Sightseeing Tours of Monumental Rome

tour duration

4 Hours

start time

09:00 AM & 02:00 PM
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun

meeting point

Piazza di Spagna, more details at booking

Excursions from Monumental Rome

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Trevi Fountain

Rome - Trevi Fountain
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The Trevi Fountain is the largest and most famous fountain of Rome, though not the oldest. A fountain was first built in 19 B.C. by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa in order to bring water through an aqueduct to the thermal baths near the Pantheon. According one legend, the aqueduct was named “Virgin Water” in honor of a little girl who told thirsty soldiers of Agrippa where to find a source of water previously undiscovered.

In 1453, Pope Nicholas V ordered Battista Alberti to construct a fountain in the “Trejo” neighborhood (which later became Trevi). With this new fountain, Romans got used to spring water instead of water from the Tiber River. Over the years, there were more changes and some renovations.

Things to see

The Trevi Fountain that we know today was not built until 1735 by Nicolo Salvi under the orders of Pope Clement XII, the construction process lasting for 23 years. The decorations were actually realized by several of Bernini’s assistants. On the left we see Agrippa who presents the first aqueduct project to the Roman Emperor Augustus. On the right we see the meeting between Augustus soldiers and the virgin who showed them the spring. In the middle under the vault of his palace, Neptune stands on an oyster carriage pulled by two flying horses which are pulled by tritons.

A popular legend claims that if you throw a coin in the fountain while facing away from it, you will undoubtedly return to the Eternal City. Another legend refers to Trevi as the lovers’ fountain and claims that if couples drink from its water, they will stay faithful. Unfortunately, the water that feeds the Trevi Fountain is no longer safe for consumption.

A theory says that the famous custom of throwing coin in the fountain started when Ancient Greeks had to pay for their final trip. Another theory says it was a payment in order to come back to the Eternal City and if the coin sank, it meant the payment was accepted. Nowadays, around one million Euros are thrown into the fountain each year. Because this custom attracted thieves, City Hall decided to collect coins every morning and give the resulting money to charity organizations.

Campo de Fiori

Rome - Campo de Fiori

The Campo de Fiori (“Fields of Flowers”) is a very animated square of Rome; it was once a meadow and it supposedly has retained its name in remembrance. Another legend says that the name came from the mistress of Pompey the Great, who was known as Madam Flowers.
Everyday in the morning, a small picturesque market sets up in the square where it is possible to find flowers or various fruits and vegetables. During the evening, the square comes to life thanks to its numerous coffee shops and restaurants. It is a nice and well known place where Romans often meet to go out and enjoy the “Dolce Vita”.

Things to see

In the middle of the Campo de Fiori we can admire the impressive statue of the Dominican monk Giordano Bruno. Bruno was a mathematician, poet and philosopher who met Galileo and travelled through Europe. In 1593, he was arrested and convicted of heresy, his trial lasting for 7 years. Because he was such a talented orator, they nailed his tongue to his palate so he could not speak to anyone during his transfer to his place of death: the Campo de Fiori. He was burnt alive on Campo de Fiori on February 16th 1600.
To honor this freethinker, a statue in his likeness was realized by the sculptor Ettore Ferrari and put on the square. It was inaugurated on June 9th 1889 and many other freethinkers came to honor him. Pope Leo XIII said the installation of such a statue was an act of defiance against the Catholic Church. Despite this, each 16th of February, people come and bring flowers to the statue to commemorate the death of Giordano Bruno.
The Campo de Fiori is located nearby the Farnese Palace, a palace from the Renaissance which is now occupied by the embassy of France. The French government bought the palace for a lease of 99 years; the contract is set to expire in 2035.

Spanish Steps

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The Spanish Steps are located in Piazza di Spagna, one of the most famous squares in Rome. Piazza di Spagna and its Spanish Steps are located in a trendy neighborhood where there are several different luxury shops. In 1717, the architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi planned to build a huge staircase with 135 steps in order to more easily reach the church of the Santissama Trinita dei Monti and to connect it with the Bourbon Spanish Embassy.
During the 16th century, Spain bought land in Rome to establish people near the Roman Pope. In other words, the Piazza di Spagna was initially the property of Spain, having its own rules and soldiers. The Palazzo di Spagna, the first Spanish embassy once located on this square, is what gave the piazza its name.

