A Private Orientation to Rome Tour.  Rome is a city that immediately captivates its visitors.  History is everywhere you look, but the way it effortlessly mingles with life today makes the city so very special.

To really feel the personality of Rome, we recommend an orientation tour with a private guide.

While it is perfectly possible to enjoy the beauty of Rome on your own, this tour lets you in on its secrets, charming legends and stories, and the symbolism behind the art that might otherwise go unnoticed.

We met our guide, Marilena, at our beautiful guesthouse near the Spanish Steps.  She walked us along telling us of John Keats, who lived in the house on the corner.  You can visit his home today, a museum of Keats, Shelley and Byron.

What a beautiful scene it is, the ever-splashing Fontana della Barcaccia, the scalinata, and church of Trinita dei Monti perched on top.  It is one of the prettiest piazzas in Rome.

Marilena was chatting with us in an instant as if we’d known each other for years.  Maybe it was the mutual passion we shared for the city, immediately understood, but I am quite certain she makes every guest feel this way.

There are no umbrellas or scarves on a stick with this tour, it’s an intimate conversation.

Within 5 minutes of meeting us, she had managed to point out one of my favorite aspects of Rome; the water.

Almost anywhere in Rome the sound of water fills your ears.  A symbol of life, purity and abundance. Without water, none of the life or history here would have been possible, so it’s no surprise that it has been celebrated through the ages.

Walking through the city, Marilena pointed out behind a wire casing, a source of water spilling from a spout.  The Acqua Vergine aqueduct that brought pure water to the ancient Romans, and still fills some of its most treasured fountains today.  Incredible.

She went on to explain the Trevi Fountain, perhaps the most famous fountain in Rome, is one of these, and the reliefs above it depict the Roman soldiers, and the legend of the discovery of the spring.

Today the fountain is freshly cleaned, its travertine glowing among the splashing turquoise waters.  A joyful symbol of Rome, promising the return of those who pause to toss in a coin.

Just before discovering the aqueduct, we noticed a red Ferrari parked outside the building.  Marilena pointed out the elegant “V” on the building.  “The fashion house of Valentino,” she told us, “and for sure the Ferrari is his.”

From ancient to modern to baroque and back again, that is Rome.  It is so very charming.

Seeing our interest in Bernini, Marilena walked us into a church and pointed out the statues inside, originally designed for Ponte Sant’Angelo.

We learned that the rivalry between Bernini and Borromini was very real, though shrouded in legend.  I love the legends, because they keep this history alive and interesting.  They are a special part of Rome’s personality.

In Piazza Navona it is said that the figure of the Rio de la Plata in Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers holds his hand in front of his face in horror of Borromini’s Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and fear of its collapse.

In response, Borromini’s statue of Agnese holds her hand over her heart assuring the city (and Bernini) the church is strong and turns her face away in distain for the fountain.

Marilena tells us this through laughter and joy, proud to be a part of this city with its infinite charms.

Between Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain, stands the best preserved building from ancient Rome, the Pantheon.

The ancient building today houses the tombs of the Renaissance artist, Raphael, as well as the first king of Italy, and second, with his wife, Queen Margherita for whom the pizza was named!  Again, such history in one place!

Before concluding the tour, we enjoyed a coffee together at a famous, historic café.  No surprise, it was the best we had ever tasted.

As we said our goodbyes, Marilena told me why she created this tour; to make visitors to Rome feel at home.  It’s even possible by golf cart for anyone not able to walk.

In two hours together, we felt we were walking with a local friend.  She opened her city and her culture to us, and in just about 2 hours I fell even deeper in love with the city that’s always had my heart.

Whether you’re visiting Rome for the first time, or your heart has belonged to it for years, this tour will be an unforgettable experience, unique to you.  You will gain a relationship with the city, and it will become a dear friend.

Contact us to book your tour!

Lindsay Sinko
PFI Travel, USA