Activities and tours in Rome

From walking tours to gladiator lessons, bus tours to private guides, sidetrips to Pompeii and tours of the Vatican, here are the best guided microtours in Rome

surviving ancient Roman aquaduct near the Appian Way
Tours can show you the storybook bits of Rome that are hard to find on your own, like this stretch of surviving ancient Roman aquaduct near the Appian Way on a Catacombs and Roman Countryside Half-Day Walking Tour.
Even if you're a die-hard solo traveler and scoff at the folks being herded from one sight to another in the big tourist clots of a tour group, you can get a lot of mileage out of sightseeing guides once you're in Rome.

Bus tours of the city, escorted day trips to outlying sights and nearby towns like Tivoli (Hadrian's Villa and the Villa d'Este) and Naples & Pompeii, walking tours around town, Vespa tours of Rome, bike tours, art and architecture walks, guided tours through museums or cathedrals, Christian tours and events like papal audiences and touring the great churches of the city and the catacombs of the Appian Way, private guides—these are all what I call microtours (as opposed to the macrotours of fully escorted bus trips).

Segways on the Campidoglio in Rome
Seeing the classic sights on a Rome Segway Tour.
Local guides who concentrate only on one city or sight are usually experts, not tour bus escorts who’ve merely memorized a canned spiel for each town, stop, and sight along the way.

By combining do-it-yourself planning and travel with microtours, you can get the best of both worlds. The best microtours are packed with more information (history, background, anecdotes, details, and explanations) than any guidebook has room to print.

Tips & links

Find Rome tours and private guides
Be a head-of-the-class nerd

On any tour, stick next to the guide.

Walking from stop to stop on the tour, you’ll be able to chat with her, ask questions, and hear her answers and explanations to everyone else’s questions as well. You'll get a lot more out of your tour (and bang for your buck) if you just stick close to the guide.

How long does Rome take?

Planning your day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, three, or four days to spend in Rome.

» Rome itineraries

Rome tours

Share this page

Intrepid Travel 25% off


Useful links



Public transportation:


Rome airports: Airport transfers: Airfares:


Driving/parking: Car rentals:
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)

Cruise terminal: Transport airport—cruise terminal: Transport Rome hotels—cruise terminal: 

Train tix

Shortcuts to popular planning sections:

Airfares, Cars, Trains, Tours, Packages, Cruises, Lodging, Itineraries, Info, Packing, Prep, Comm

Follow ReidsItaly
Follow ReidsItaly on Twitter  Join the ReidsItaly fan page  Follow Reids Italy Adventures blog