Things to see

Construction on the Spanish Steps began in 1723 and was finished in 1725. The monumental Steps are now considered the largest stairs in Europe. They are built on three different levels with the first two levels separating into two different arches. The Church of the Trinita dei Monti, standing at the top of these steps, began construction in 1502 under the orders of King Louis XII of France. Right in front of the church we can admire the Sallustiano Obelisk. This obelisk was found in the Horti Sallustiani’s gardens and brought to Rome during Augustus’ reign. It was not actually set in front of the church until 1789.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Piazza di Spagna was the meeting point of painters, artists, writers, poets and many other creative souls. Later, the Spanish Steps served as the setting or background of several films such as Roman Holiday (1953). Nowadays, it is common to use the Spanish Steps or Piazza di Spagna as a meeting point. Locals meet each other for picnics or just to enjoy ice-cream while plenty of tourists come everyday to explore this remarkable square.
Before climbing the Spanish Steps, however, take note of the particular fountain named “Barcaccia” (“ugly boat”). The Fontana della Barcaccia was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and built in 1629 by Pietro Bernini. The fountain looks like a sinking boat and was built to remind Romans of the big flood in 1598 when Pope Clement had to cross the square on a boat.

Piazza Navona

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Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares of Rome, as well as one of the largest. In fact, many consider this square as the most beautiful square in Rome. Piazza Navona was built on the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, maintaining its elliptical shape and its 240 meters in length. The arches of the Stadium of Domitian are now under the road of the square. In 1650, Pope Innocent X decided to renovate the square and in 1651 he ordered the construction of the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (“Fountain of the Four Rivers”).

Things to see

During the 15th century a large and important market used to occupy the square. Nowadays many artists set up shop on this touristic and pedestrian piazza, which is still one of the most animated Roman squares in the city. There are three fountains in Piazza Navona: the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which was built by the architect Bernini, is located just in the center of the square, in front of the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. The center of the fountain is composed of an Egyptian obelisk surrounded by four statues, each character representing a river from a different continent. These are the Danube in Europe, the Nile in Africa, the Rio de la Plata in the Americas and the Ganges in Asia.
The two other fountains that were built on the square are the Fontana del Nettuno (“Fountain of Neptune”) situated in the northern part, and the Fontana del Moro (“Moor Fountain”) situated in the southern part of the square. The Fountain of Neptune is also known as “Calderari” and was built in 1576 by Giacomo della Porta, who also built the Moor Fountain. The central statue with the dolphin was added by Bernini during the 17th century.
The second most important building of the Piazza Navona is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. This church was built in honor of the martyr who was persecuted at the 6th century because she was a Christian. It is a Baroque church built during the 17th century by Borromini. Next to Sant’Agnese is the Palace Pamphili, which was renovated and expanded by Pope Innocent X as it was the palace he and his family lived in. Nowadays, the Brazilian embassy occupies this palace.

Pantheon Rome

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The Pantheon is located on Campus Martius in the historical center of Rome, just between the Trevi Fountain and Nero’s thermal baths. The first Pantheon was built by Agrippa between 27 and 25 B.C. as a sanctuary dedicated to the 12 gods from the Hellenistic period. The temple was destroyed by fire in 80 A.D. and was rebuilt by Domitian but another fire destroyed it in 110 A.D. Emperor Hadrian had the temple rebuilt for a third time between 118 and 125 A.D. He put the new façade on the north and wrote “Agrippa” on the pediment of the building in honor of the original builder. The north of Campus Martius was dedicated to imperial funerals. When the Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the temple, may have been thinking about representing the sky, hence why there are seven exedra around the rotund made for the statues of the seven planetary gods.

Things to see

The Pantheon is composed of three different geometric forms. First, it has a rectangular building along with a porch with a triangular pediment supported by 16 columns. Then it is composed of a cylinder covered by a huge dome of 43 meters in diameter and in which can be seen an oculus that lets daylight into the building.
The Pantheon was a temple first dedicated to Jupiter then to Mars Ultor, then to Venus, after that to Julius Caesar and finally to all gods before Pope Boniface IV decided to dedicate it to Saint Mary of the Martyrs. The temple was given by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas to Pope Boniface IV in 609, who converted it into a Catholic church. This conversion saved the Pantheon from destruction. The Byzantine Emperor Constans II removed the bronze statues in 663 A.D.; the ones which represented the gods and giants’ fight were destroyed altogether. Pope Gregory IV later dedicated the temple to all Saints.
Nowadays this sanctuary is the resting place of two Italian kings: Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I.