palatine hill. Our next stop is the Pantheon: we walk into this immense structure to look up into the dome to see a disc of sky through the central oculus. We walk over to the Trevi fountain and meet our driver who will take us to the Spanish steps and Piazza Navona, still one of Rome’s most beautiful and lively squares. After a short break for lunch we cross the river to the Vatican, visiting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums and ending under Michelangelo's dome in St Peter’s Basilica. (7 hours)

Catacombs and MosaicsRoman Forum

For those in search of something off the beaten track this itinerary combines a number of slightly remote places which can be awkward to reach by public transport. Starting with one of Rome's richest Basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore, we gather a true sense of the development of mosaics in Rome before heading north to the circular Church of Santa Costanza, originally built as a mausoleum for the daughter of Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. This ancient jewel was intentionally nestled close to the burial place of the young Saint Agnes, now the site of an extensive set of catacombs and a beautiful 7th century church, both of which we shall visit. (4 hours)

Everyday life in Ostia

Today the excavations of the ancient port of Ostia Antica are set in a beautiful park of umbrella pines. The ruins are well preserved and, although now a few miles from the sea, give a good idea of a small town at the height of the Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Mosaics, different types of housing, shops, baths, temples and a theatre all make this a rewarding excursion. On the way back to Rome, stop at St. Paul's Basilica built over the apostle's tomb. (5 hours)

Heading down the Appian Way to the Alban hills

Roman ForumWe drive just beyond the city walls a few miles down the Appian Way in order to walk a quiet stretch of the "queen of roads" with its monumental tombs, solemn cypress trees and large basalt slabs, before our journey continues up into the Alban hills to visit the Abbey of Saint Nilo at Grottaferrata, a fortified church first founded by Greek monks 1000 years ago. We then wander into the heart of nearby Castel Gandolfo, with its main square dominated by the Pope's summer Residence, and enjoy views of Lake Albano. We drive on to Ariccia, where we have lunch in a simple Osteria, with a large selection of local delicacies accompanied by the local wine. After lunch we will drive through Genzano to lake Nemi, with a brief stop to sample the local strawberries before returning to Rome. (6 hours )

Rachel's Newsletter
Tivoli

In the summer months Rome is very hot so the rich and famous moved out to Tivoli, a hilltop town 17 miles east of the city. The Emperor Hadrian built his sumptuous villa here, the ruins of which are still breathtaking, and in early summer the wild flowers create an enchanting scene. Later Cardinal d'Este built his famous villa on the top of the hill and his water gardens have become synonymous with pleasure and extravagance. (Approx. 6 hours)