Circus Maximus, garden of the roses, knights of Malta keyhole, garden of the oranges, mouth of truth, forum Boarium et Holitorium, sacred area of Sant'Omobono, Theater of Marcello, Jewish Ghetto, Campo de' Fiori, Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva with statue of Michelangelo inside, Church of San Luigi dei francesi, Mausoleum of Augustus and Castel Sant'Angelo
Rome deserves at least 1 month to have a superficial comprehension. When you visit the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums you think you have seen the most, but be aware you covered not more than 1%!! So this tour is oriented to those who already visited the main city sights or visitors who experience the eternal city for the second time. An invitation to uncover the hidden gems on unusual itineraries.
The tour starts at the Circus Maximus, the biggest chariot race track of ancient Rome, capable of 250000 people! By climbing the Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, you cross the Garden of the Roses, location of an annual worldwide competition of rose growers and formerly a jewish cemetery. Once on top looking through the “Knights of Malta keyhole” there's a very unexpected surprise for you and inside the Garden of the Oranges, you can enjoy one of the most breathtaking city view dominated by Saint Peter's dome.
Going down the hill we'll take you to the Mouth of Truth, made famous by the movie “the roman holidays” with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, the Forum Boarium et Holitorium, a market of cattle and vegetables connected to the river Tiber harbor and the sacred area of Sant'Omobono, incredible site named after the homonym church and providing with surprising evidences of the early roman history.
After getting used to hold your head down and observe remains protruding not that much from the floor or underground, suddenly you are forced to look sky high at the Theater of Marcello preserved almost up to the uppermost level, built by Augustus in 9 BC, capable of 15000 people. Acting was considered a feminine art so far from the DNA of the romans as warriors and farmers, so they were not allowed to build permanent building for spectacles. It is twice remarkable to think that you'll be looking at the first one in Rome, erected after 750 years of roman history. The building is almost physically connected to one of the most symbolic areas in Rome, the Jewish Ghetto and the Synagogue, a place where you won't see anything historical with your eyes but you will breath history, as it was the location where the jews where gathered to be brought to the concentration camps. We'll take you to the square remembering the deportation of 6000 people in 2 years since October 16th 1943. An intimate moment, an emotional experience we will share with you, it is like touching with your hands the most intimate feelings of the italians whose memory of WWII is still so fresh, an open wound in our hearts. A historical shame we live today as a memory, a lesson on things not to be repeated.
After this vivid memory of our recent past, be prepared for another blast from the past, with our virtual time machine taking us back to one of the darkest pages of the church history. Our next 2 stops will talk about the Inquisition. In the year 1600 in Campo de' fiori, today a colorful market of fruit and vegetables, Giordano Bruno, a philosopher and a priest, was burnt alive because he defended theories the church considered heresies. In the XIX century the municipality of Rome decided to honor this victim of the obscurantism with a statue in the square and for this reason you'll be surprised to realize that it is the only roman square with no churches! And then Piazza della Minerva named after the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, one of the only two gothic churches of Rome and having a statue of Michelangelo inside, “Jesus Christ carrying the cross”. On the left hand side of the church, today the library of the Parliament but once the office of the Inquisition where Galileo was forced to put himself on his knees and deny his theories as the only way to save his life. Not far from this place, passing in front of the Pantheon, we'll visit another church, San Luigi dei francesi whose prestige hinges mostly on the precious paintings by Caravaggio inside.
Our journey touches than another 2 jams, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the grave of the most beloved and long lasting roman emperor ruling for 42 years and Castel Sant'Angelo, once the grave of another emperor, this time Hadrian, then the Papal fortress and recently a location of the movie “Angels and demons”.
tours don't run on sundays and in the following days: january 1, 6, february 11, 22, march 19, 28, june 29, august 15, november 1, december 8, 25, 26.
the meeting time is 15 min prior to the beginning of the tour