Hidden Rome

Basillica Santa Sabina
Basillica Santa Sabina
Nave of Basillica Santa Sabina
Nave of Basillica Santa Sabina
The ancient road of Clivus Scauri on Celio hill
The ancient road of Clivus Scauri on Celio hill
The Appian Way
The Appian Way
St. Callixtus catacombs
St. Callixtus catacombs
Exterior of the Colosseum
Exterior of the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Amazing Fountain of Tritons
Amazing Fountain of Tritons
Borromini False Perspective
Borromini False Perspective
Vault, Interior of the Fourth Century S. Constanza - photo courtesy of Shaun Dunphy
Vault, Interior of the Fourth Century S. Constanza - photo courtesy of Shaun Dunphy
Rome's roof-tops - photo courtesy of Bert Kaufman
Rome's roof-tops - photo courtesy of Bert Kaufman
Dome and columns, Interior of Santa Constanza - photo courtesy of Seier & Seier
Dome and columns, Interior of Santa Constanza - photo courtesy of Seier & Seier
Baths of Caracalla
Baths of Caracalla
Mithraeum san clemente rome
Mithraeum san clemente rome

Rome is the pivotal city of Europe, a capital that has dominated the history of the last two millennia. Its famous, great monuments are accompanied by a host of smaller, more difficult to reach, or just hidden sites and monuments all of which tell their own stories about the eternal city. This tour will take you to some of Rome’s greatest monuments but also to some of its most secret, through tombs and catacombs, temples and villas – it’s a chance to see the imperial city from a new point of view. We will be based in the very centre of the city with time for you to explore on your own.

This tour has a plethora of special visits. We have gained access to some of the most exquisite and important monuments: We visit the tombs of the Scipiones, the family which produced Hannibal’s nemesis, Scipio Africanus, as well as the catacombs of Saint Agnes on the Via Nomentana, built adjacent to one of the great churches of the age of Constantine. We also explore the Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus, created literally beneath the stairs of the great altar of Hercules. Perhaps the piece de resistance is the visit to the extraordinary Domus Aurea, Nero’s Palace built on 4 hills and now covered by later imperial projects.

  • Explore the underground ruins of Nero’s infamous Golden House, a revolution in architecture and luxurious design
  • Visit Ostia Antica, the wonderfully preserved great port city that kept the capital of an empire fed and supplied
  • Walk along the Appian Way, visiting the Villa of the Quintilli and the Circus of Maxentius

Themes

  • Romans
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • Small Group
  • Just One Hotel
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Arrive in Rome and transfer to our city centre hotel.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

Today we drive to the Appian Way and visit some of the villas of the senatorial aristocracy found there. Here we will see the vast suburban estate of the Quintili, so sumptuous that the emperor Commodus executed its owners and confiscated it. We proceed to the equally extensive Villa of the Emperor Maxentius built in order to be a dynastic centre for his family. It includes a palace/villa, a chariot racing circus and large mausoleum. We will focus on the well preserved Circus which includes starting gates. In the afternoon we will visit another huge imperial project, the Baths of Caracalla, capable of accommodating thousands at a time.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 3

This morning we visit another imperial palace, the legendary Golden House which the Emperor Nero built after the great fire of Rome as a rus in urbe, a countryside in the city, and as such included artificial lakes, fountains, vineyards, as well as flocks. The megalomaniac building was eventually demolished by his successors and can now only be visited at certain times, in groups, where it ongoing restoration can be viewed. More underground surprises will follow at the church of San Clemente, and then an afternoon visit to the Colosseum where we will be permitted to visit the areas below the arena floor of this iconic monument.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 4

Ancient Rome was not simply a city of palaces and huge buildings: there were plenty of workshops, warehouses and docks too. We visit the Forum Boarium, the bull market, where cargoes were unloaded for storage or sale from the river barges. Here we will see the temples of Portunus and Hercules, and visit the churches of Santa Maria in Cosmedin and San Giorgio in Velabro. We will descend below to explore the hidden Mithraeum of the Circus Maximus. In the afternoon we ascend the Aventine Hill to visit Santa Sabina, one of Rome’s most beautiful Late Roman churches, and explore the excavations below. These include bits of the 6th century Servian Wall, imbedded into a much later house.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 5

Rome was transformed in the middle ages to become the city we see today, with a tangle of streets and grand monuments of the past half hidden in her walls and squares. We will visit the Cripta Balbi, one of the most important excavations undertaken in recent decades, where the massive change from ancient to modern was examined in a ground breaking excavation. Afterwards we take a walk through part of the Field of Mars visiting well-known sites like the Pantheon to see this for ourselves. The afternoon is completely free for you to enjoy.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: Breakfast and dinner included

Day 6

Today, a series of hidden gems scattered around the city. We begin on the Via Nomentana at Santa Constanza, built as a mausoleum for the sister of Constantine the Great. Later we will visit the early Christian catacombs that lie below the adjacent church of San Agnese. The theme continues in the afternoon when we make our way to the Aurelian walls where we shall find two exquisite and highly important tombs, the Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas, and the tomb of the Scipiones, the great family of the Republic who brought glory to Rome.

Hotel: Albergo Santa Chiara
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

A morning drive to Ostia Antica, on the coast, which was Rome’s great harbour centre. Here goods for the teeming bazaars of the city were stored and prepared for sending upriver. We will explore this extensive town and its facilities, the level of preservation is comparable to Pompeii. In the afternoon we drive on to the airport for our individual flights home.

Meals: Breakfast is included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotel

Hotel Info

We stay in a fantastic 5* hotel in the very heart of the city - the ideal location from which to explore the delights of Rome - only a few steps away from St Peter’s Church and the Pantheon. There is a roof terrace bar with excellent panoramic views across the city.

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

There are a few options for joining the tour and we’ll be happy to help or book your international flights for you*

  1. You can choose to join the group flights departing from London (connecting flights & transfers available).
  2. You can choose to book your flight directly to your final destination. You can either meet the group flight at the airport arrivals hall or the hotel (transfers available).
  3. You can book your flights on your own, all we ask that you forward your flight details to us as soon as possible after booking.

For further information just call our US office on 888-331-3476. (*Additional cost applies.)

ARC License

Andante Travels is an Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) accredited travel provider. We have highly trained staff who can book flights at excellent rates from airports across the USA, all booked with the knowledge, expertise and trusted backing of ARC air travel intelligence services.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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Email tours@andantetravels.com | Call UK 01722 713800

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2020 Tour Details

Fri 20th Mar - Thu 26th Mar

Call for Availability

$3,145

without flights

sgl supp: $480

HRO20A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

Fri 23rd Oct - Thu 29th Oct

Available

$3,215

without flights

sgl supp: $585

HRO20B

Led By: Dr Eireann Marshall

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