It could easily take you a lifetime to explore all the sights and attractions that Rome has to offer, but you probably aren’t planning to stay there quite so long. Finding the right guided tour will allow you to get the most out of the Eternal City.
Make sure to ask any friends or business colleagues who’ve visited Rome in the recent past for their guided tour recommendations. Review sites like TripAdvisor may also contain valuable information that can help you find a guided tour of Rome that’s perfect for you.
After you’ve done that, ask yourself a few basic questions. The answers should help you narrow the field.
• What do you like?
Don’t depend upon a tour guide to curate your Roman holiday. Pick out some must-sees beforehand. If you’re fascinated by ancient Rome, then you shouldn’t miss the Coliseum, the Forum and the Pantheon. If you’re more interested in the Renaissance, you’ll want to visit the Trevi fountain, the Piazza Navona, and the painter Raphael’s grave. Select a tour that showcases a few of these bucket list items, and chances are you’ll get the chance to see other treasures in a similar vein.
• What’s your budget?
Tours of Rome run the gamut from self-guided walking itineraries to limo excursions ferrying passengers from one upscale culinary experience to the next. Obviously, you can expect the latter tour to be far more expensive than the former. No matter how tempting the itinerary, don’t overspend. For one thing, paying more than you can afford means you’ll have that much less to spend on souvenirs. For another, there are hidden costs involved in any tour you book since you’ll want to tip your guide, and you may be expected to pay entrance fees.
• How much free time do you want to have to explore?
Some tour guides like to plan an activity or an instructive lecture for every moment while others like to give the group they’re leading time to wander on their own. It’s worth finding out how flexible your tour guide is on these matters before you book your tour. If you’re someone who enjoys programmed activities, you’re likely to feel bored if you’re walking around aimlessly while if you’re someone who enjoys exploring, an overly structured tour may make you feel as though you’re back in elementary school.
• How many people do you want to sightsee with?
You’ll get more individual attention from your guide if you reserve a tour with a smaller group, and the members of the group will not stand out as much as tourists. Larger group tours tend to be less expensive, however, and you’ll have more of an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances.