Rome, the eternal city, is one of the beating hearts of Western art. In this tour with a distinct focus on art, we seek to provide you with a deeper understanding of the culture and art of this magnificent city. We will walk through many periods of art history each adding its own value and artistic style to Rome's own story. This tour will take you to many of the lesser visited sites in Rome that include incredibly important masterpieces of Ancient Rome, the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. If you think you've "been there done that" before in Rome, you haven't seen it quite like this with Lior as your guide!
A lifetime is not enough time to fully explore and get to know the entire city. Therefore, our purpose during our few short days in Rome will be to get as much as we can from our time together by visiting some of the most treasured sites for art. We will gain crucial concepts concerning reading art, understanding important historical processes, and through all of that and our personal experience, we will be able to apply that knowledge in the future to get profound experiences in other places of art.
Hi there and welcome! My name is Lior (pronounced "Lee-or"). I graduated in art history (M.A. Dean's Honors), am now working on my PhD, and am an authorized tour guide working with Tuscany Tours. Though I consider myself to be less a supplier of information and more a reminder. During our tour, we will remind ourselves how to see and feel art. We will do that not only through knowledge, facts and anecdotes, but also through our hearts and minds. Rediscovering this gift which is always within us will ensure that when you leave the beauty of Rome behind, you will take with you the beauty you have found within yourself and continue discovering beauty throughout the world.
Upon arrival to the Rome-FCO airport, a transfer will be provided to the hotel. We'll stay at the Albergo Santa Chiara located directly behind the Pantheon in the heart of the city center. The hotel has been in the same family ownership for nearly a century. The history of the Albergo Santa Chiara begins in 1839. At the first it was a “wine-shop” then changed into a small inn. In one of the three adjoining buildings that makes up the current hotel is the Chapel of Saint Catherine of Siena. The old lobby, on the contrary, has become a theatre. You can’t miss a short chat at one of the tables of our open-air bar, quiet and private, that overlooks the Minerva Square. You will find this is a friendly, relaxed hotel that will make you feel right at home.
We'll start our time together with a welcome drink at the hotel this evening. To help get into the Roman mood, Lior will give a quick Introduction to Rome talk highlighting everything we'll see and do on the tour. After, we'll begin our explorations from Ancient Rome to the Baroque with a walk through the city to explore the amazing monuments nearby, including the Pantheon and the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.
For our first dinner together, we'll sit ringside in the lively and entertaining Piazza Navona with a view of Bernini's fountain.
We'll start our walk through art history today with the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, known especially for one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the Moses. Besides admiring the genius’ work, we shall see that this church is already giving us a great sense about the spirit of Rome of the Renaissance, the Papacy of that time and ego issues combined with all of that. From there, we shall go backward in time and then forward again. Next, we will visit the exterior of the famous Colosseum, the huge monument which became to be one of the symbols of Rome. Besides adoring this genial architectonic masterpiece, we will try to read this building in its original context, notwithstanding the real content of what we admire now in front of our eyes.
Our next stop will be the wonderful and very important Capitoline Museums which will be a great arc for us to get a direct experience of Ancient Roman statues. In this same place, we shall get to the place which populates wonderful paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque art. After lunch together at a traditional trattoria, the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
After yesterday’s experience, today we will get deeper into the troubled and complicated period of the end of the 16th and through the 17th Century in Rome that produced fascinating and breathtaking works of art. Starting in the beautiful Santa Maria del Popolo Church we'll have the opportunity of looking at some traces of the Renaissance work, but much more than Maria del Popolo Church we'll have the opportunity of looking at some traces of the Renaissance work, but much more than that, we will experience both Caravaggio’s and Bernini’s works. Looking at them in situ - in the place they were originally meant to be - we will have the pleasure of seeing these works in their intended context.
From here we will head over to the huge Palazzo Barberini. Here waiting for us are impressive paintings from the Renaissance to the Baroque period, various Baroque statues, and all of these in this elegant palace of the 17th Century. We'll enjoy lunch together at the Hortus Bistrot at the beautiful Casina Valadier with its gardened terraces overlooking the city of Rome.
After a lunch break, we will get to one of the jewels of the Baroque art, which is Galleria Borghese. Here we will be able to appreciate once again the greatness and creativity of Caravaggio’s life-like paintings, and Bernini’s early and later works that leave no doubt about him being a genius.
After our visit, you are free to walk back to the hotel at your leisure and the remainder of the day will be free time. Dinner on own.
On our last day together, after having experienced and seen the different artistic languages and styles from various angles, we shall taste another part of the city. Starting our visit at the Trastevere, or "the other side of the Tiber River", we will visit a Franciscan church called San Francesco a Ripa. Here, on slabs of marble, lies the figure of Blessed Ludovica as Bernini imagined her on her death bed. From there we shall continue to another nearby church, Basilica Santa Cecilia, looking for the precedent of Bernini’s work. After that, we will take another step backwards in time, visiting the luxurious Villa Farnesina. The Villa Farnesina, built in the early sixteenth century for the rich Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, is one of the noblest and most harmonious creations of the Italian Renaissance. It is a masterpiece in which architectural design and pictorial decoration fuse into a single marvelous synthesis. The sober volumetric and spatial layout of the Villa, devised by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, is the perfect setting for its rich interior decoration, boasting frescos by great masters such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, and Peruzzi himself.
After a break for lunch on your own, we'll pick up where we left off this morning. We'll experience another masterpiece by Caravaggio in its original location at Chiesa di Sant’Agostino. From there we will continue to the wonderful Palazzo Altemps for another taste from grandeur of the Ancient Roman art where we'll explore some masterpieces and their meanings. An aristocratic mansion that was already home in the 16th century to a rich collection of classical sculpture in a magnificent architectural setting, Palazzo Altemps is now one of the sites of the National Roman Museum, specifically dedicated to the history of art collecting. The Palazzo Altemps is home to absolute masterpieces of ancient sculpture from famous and highly prestigious noble collections now owned by the Italian Government.
We'll say our farewells at a final-night dinner this evening.
If you are continuing on to join the Best of Tuscany tour (May 29-June 6, 2022), you will take a cab from the hotel to the Roma Termini train station to take the high-speed train north to Florence (your own booking). Please let us know if you need assistance making your train arrangements.
If you are flying home, we can arrange a private transfer to the airport at an additional cost.
Until we meet again.......ARRIVEDERCI!
TOUR DATES: May 25-29, 2022 (This is an Add-on to our Best of Tuscany tours May 17-25 or May 29-June 6)
- Cost: The land cost of the tour is $2,650 USD per person, based on double occupancy. Cash discount cost is $2,600 per person for final payment made by check or wire transfer. You may make your registration deposit using PayPal and/or your credit card and still be eligible for the cash discount cost if your final balance is paid by check or wire transfer. Single rooms are available for a supplementary charge of $264. Airfare is not included.
- Accommodations: 4 nights lodging in an elegant, historic hotel in the city center of Rome. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Upgrades upon request, subject to availability.
NOTE: Due to the ancient architecture of hotels renovated from restored palazzos, each hotel room is unique and room sizes may vary. All hotels have air conditioning but in the shoulder seasons, they may not be permitted to use them due to European laws. Please be aware that we cannot ask the hotel to use the air-con if it is against the current regulations in place.
- Meals: All breakfasts, one full-course meal daily (either lunch or dinner), additional meals as scheduled. All meals—after breakfast!—include regional wines. We carefully choose the restaurants based on ambiance and quality of cuisine.
- Guided Tours with local authorized expert guides: Rome
- Transfers: All ground transportation during the tour excluding upon departure. A transfer from Rome-Fiumicino Airport to the hotel is included. For the departure day, you will take a cab to the Roma Termini train station (paid onsite) if you are continuing on to The Best of Tuscany tour (May 29-June 6, 2022). Or, if you are flying out, we can help you book a transfer at an additional cost.
- Admissions: Entrance fees for all planned visits to monuments, galleries and museums are included.
- Small, Intimate Group: We limit the number of participants to a maximum of 16. We need a minimum of 12 for this tour to depart.
- Early Arrival/ Late Stay Options: Depending on hotel availability you may be able to arrive early or stay after the end of the tour. We'll be happy to help you make these arrangements. For trip extensions of 2 nights or less, we provide planning assistance on a complimentary basis. For extensions of 3-5 nights, there is a nominal fee of $150 to assist with trip planning including booking hotels, guides, drivers, etc.
- Arrival and Departure: On the tour start date, a transfer is included from the Paris-Gare-de-Lyon train station to our hotel in Paris. On the final morning of the tour, there will be a shuttle at 9:00 am going to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (code: CDG). If you require other transfer services upon arrival or to other destinations after the tour ends, transfers can be arranged for an additional fee.
- Tour Exclusions: Airfare; transfers upon arrival and departure if different from the scheduled; meals not mentioned; hotel city tax (usually €2-5 per person, per night; payable onsite); trip insurance.
- Experienced Tour Leaders: Tuscany Tours has been leading small-group tours in Europe since 1997. Your Tour Leader will be Lior Aviv. Check out our Meet the Team page to learn more about our amazing guides!
OTHER TERMS & CONDITIONS: For other terms and conditions, please see: https://www.tuscanytours.com/tour-terms-and-conditions/
Note: Tuscany Tours reserves the right to make changes to tour venues and guides as circumstances may require.
To reserve your place and register for this tour, please click the button to jump to the Registration Page.
There is a non-refundable deposit due of $500 per person at time of registration to secure your spot on the tour.
*Note: This itinerary is subject to change without notice based on availability of tour leaders and guides, opening hours of restaurants, hotels and venues.