I don’t want to brag, but Rome is a city I know. In my career as a nomad, I have visited numerous times and spent more than two months in the Eternal City. Each time I’d visited I heard awesome things about Walks of Italy.
During this time I’ve mastered the ancient Italian arts of getting hyper off of chugging espresso, gaining some spare pounds off of stuffing my face with gelato and wandering the historical sites of the Eternal City.
Yes, Rome and I are well acquainted, or at least, I that is what I thought.
You might not believe this but until this winter I had never taken a tour of Rome. Instead, I’ve always opted to explore the city armed with a guide book, or using my smartphone as a history book.Yes, I was always making my own Walking tour of Rome.
This winter was different. My family was visiting Europe for the first time, and we decided that it was impeccable timing for us to take an epic tour of Roma.
Being a self-proclaimed Rome expert, I wasn’t sure I would get much out of a tour with Walks of Italy.
But a little twang of curiosity whelmed up inside me. I modestly thought to myself, “With my vast wealth of knowledge about Rome I can easily keep up with a professional tour guide”. I puffed my chest out as I was quite confident I could hang with the best of them.
(I don’t want to spoil the rest of the post, but let’s just say I lost)
Walks of Italy Review
We chose the Walks of Italy – VIP Ceaser Palace tour for a couple of reasons.
1st- The tour starts in the Colosseum and Roman Forum. It was the perfect sightseeing tours in Rome for my family. It is also two areas I know well, and I secretly wanted to put my knowledge to the test.
2nd- The tour finishes with spending an hour in Caesar Augustus’s Palace. This palace has only recently been opened up to the public and is a Walks of Italy exclusive.
The sun was deceptively bright on this frigid winter day. We arrived at the meeting point in front of the Colosseum. While we waited for the rest of our group I snuck into the warmth of the nearby metro station for coffee. I had to be caffeinated for this Walks of Italy Review
Our guide was the most Italian woman I have ever met. Clapping her fingers against her thumb, she would shake her hand from chin to chest saying catch phrases like “Mamma Mia.” A couple of times she even compared Rome to pasta, saying things “ Roma is like a lasagna, anywhere you put a shovel in something pops out.” Sayings like that makes a sightseeing tour of Rome amazing and our Walks of Italy guide had a ton of them.
For a few reasons, the Colosseum is my favorite site in the world. Excitement overwhelmed me as we strolled to the front of the line which was rapidly forming outside of the entrance. One perk of the Walks of Italy tour was that we got to skip the lines!
After a short walk down the 2,000-year-old hall, we stepped into the center arena. Every time I’m here my imagination goes wild. I can’t help but picture the stands full, spectators yelling down at the warriors battling, and the roar of the crowds shaking the entire amphitheater.
Our guide started to explain the history of the Colosseum.
Yes, the time to test my skills had come. I eagerly waited for her to ask a question like a game show contest hovering over a buzzer. Soon I would chime in with the right answer proving to myself how much I knew about the city while simultaneously impressing everyone in the group with my vast knowledge of the history of Rome.
Then came the first question came “Does anyone know who built the Colosseum.”
I stopped mid-word. I knew when the Colosseum was built, and why it was constructed, but I’d never learned who made it.
Walks of Italy 1 – Stephen 0
And this was just the beginning of a very humbling day for me.
We toured around the Colosseum for the better part of an hour. The entire time our guide blew me away with facts I did not know.
Some of the major facts she said I knew and some I did not. Not only that but many things I had read turned out to only be myths. The tour not only focused on the major facts but the tiny details that I would have never learned on the internet.
I expected the guide to be good, but not this good.
The Roman Forum
Our next stop was the Roman Forum After our guides awesome display of knowledge in the Colosseum I knew she would also put me to shame here as well. Of course, I didn’t mind. I was pumped to absorb all this info on the Eternal City.
Walking past the crumbling pillars and buildings that were once the heart of Rome our guide pointed out what they were used for in ancient times.
Then came the biggest surprise of the day!
She pointed to a tiny crevice that led behind a wall and without warning said. “Behind there is the rock where they displayed Julius Caesar’s body”
My head swung around so fast there was an unsettling crack in my neck. “Right where we are standing,” she continued, “Is where Marc Anthony gave Caesar’s Burial Speech”.
I clutched my hand to my chest. I took in deep breaths, my heart unprepared for the shock wave that just hit me.
Now, I am going to confess something to you. I am a history nerd.
One of the reasons I love traveling is because it makes history jump off the pages of the textbook and come alive.
I’d roamed the forum many times, but never knew I was so close to where caesar’s body was displayed or that I had stood on the spot where Marc Anthony gave his famous speech.
The speech we all know that starts “Friends, countrymen, Romans” was written by Shakespeare.
However, according to historians, Marc Anthony did give a speech which he held up Caesar’s blood-soaked robes and called out his treacherous murderers.
I mentioned, I’m a history nerd right?
After pulling myself together, we finished the in-depth tour of the form. Now for the grand finale. Exclusive access to Caesar Augustus’s Palace on top of Palatine Hill.
This hill is the tallest of the famous seven hilltops that Rome was founded on. As Rome grew larger, becoming a global powerhouse, it was here that the emperors chose to make their home.
As we walked through the gardens of the Caesars towards the entrance to Augustus’s Palace, our tour guide intrigued us as she excitedly told tales of assassinations and plots against the various Roman Caesars.
Many of these are stories that I would have never found in a guide book, and I was completely enthralled with.
Being allowed to enter into this palace is so new, and so limited that we had to be escorted by someone that worked at the Roman Forum.
We entered through the small doorway into the ruins of a small room that was once a home to Rome’s most powerful Caesars.
As we stared at the old painted walls and ruins, our guide revealed the history of this Palace and the legacy of Augustus.
She told us how he was a very private person, hated parties, and often used these rooms as an escape to be only.
We wandered to other quarters of the palace. It was an incredible feeling to be one of the first people to be allowed to enter this area.
As out guide explained what the purpose of the rooms, painting on the walls, and even a pipe system I thought about how great it was to have someone explaining all this to me.
If I had visited this place myself, I wouldn’t have had a clue what I was looking at most of the time.
Walks of Italy Review – The Verdict of this sightseeing tours in Rome
My Walks of Italy Review is overwhelming positive.
Doing Rome with a guide book and the internet taught me a lot. However, I learned a lot more about the little details, epic stories, and historical facts from a professional guide.
She blew me out of the water! There was simply no contest.
Next time I am heading to Rome I am doing another Walks of Italy tour and getting even more first-hand knowledge of the city. So get ready there will be more Walks of Italy Review in the future!
If you like this Walks of Italy review and want to check out the day tours Rome they have then click on the picture below.