I offer private, in-depth tours of Rome and southern Italy for small groups (max 6 people). My offerings include culinary, archeological, and art historical itineraries, as well as wine and beer tastings. To request rates and availability, please use the contact form at the end of the page.
Culinary Tours of Rome
Roman Cuisine in the Centro Storico
This walking tour explores the history of Roman food commerce and focuses on the delis, bakeries, cafes and gelato shops of Rome’s historical center. We will graze through central Rome and taste bread, coffee, gelato and cheese while delving deep into the city’s cultural history.
Roman Cuisine in Testaccio
This walking tour traces the history of cuisine in the Testaccio district. We will begin in the new Testaccio market, which sells produce, meat, cheese and more. At the old slaughterhouse, we will discus offal and other poor cuts, then visit bakeries and food shops to taste local specialties.
Roman Cuisine in Prati and Trionfale
The neighborhood just north of the Vatican is pleasantly tourist free and residential. Its food shops and covered market are sensational and the area is home to the world’s best pizza by the slice. This walking tour will explore this overlooked district and focus on its delis, bakeries, market, cafes and gelato shops.
Food & Archeology: Trade, Traffic, and Enterprise from Antiquity to Today
A source of both nutrition and pleasure, food is also a booming commercial enterprise with a long, storied history. This tour allows visitors to mix archeology and culinary history in order to better understand the commercial aspect of Rome’s cuisine throughout history. Our time begins in the ancient produce and cattle markets near the Tiber River before proceeding to the Capitoline Hill. A site for ancient animal sacrifice, it will allow us to understand the importance of religious ritual and the economy of food in the ancient world. As a way to discover well known sites in a new light, monuments such as at the Circus Maximus also help explain how cuisine was used as a means to satisfy and manipulate the ancient Roman population. We then moved toward Testaccio, an area where both ancient and modern archeological ruins testify to the diets and tastes of Romans from antiquity to present day. Issues of hygiene, regulation, importation, and economics are all ripe for discussion as we discover the evolution of food commerce in Rome. Our time concludes with a stroll through one of Testaccio’s former slaughterhouses and a visit to Città dell’Altra Economia, a space dedicated to organic food and wine, bringing our lesson full circle from antiquity to modern day.
La Cucina Povera: Offal in the Roman Culinary Tradition
Originally the food of the poor (cucina povera means peasant cooking), offal is now regarded as a delicacy and is served in the best of Rome’s traditional restaurants. We will begin the tour with a walk through Testaccio, paying visits to the market and the former slaughterhouse. The tour will culminate with a curated lunch of organ meats and poor cuts at a typical restaurant.
La Cucina Ebraica: Roman Jewish Cuisine
This walking tour, followed by a curated lunch, will focus on the history and development of Rome’s Jewish food traditions. We will explore 22 centuries of culinary evolution and taste local and seasonal dishes at kosher bakeries and a restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto.
Introduction to Italian Wines
The world of Italian wine, with its 20 regions and hundreds of appellations, can be intimidating. During this wine tasting held at a wine bar, we will demystify Italian vino by sampling an array of wines paired with food.
Italian Craft Beers
The quality and production of Italian craft beers has increased exponentially in the past few years. Learn about the country’s traditions, trends and producers during a beer tasting and food pairing at a Roman pub.
This tasting, which takes place at a wine bar, will focus on “natural” wine—wine that has been made with minimal chemical intervention in the vineyard and cellar (the vast majority of wine does not fall into this category!). We will address the controversies surrounding Italian wine labeling, seek a definition of the elusive term “natural wines” and taste spectacular–and affordable–esoteric bottles.
Art Historical and Archeological Tours of Rome
This walking tour takes a layer-by-layer look at the complex archaeological zones of the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum. The tour provides context for other ancient ruins in the city and leaves visitors with a deeper understanding of ancient Roman culture.
Field of Mars
This is a leisurely walking tour through the historical center, where Romans have been living, worshiping and gathering for more than 2000 years. The area is densely populated by sites from the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Baroque Age. The tour visits Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Campo dei Fiori, Renaissance piazzas and baroque churches. It can be tailored to focus on a specific theme or art historical period.
Modern Rome sits atop as much as 30 feet of archeology, a phenomenon that has led to the preservation of countless ancient monuments, including houses, temples, sewers and theaters. This didactic walk focuses on the urban stratification that characterizes the city’s architectural history. Due to irregular opening hours, sites will vary depending on the day of the week, but may include San Clemente, San Nicola in Carcere, the Crypta Balbi, the Vicus Caprarius and the Case Romane on the Celio.
The role of Augustus in shaping the Imperial Rome we still see while passing through Rome’s historic center cannot be understated. His reign had a lasting impact almost unparalleled in ancient history, with his name becoming synonymous with the Empire. In celebration of the 2000 year anniversary of this great ruler’s death, this walking tour was developed to explore the manner in which Augustus definitively transformed the Roman Republic into his own Imperial showpiece through the use of political architecture. Our time together begins in the Forum of Augustus, an ambitious public building program and a strong introduction to architecture as propaganda. As we amble our way into the heart of the historic center, the Theater of Marcellus, Pantheon, Augustan sundial, Ara Pacis, and Mausoleum of Augustus will provide a rich, physical textbook for how Augustus’ architectural planning, both in form and function, bolstered his political ambitions. We will touch on topics of daily life during Augustus’ reign, from reforming taxation and developing courier systems to the creation of official fire and police departments for the city of Rome. At the end of our time together you will come away with a greater appreciation for and understanding of Augustus’ legacy and his continuing impact on how we view Rome.
The first Jews arrived in Rome twenty-two centuries ago and their rich historical legacy is alive and well today. This tour focuses on the history of Rome’s Jewish community and begins with a trip to the ancient Jewish Catacombs near the Appian Way. This is followed by a visit to the Jewish Ghetto, the neighborhood were Jews were obligated to live by order of the Pope from 1555 until 1870.
Just across the Tiber River from the historical center, Trastevere was the neighborhood where foreigners and worshipers of foreign cults dwelled during Roman times. Frequently overlooked by visitors, Trastevere is a charming maze of medieval streets and home to some of the Rome’s most picturesque squares. We will visit ancient churches like the Basilica of Santa Cecilia and Santa Maria in Trastevere and explore the theme of daily life in ancient, medieval and modern Rome.
This tour will visit the Capitoline Museums–two buildings and an underground tunnel–which house the greatest collection of antiquities in Rome. The museum visit will focus on Imperial artwork, the influence of Greek art on Roman iconography, mythological subjects, as well as the styles and materials employed by the Romans.
A visit to the Appian Way—Queen of Roads—begins at the Circus Maximus, then proceeds to the nearby Baths of Caracalla, and onwards to the Circus of Maxentius and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella.
After a 30-minute train ride, we will arrive at one of the greatest ancient Roman sites. The seaside town of Ostia reached its peak in the 2nd century when it was a vital administrative center for commerce. We will walk the ancient streets and visit a bathing complex, temples, a theater, a forum, restaurants and houses.
Custom Tours of Rome
Half-Day Custom Tour
We can design a half-day custom tour tailored to your interests. Some examples include “Classical Rome”, “Ancient Statuary in the National Museums”, “A Runner’s Tour” and “Pigneto, Prenestina and the Periphery”.
Full-Day Custom Tour
Mix and match from the tours above or we can design a custom itinerary based on your interests.
Other Tours of Rome
I can suggest colleagues for private cooking classes and customized shopping itineraries.
Drop me a line with queries about tours via the contact form below. Let me know your travel dates and tour preferences and I will get back to you with availability and rates.
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