Rome is a city that is rich in history and has remained one of the most visited cities by Christians from around the globe. From Caesar and Pontius Pilate, to St. Paul and the Apostles, visitors will find that this tour allows them to walk in the footsteps of the Saints.
The Christian Rome Tour combines some of Rome’s most significant and incredible churches that have inspired pilgrims and visitors for centuries, with top historic sites, monuments, piazzas, and museums that you expect to see in the Eternal City. Through this tour, you get the best of both worlds in one single day.
* If you request a port pick up from Civitavecchia, your professional English speaking driver will pick you up on the pier at 8:00 AM sharp and will return you back to the port at around 5:00 PM.
* If you request a hotel pick up from Rome, your professional English speaking driver will pick you up at your hotel at 9:00 AM sharp, and bring you back to your hotel at approximately 5:00 PM.
We start with an easy and comfortable drive to Rome that will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. During this time, your private driver will point out various points of interest along the way and answer any questions that you may have about your day.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR PRICE LIST AND OPTION TO BOOK THIS TOUR
Our first stop is the Circus Maximus, the large ancient stadium where chariot races were held for the entertainment of Roman citizens and royalty alike.
Commanding the view behind the stadium, is the Palatine Hill that can be considered Ancient Rome’s version of the Hamptons or Beverly Hills. Emperors and the upper crust of Ancient Rome built elegant villas and luxurious palaces away from the hustle and bustle of Rome.
Your journey will continue to St.Paul outside the Walls Basilica, the second largest basilica in Rome after St Peter’s Basilica. Built by Emperor Constantine in the IV Century over the burial site of St Paul the Apostle, it is among the four highest ranking Catholic churches known as the Papal Basilicas, and a top pilgrimage destination for millions of Christians world wide.
The beautiful church you see today is an exact replica reconstruction of what stood here before an unfortunate fire destroyed it in 1823. With help from donors from as far as far as Russia and Egypt in addition to generous contributions by the Catholic community, this glorious testimony to a revered saint was restored, and the basilica has remained among the most visited churches in Rome.
We will then make our way to the Appian Way, one of the most strategically significant roads of Rome built in 312 BC - making it one of the earliest roads of Ancient Rome. According to Christian tradition, it was along the Appian Way that an escaping Peter encountered a vision of Christ, inspiring him to go back into the city to face certain martyrdom.
As we make our way along the Appian Way, we will visit the catacombs, the early 2nd and 3rd century AD Christian underground receptacles of the dead. Burials were forbidden within the city walls, so beneath the surface, miles of tunnels were hewn out of soft tufa stone.
Entrance fee is 8 Euros per person that includes a guided tour inside the catacombs, explaining the significance of the many things that you will see. You will join a small group of English-speaking travelers.
We then travel onward to S. Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains), also known as the Basilica Eudoxiana. It was first built in 432-440 to house a portion of the chains that held Saint Peter where he was imprisoned in Jerusalem.
Here you will also have the honor of viewing Michelangelo's Moses that was completed 1515. This impressive sculpture was originally intended as part of a massive 47-statue, free-standing funeral monument for Pope Julius II to be included in St Peter’s Basilica, but the Pope suspended Michelangelo’s work on the statue in order for him to begin the fresco masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The intended tomb never materialized as the Pope intended, but eventually the Moses statue was completed and became the centerpiece of the Pope's funeral monument and tomb in his family's church.
Next stop will be at Piazza Venezia with the controversial Vittorio Emanuele Monument, dedicated to the first king of Italy.
In order to build this huge monument, a large area of the Capitoline Hill and a medieval neighborhood were sacrificed. Romans regard the monument as pompous and too large. Even with all of its controversy and criticism, the monument attracts a large number of visitors and it’s an iconic representation of Rome. It is also a wonderful landmark to find your way in the city.
Next you can make a stop for lunch. You may choose between an informal cafe, trattoria, pizzeria or a traditional ristorante (restaurant).
After lunch, you will visit the tiniest country in the world, the Vatican. Inside the Vatican Museums, you will be amazed and delighted at the vast collection of masterpieces, including the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.
Please Note: Admission to the Vatican Museums is 20 Euros per person (pelase see the Note section below for more information) and visitors are required to check-in bags, tripods, backpacks or bulky luggage. In this case, we strongly suggest you leave large items inside the van with the driver because checking in these items at the museum will result in delays coming out. Also be advised that there is a security point before museum with a metal detector and X-ray machine for your personal items much like you see in airports, so kindly leave sharp items behind.
We highly recommend that you allow us to book a personal English speaking licensed tour guide for you inside the Vatican. The Vatican Museums is one of the three largest museums in the world with a labyrinth of galleries and halls that can be very confusing and many of the significant pieces of art can be overlooked. We can reserve a guide for you at a price of 120 Euro for two hours up to six people, and 150 Euros for two hours up to eight people. We partner with licensed guides based on their expertise and professionalism. This fee is paid directly to the tour guide at the end of the service. Please notify us in advance if you prefer a private tour guide since during peak travel season they get booked quickly.
It will take two hours to visit the Museum, The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Most visitors to the Vatican Museums choose to visit the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, the more popular areas in the museum. While photography and videography are permitted inside the museums (in some areas flash photography is not allowed), it is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel.
Tips: Please remember to dress appropriately for St Peter’s Basilica: no bare shoulders or bare knees are permitted. Capri-type pants are completely acceptable for ladies and men can wear shorts if they are long enough to cover the knees. Photography is allowed in St. Peter’s Basilica because most of the immense artworks are made in the mosaic style which is not harmed by photography or flash. The Vatican has the largest mosaic school in the world. If you would like to see the original paintings that were used to complete the mosaics in St. Peter’s, you can see them in the Pinoteca room in the Vatican Museums.
Our next destination will be the Pantheon, once the temple of all Roman gods. It is the best preserved of all ancient Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. The Pantheon is the oldest standing domed structure in Rome as well as in continuous use throughout its history due to its transformation into a church that is also the burial place for kings like Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of Italy, and notable artists like Raphael.
Don’t be surprised to see a bird or two flying through the building. The Oculus (Latin for ‘eye’) at the top of the dome has always been open to the weather, allowing rain to enter and fall to the floor, where it is carried away through drains.
We then make our way to the famed Trevi fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city. Legend has it that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they will be assured a return to Rome. The Trevi fountain was also the setting of the well known movie Three Coins in a Fountain. Many people, however, are unaware that the "three coins" of Three Coins in the Fountain were thrown by three different characters. The current interpretation is that two coins will lead to a new romance and three will ensure either a marriage or divorce. Another current version of this legend is that it is lucky to throw three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the fountain.
The fountain is also the setting for an iconic scene in Federico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita. Approximately 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day and are collected at night. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy.
Tips: The area around the fountain is quite crowded, so be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close at hand. Do not accept ‘gifts’ from salesmen around the fountain. They may offer you a rose and when you accept it, they will expect payment from you. This advice should be applied when visiting other popular piazzas in Rome.
Finally, you can rest and have a seat on the Spanish Steps where you might be tempted to enjoy a scoop of gelato, or two or three on the famous 18th century winding steps that connect the square below to the French church of Trinita dei Monti above. The tall Obelisk Sallustiano, erected in 1789, is a smaller version copy of the large Egyptian obelisk belonging to Pharaoh Ramses II that is the centerpiece of Piazza del Popolo.
Below is the early 1600’s Baroque fountain, “Fontanna della Barcaccio”, or “The Fountain of the Old Boat”, a type of shallow boat typically used for carrying wine to the port of Ripetta. The unique fountain is credited to Pietro Bernini, the father of the famous sculptur Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
As you climb the Spanish Steps, the corner building on your right is the house where the famous English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821. The name “Spanish Steps” was given after the Spanish Embassy that was permanently located there in 1647, and it later became the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.
From here, you will begin your relaxed drive back to your ship in Civitavecchia.
Thank you for choosing Stefano Rome Tours. We look forward to seeing you in Rome soon!