Food, The Vatican & More

Considered one of the world’s best places to visit, Rome offers countless things to do and an endless selection of delicious cuisine. But given the overwhelming crowds and restricted access to ancient sites, it can be difficult to fully enjoy all that Italy’s capital has to offer on your own. That’s where a guided tour can help.

Based on recent traveler reviews and expert opinion, we’ve selected the best tours in Rome. Whether you’re gliding past the Colosseum on a Segway or savoring Italian wine in the countryside, you’ll benefit from fun and informative guides leading the way.

Fat Tire Tours Rome – Rome Day Segway Tour

Price: From 73 euros (around $79)
Duration: 3 hours

Hop on a Segway to see the Eternal City’s many sights. After receiving your helmet and tuning in to a quick training session, you’ll receive a headset to follow the lively commentary from the experienced Fat Tire Tours guide. Along the three-hour ride, you’ll glide past sights like Trajan’s Forum, Capitoline Hill and more. Plus, you’ll don a virtual reality headset during your stop outside the Colosseum that reconstructs the famous arena’s past grandeur. Travelers appreciate that Segways make getting around and seeing Rome’s sights easier and more fun, especially for families with older teens. Reviewers also appreciate the engaging local guides.

Tours run daily at 9:30 a.m. Participants must be at least 16 years old and weigh between 100 and 260 pounds. Pregnant women are not permitted on this tour. The company also leads a night tour, which visits the city’s illuminated monuments after sundown, among other outings.

LivItaly Tours – Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum

Price: Adults from 159 euros (around $173); kids from 144 euros (around $156)
Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy swift entry to the Colosseum underground and see the arena floor, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum on this small-group tour. LivItaly leads up to six travelers to the restricted lower level of the Colosseum, where dungeons once confined gladiators and their opponents. In three hours, learn about ancient Rome’s social order on Palatine Hill and everyday life at the forum. Travelers, especially those with children, agree that having a passionate guide with a deep knowledge of Roman history enriched the experience. Reviewers also appreciate the small size of the tour group.

Tours depart daily at multiple times beginning at 12:15 p.m. Book the company’s 90-minute Express Colosseum Underground & Arena Tour if you’re short on time.

TopBike Rental and Tours – Ancient Appian Way, Catacombs and Aqueducts Park

Price: From 65 euros (about $71) to 89 euros (about $97)
Duration: 4 or 6 hours

Travelers have been using the Ancient Appian Way for 2,300 years and you’ll traverse it with a friendly, knowledgeable local on this electric bike excursion. Along the ride, you’ll pass archeological sites, Christian catacombs and picturesque Roman aqueducts framing the unspoiled countryside. The tour covers roughly 17 miles, 60% of which requires off-road cycling, so TopBike recommends this tour for intermediate riders. Some tourgoers say you might not even break a sweat though, thanks to the ease of the electric bikes,.

Tourgoers can opt for the Short Tour (four hours) or the Plus Tour (six hours), the latter of which follows the same path as the shorter excursion and also includes a guided tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus (or Saint Sebastian) and a stop at the Baths of Caracalla. Exact tour departure times vary by season, but you can expect to start around 9 a.m. TopBike also leads cycling tours within the city center.

Gourmetaly – Campo de’ Fiori, Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere Rome Food Tour

Price: Adults from 93 euros (around $101); kids from 65 euros (around $71)
Duration: 3.5 hours

Tantalize your taste buds on this Rome food tour, which covers three distinct neighborhoods known for their cuisine. As your local guide leads you through the Jewish ghetto, Campo de’ Fiori and Trastevere, you’ll stop by top-rated food markets, grocery stores, coffee shops, gelaterias and restaurants. Among the food samples included in the tour are fried artichokes, pizza, mozzarella, fresh pasta and gelato. Tours are capped at 12 participants. Reviewers call this a delightful experience thanks to the informative guides who offer an interesting lesson on Roman history, food and culture. They also recommend taking this tour on your first day in Rome to make the most of the guides’ recommendations.

Tours are offered several times each day in the morning and afternoon. Note that the afternoon tour does not visit the Campo de’ Fiori market (a highlight for many recent tourgoers). In addition to food tours, Gourmetaly also hosts cooking classes.

Eyes of Rome – Colosseum and Roman Forum Tour

Price: Adults from 453 euros (around $491); kids from 35 euros (around $38)
Duration: 3 hours

With your private guide leading the way, you’ll visit the Colosseum, explore the ancient city along paths that served the Roman Senate and learn the legends of the House of the Vestal Virgins. Tourgoers value the attentive guides who share history and lore in an entertaining way. They also say the tour is well-paced.

Tickets cover pick up at centrally located hotels and skip-the-line admission. Note that prices can vary significantly depending on the number of people in your party. A couple can expect to pay roughly $500 for tickets. Eyes of Rome also conducts private walking tours of the Vatican.

Private Tours of Rome – Vatican & Sistine Chapel Private Tour

Price: From $364
Duration: 3 hours

One of the best tours of the Vatican, this intimate excursion includes skip-the-line access to the complex and a guide who shares the Vatican Museums’ top attractions in just three hours. See the artistic highlights in the Gallery of Ancient Roman Sculptures, the Gallery of Tapestries and famous Raphael paintings. You’ll then experience Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will ensure you see the Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace and the famous balcony where the pope delivers his blessings. Travelers praise the excellent guides who tailor the tour to groups’ interests and keep children engaged.

Tours operate Monday through Saturday in the morning and afternoon. Ticket prices vary depending on your itinerary and group size. The company suggests you book at least one month in advance to ensure a specialist authorized by the Vatican is available. Private Tours of Rome also offers tours of the Colosseum and the Borghese Gallery, among others.

Courtesy of Roman Food Tours

The Roman Food Tour – Prati By Sunset

Price: Adults from 99 euro (about $107); kids from 90 euros (about $98)
Duration: 4 hours

Devoted foodies skip lunch for the more than 20 food and wine pairings on this four-hour evening tour of some of Rome’s top eateries. Throughout the tour, you’ll feast on gourmet delights, such as homemade pasta, pizza, fresh cheeses and gelato. More importantly, you’ll learn tips to enhance your knowledge and pleasure in Italian cuisine. Travelers praise the expertise of the fun guides who explain each dish’s origin and quality with gusto.

Tours, which are offered daily multiple times starting at 3:30 p.m. The Roman Food Tour also offers day tours and cooking classes.

Rex-Tours – Rome City Segway Tour

Price: From 79 euros (about $86)
Duration: 3 hours

Roll in comfort past many of ancient Rome’s major sights on this three-hour Segway tour. Rex-Tours’ expert guides lead up to eight travelers for an effortless overview of must-see landmarks, such as Capitoline Hill and the Colosseum. Reviewers applaud the knowledgeable guides who offer a wealth of information without overwhelming travelers. What’s more, guides provide restaurant recommendations and tips for making the most of your visit to Rome, according to tourgoers.

The Rome City Segway Tour departs twice daily at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Travelers also recommend enjoying the company’s evening Segway tour if you’re visiting during the summer and need a break from the peak daytime heat.

Eating Europe – Twilight Trastevere Rome Food Tour

Price: Adults from 114 euros (about $123); kids from 81 euros (about $88)
Duration: 4 hours

Travelers suggest you skip lunch before this evening walking tour of Trastevere, so that you can savor the street food and sweet treats served at each stop. As you meander through the neighborhood (often compared to New York City’s Greenwich Village), you’ll enjoy mouthwatering bites of everything from classic supplì, or fried risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella, to porchetta, homemade pasta and gelato. Foodie guides share each chef’s story and culinary traditions, along with tips on how to find and make the best Roman cuisine on your own. Reviewers praise the guides for their insider knowledge and gush about the quality of the food and wine featured on the tour.

Tours run daily at multiple times and there is a maximum of 12 people per tour. Eating Europe also operates a tour that explores Testaccio, considered Rome’s “original foodie neighborhood.”

Rolling Rome – Rome Squares & Fountains Golf Cart Tour

Price: From 100 euros (about $108)
Duration: 3 hours

Avoid Rome’s congested traffic and keep the family entertained on this three-hour, private golf cart tour of the city. Whizz past major sights in the historical center and piazzas Venezia, Navona and del Popolo, plus the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and more. Since the tour is customizable, you can also ask the guide to take you to lesser-known spots in the city – a highlight for reviewers. Along with the knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, reviewers appreciate the golf cart’s ability to avoid traffic using Rome’s narrow back lanes.

Tours, which can accommodate up to seven participants, depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. One week’s advance reservation is recommended. Rolling Rome also offers daylong golf cart tours, as well as a variety of Segway and electric bike tours.

Food Tours of Rome – Jewish Ghetto and Campo de’ Fiori by Night Food Tour

Price: Adults from 89 euros (about $96); kids from 75 euros (about $81)
Duration: 4 hours

Combine sightseeing with snacking and drinking on this evening tour of the Jewish ghetto and the Campo Marzio area. Fun, knowledgeable guides make seven stops for food and wine between explaining major historic attractions like Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori. Stop in delis, family-run shops and restaurants to sample gourmet cheeses and hams, pasta, espresso, and gelato. First-time visitors especially appreciate this informative introduction to the city and the family-run vendors featured on the tour.

Tours depart nightly at 6 p.m. Food Tours of Rome can accommodate some special diets with advance notice. The company also offers a dessert and sightseeing tour of Rome, among various other options.

What A Life Tours – Skip-the-line Vatican Small Group Tour

Price: Adults from $87; kids from $82
Duration: 3 hours

Travelers say this tour is worthwhile thanks to the personable guides, who bring the history of the Vatican Museums to life. Reviewers also appreciate that groups are capped at 12 participants, which they say creates an intimate experience that fosters engagement between guides and tourgoers. You’ll start the three-hour tour with skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums to admire highlights like the Gallery of Maps and the Pinecone Courtyard. Then, you’ll head to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica to marvel at Michelangelo’s Pietà. Along the way, your guide will share commentary that you’ll be able to hear via an audio headset.

Tours generally operate Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m.; tours depart at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. In addition to its variety of Vatican tours, the company also offers tours of the Colosseum and daylong tours of Rome.

Rome’s Ultimate Free Walking Tour

Price: Free
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

According to reviewers, this free walking tour is a great way to start your visit in Rome. During the nearly three-hour stroll, you’ll visit several photo-worthy piazzas, the Pantheon, Ponte Sant’Angelo and Castel Sant’Angelo, among other sights. Guides, who have backgrounds in subjects like history and architecture, earn praise from reviewers for their entertaining storytelling and thoughtful restaurant and activity recommendations.

Tours, which are limited to 15 participants, operate twice daily at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. In total, you’ll walk less than 2 miles. According to the company, the tour is suitable for travel strollers and wheelchairs. Though the tour is free, it’s recommended that you reserve your spot in advance via the company’s website (guides do not wait at the departure point unless reservations are booked). At the end of the tour, you can tip your guide based on your experience.

Best Rome Tours

Courtesy of Secret Food Tours Rome

Secret Food Tours – Rome Food Tour

Price: Adults from 79 euros (about $86); kids from 69 euros (about $75)
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours

Dine your way through the historical center of Rome, visiting cafes, markets and shops for a total of up to seven stops. During the tour, you’ll walk through neighborhoods like the Campo de’ Fiori and the Jewish quarter with an enthusiastic guide who ties together history and insights about traditional dishes. The focus is on Italian-style dining: savoring the perfect cappuccino, sampling fresh pizzas and homemade pastas, pairing wines with a variety of cheeses, gelato and more. Travelers praise the guides’ knowledge of Roman cuisine and the amount and quality of the food.

Tours depart daily at 11 and 11:30 a.m. An additional 5 p.m. tour may be available depending on the day. Private tours are also an option.

The Roman Guy – Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Price: Adults from $119; kids from $56
Duration: 3 hours

Hoping to see the Vatican sans enormous crowds? This three-hour tour from The Roman Guy convenes at 7:45 a.m., allowing you to enter the Vatican Museums an hour before they open to the general public. First, relish the tranquil Sistine Chapel, which welcomes upward of 25,000 visitors daily during the summer. Afterward, follow your guide to museum highlights, including Raphael’s paintings, the Borgia Apartments and the Gallery of the Maps. Travelers rave about the knowledgeable guides and say the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel without the crowds is worth the tour price (though reviewers warn that you will still encounter quite a few other tour groups enjoying early access to the site).

Tours are available Monday through Saturday. Groups are capped at 14 people. If you’re short on time, consider The Roman Guy’s abridged Vatican Highlights tour, which last 2.5 hours.

City Wonders – Tuscan Countryside Day Trip from Rome with 3-Course Lunch & Wine Tasting

Price: Adults from $112; kids from $102
Duration: 12 hours

If you want to visit Tuscany while in Rome, but don’t want to drive the approximately 175-mile journey yourself, consider this 12-hour excursion from City Wonders. You’ll depart from Rome at 7:30 a.m. via an air-conditioned coach bus to see famous hilltop towns, such as Montepulciano and Pienza. You’ll also visit the Renaissance church of St. Biagio before enjoying a three-course lunch and wine pairing in the famed Montalcino. Travelers say guides are informative and thoughtful, giving tourists ample time to explore the towns and take pictures. All agree that leaving the driving to a professional made the trip worthwhile.

Tours are offered daily. City Wonders also offers a variety of tours in Rome, including tours of the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Borghese Gallery.

Through Eternity Tours – Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Sistine Chapel: Essential Experience

Price: From 1,345 euros (about $1,458)
Duration: 6 hours

Conquer Rome in six hours with Through Eternity Tours. With your skip-the-line tickets, you’ll visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Professional, engaging guides – all fluent English speakers – allow you to set the pace, absorbing as much history and archeology as you want at each stop. Travelers say you’ll see much more on this half-day tour than you would if you were to visit each site on your own, as guides point out unexpected gems along the way.

Rates can vary considerably depending on the number in your party, and the company offers discounts for students and children. Bring stamina, a water bottle and wear comfortable walking shoes. When you’re ready for more, try one of Through Eternity’s other tours, such as its evening tour of Rome’s piazzas and fountains.

Walks of Italy – Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor

Price: Adults from $105; kids from $99
Duration: 3 hours

On this three-hour tour, you’ll enter the Colosseum through the “Gladiator’s Gate” – the entrance that was once used exclusively for gladiators 2,000 years ago. Once inside, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the Colosseum on the reconstructed arena floor as your guide shares the gory history of this famous landmark. Then, you’ll bypass the lines to tour the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Highlights include the cremation point of Julius Caesar, senate buildings and the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. Guides win kudos from travelers for their ability to discuss dense history topics in an engaging manner. Reviewers say the tour flies by thanks to the guides’ entertaining storytelling. They also appreciate the skip-the-line access to these must-see sights.

Tours, which are capped at 25 participants, are offered three times daily at 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Rates may vary based on the time of year, and they include all entrance tickets and the use of audio headsets during the tour. Walks of Italy also hosts cooking classes in Rome and organizes day trips to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

Maya Tours – Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Group Tour

Price: Adults from 45 euros (about $49); kids from 35 euros (about $38)
Duration: 2 hours

If you’re interested in visiting the Vatican Museums, but don’t want to devote more than a couple hours of your Rome vacation to the experience, consider this kid-friendly tour. In addition to skip-the-line access, your guide will show you the must-see artworks, several courtyards and galleries, and the Sistine Chapel. Reviewers praise guides for their interesting and informed commentary (which tourgoers can hear via audio headsets). Parents are particularly impressed with guides’ ability to engage children.

Tours are offered Monday through Saturday multiple times in the morning and afternoon. Maya Tours also operates longer, semiprivate tours of the Vatican.

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