Tours You Can Select on Our Rome Culinary Vacations

February 18, 2022  |  By Peg Kern
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A view of St. Peter's and the Vatican fro a distance.Rome is perhaps my very favorite city in the world. We have long organized custom itineraries in Rome for our travelers, including hotels, foodie tours, cooking classes, cultural tours, and more. And now we offer two set culinary tours in Rome, one of 3 nights and one of 5 nights, which you can select as offered or customize to your heart’s delights!

The famous fountain of Trevi seen on a Rome food tour with The International Kitchen.Part of the charm of Rome are all the amazing sites to see. If it’s your first time in the Eternal City, you will probably opt for a tour of the Vatican and the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. You might also select the Colosseum and Roman Forum. 

If you have visited Rome before, or if you have a particular religious background, you might select a tour of Christian Rome and the Catacombs, or of Jewish Rome. You might decide to head outside of Rome to nearby Ostia Antica, or to Umbria for a wine tasting tour. 

Whatever your interests, we can help you select the tours that make the most sense for you. Read on for some of the tour options we can offer you during our 3-night and 5-night Rome Food and Wine Tours!

Visiting Vatican City during a cooking vacation in Italy.Tour of Vatican City 

The Vatican is one of Rome’s most impressive and most visited sites, and you could easily spend several days there. Our Highlights of the Vatican tour includes what you would expect: the Museii Vaticani (Vatican Museums), with the Ancient Greek statues, Maps Gallery, Raphael’s “Stanze” (with the “School of Athens” painting), Giotto, Caravaggio, and, of course, the Sistine Chapel. The tour also includes St. Peter’s Basilica, itself home to major works of art like Bernini’s Baldacchino and Michelangelo’s PIetà statue. You can also see the tombs of the popes and the beautiful baroque St. Peter’s Square. 

A Swiss Guard outside of St. Peter's in Rome.If you are doing our 5-night tour you might elect to spend longer at the Vatican and climb the Cupola to see the stunning views of Rome from the top of the Basilica. 

Another option is to visit the Vatican Gardens, which are not open to the public but can be visited during pre-arranged private tours. 

The Vatican Highlights tour is available daily Monday through Saturday. We do not recommend doing the tour on Wednesdays during the Spring or Summer, as those are papal audience days and the Vatican is very crowded. If you are interested in attending a papal audience, we can arrange tickets for you, but we still recommend visiting the basilica and museums a different day. 

A view of the Roman Forum during a culinary vacation in Italy with The International Kitchen.Tour of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum 

Among the most iconic sites in Rome is the Colosseum, the ancient Roman amphitheater built almost 2000 years ago. You will visit the ancient area, home to the gladiator bouts, as well as the nearby Circus Maximus, the ancient stadium between the Palatine and Aventine Hill that was the site of chariot races and other ancient Roman “entertainment,” including religious persecutions. Visit also the Palatine Hill, where Rome was founded, and the Roman Forum, the large square that was the seat of government in ancient Rome, and home to many of its most important buildings. 

The Jewish quarter of Rome, with the synagogue and the Teatro Marcello.Jewish Rome Tour

We can also organize a tour of the famous “Ghetto Ebreo,” or Jewish Quarter of Rome. Learn the history of the quarter and of Rome’s jewish population through the centuries, and see such cultural sites as the Synagogue, the Portico d’Ottavia ruins, and the Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain), a whimsical late-Renaissance fountain. The Jewish Quarter is also known for its food, and we can include tastings or a stop at one of its well-known restaurants. 

Visiting Piazza di Spagna in Rome.Centro Storico Tour

How about a guided evening stroll, experiencing Rome as the locals do, through the famed piazze and streets? In the evenings Romans flock to the famous squares such as Piazza Navona (Fountain of the Four Rivers), Piazza della Rotonda (Pantheon), and Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), and stroll down the Via del Corso or over to the Fontana di Trevi. Stop for a gelato or a digestivo, and live like a local! 

A view of the ancient Appian Way.Tour of the Appian Way and the Catacombs

The Appian Way is one of the oldest roads in the world, and was a central highway of ancient Rome. If you’ve seen the movie “Spartacus” you may remember the ending scene where the crucified bodies of the slaves that led the revolt against Rome line the road on either side. The scene depicts a real life event in which some 6000 slaves were crucified, their bodies left to line the Appian Way for some 130 miles. It is one of the many famous moments that happened along the road.  

The Appian Way is still largely intact and full of history, lined with ancient tombs, as well as the site of the famed Christian catacombs, including those of of San Sebastiano and Saint Callisto. 

Visiting Ostia Antica during a Rome culinary tour.Tour of Ostia Antica

Ostia was an ancient Roman harbor town, and is today the site of “Ostia Antica,” a large archeological site about 15 miles from Rome. If you want to visit the ruins of an ancient Roman city and don’t have the time or desire to head to the more famous southern ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum, visit Ostia Antica. It is remarkably well-preserved and one of the hidden gems of ancient Roman ruins that you can visit. 

Visiting Orvieto and the Umbrian wine road.Tour of Umbrian Wine Road & Orvieto

If you want to head outside of Rome for a day, we can organize a wonderful tour into nearby Umbria including a private winery visit with a gourmet lunch and wine tasting, followed by a stop in the beautiful town of Orvieto to visit the Cathedral and have a stroll down its picturesque streets. This day is about great wine, great food, beautiful vistas and tranquility, a break from busy Rome.

Ovato Fountain of the Villa d'EsteTour of Tivoli: Hadrian’s Villa and the Villa d’Este

Also outside of Rome lies Tivoli, which is home to two very famous sites. The first is Hadrian’s Villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of the stunning ruins and archaeological remains of a large villa complex that was constructed around AD 120 by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.The second is the Villa d’Este, a 16th-century villa that is one of the prime examples of Italian Renaissance gardens. Its terraced gardens and plethora of fountains make it an unforgettable experience. 

The oculus of the great dome of the Roman Pantheon.Of course, there are plenty of other sites to see in and around Rome, so if you have a particular request, please let us know!

And don’t forget to check out our Top 15 Sites to See in Rome!

By Peg Kern

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