Delve deep into the history and mystery of Rome with an insider’s look at the Eternal City’s vibrant culture and astonishing abundance of artistic treasures on this VIP insider's access tour of the Eternal City.

Starting at: $4,595 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The legendary Roman Colosseum  A higher tier of the Roman Colosseum  The Roman Forum  The Roman Forum  View of St. Peter's Basilica  View of Rome from St. Peter’s Basilica, with Bernini’s colonnade  The vast interior of St. Peter’s Basilica   Interior of St. Peter's Basilica with Bernini's Baldacchino, or canopy, over the high altar  Michelangelo’s early Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican  Typical Roman lunch spot  Artichokes, a traditional Roman appetizer  Biscotti, a traditional Italian pastry  Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona  Trevi Fountain  Trevi Fountain

Insider's Rome

8 days from $4,595

Delve deep into the history and mystery of Rome with an insider’s look at the Eternal City’s vibrant culture and astonishing abundance of artistic treasures on this VIP insider's access tour of the Eternal City.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The Smithsonian opens doors to sites that you could not see on your own and to travel with a Smithsonian Journeys Expert brings life to the history and romance of the experience.

- Barbara C.

I learned more about myself and the world through Smithsonian Journeys. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait for others to have it too.

- Betsy W.

We saw a lot in a short time and really got a good feel for Rome.

- Mary K.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Delve deep into the history and mystery of Rome with an insider’s look at the Eternal City’s astonishing artistic treasures. During this exceptional tour, enjoy private tours of Rome’s finest art collections, ancient archaeological sites, and lesser-known gems. Explore the famous Colosseum on a private tour that features the newly opened third tier and underground area.

Highlights Include: 

  • Museum Gems: Take private tours of world-class art collections. The Borghese Gallery features an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities, including numerous pieces by Bernini and Caravaggio, as well as works by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, and other artists. Visit the Villa Farnesina to admire the beautiful 16th-century architecture and frescoes by Raphael.
  • The Vatican: See the treasures of the Vatican on a guided visit, including the expansive St. Peter’s Basilica (including the tomb of St. Peter) and the Vatican Museums, culminating with the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling frescoes.
  • Official Rome: Visit the Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the president of the Italian Republic. Located on the highest of Rome’s seven hills, it was begun in 1583 and became one of the largest palaces in the world. 

The Smithsonian opens doors to sites that you could not see on your own and to travel with a Smithsonian Journeys Expert brings life to the history and romance of the experience.

- Barbara C.

I learned more about myself and the world through Smithsonian Journeys. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait for others to have it too.

- Betsy W.

We saw a lot in a short time and really got a good feel for Rome.

- Mary K.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2016 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Rome, Italy

Day 2 — Arrive in Rome

Arrive in Rome and transfer from the airport to your hotel. This evening, get to know your fellow tour participants at a festive welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Colosseum and Roman Forum

Take an in-depth look at Roman life with a visit to the iconic Colosseum, begun by Emperor Vespasian in A.D. 70 and completed ten years later during the reign of his son, Titus as a venue for gladiatorial games and other events. Enjoy a private guided tour of the underground areas—the “backstage” of the Colosseum—and the third tier, which offers spectacular views of the arena and beyond. Enjoy a lunch together savoring typical Roman dishes. In the afternoon, meet with an archaeologist who will be your guide inside the Roman Forum—once the teeming heart of Rome and the epicenter of ancient Roman life and government. (B,L)

Day 4 — Villa Farnesina, Galleria Doria Pamphili

Begin the day with a guided visit to the Villa Farnesina, built in the early 16th century for the wealthy Sienese banker Agostino Chigi. This suburban Renaissance palace features frescos by a variety of artists, including well-known works by Raphael. Then enjoy guided sightseeing with a visit to the 17th-century Galleria Doria Pamphili, with a fine collection of paintings and sculpture including works by Caravaggio and Velasquez. (B)

Day 5 — Vatican City

Today, visit the world’s smallest country, Vatican City. Begin with an awe-inspiring tour of the museum, including the Sistine Chapel with its world-famous works by Michelangelo. Then move on to the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, which remains one of the holiest sites in Christendom. After lunch, descend to the unique Vatican excavations and step back in time in one of the Vatican’s best kept secrets. Inside, visit the partially excavated Roman Necropolis—a dark city of house-like mausoleums arranged along narrow, dimly-lit streets, and adorned with frescoes, inscriptions, and stucco decorations.  It is also known to be the home of the tomb of St. Peter, recognized by the Vatican as the first pope. This evening is free to explore Rome on your own. (B)

Day 6 — Borghese Gallery

Visit the beautiful Borghese Gallery this morning for a guided tour of its impressive collection of paintings, sculpture, and antiquities, including numerous pieces by Bernini and Caravaggio, as well as works by Titian, Raphael, Rubens, and many others. (B)

Day 7 — Rome and the President of the Italian Republic’s Residence

Enjoy a guided visit to Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. Located on the highest of Rome’s seven hills, it was begun in 1583 as a summer residence for Pope Gregory XIII and is one of the largest palaces in the world. In the late 19th century, it became the official residence of the new Kings of Italy. Take a panoramic bus tour, encompassing all the sites, monuments, and history of this vast city featuring commentary from your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. This evening, celebrate your Roman holiday with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 8 — Depart Rome

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for homebound flights. (B)

2017 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Rome

Day 2 — Rome

Arrive in Rome and transfer from the airport to your hotel. This evening, get to know your fellow tour participants at a festive welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Rome

Travel back in Roman history with a visit to the iconic Colosseum, begun by the emperor Vespasian in 70 A.D. and completed 10 years later during the reign of his son Titus as a venue for gladiatorial games and other events. Enjoy a private guided tour of the underground areas – the “backstage” of the Colosseum – and the third tier, which offers spectacular views of the arena and beyond.  Enjoy a Roman-style lunch together. This afternoon, visit the Forum with a local archaeologist. As the heart of the Roman Empire it is filled with remains of key temples and civic buildings. (B, L)

Day 4 — Rome

Begin the day with a guided visit to the Villa Farnesina, built in the early 16th century for the wealthy Sienese banker Agostino Chigi. This suburban Renaissance palace features frescos by a variety of artists, including well-known works by Raphael. 

Travel to charming Trastevere, considered one of the most fascinating districts in all of Rome.  Enjoy lunch and time at leisure to explore this vibrant city before continuing on to the Jewish Catacombs, hidden underneath Via Appia. (B)

Day 5 — Vatican City

Today, visit the world’s smallest country, Vatican City. Begin with a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, descending to the necropolis below for a visit to the tomb of the apostle, recognized by the Vatican as the first pope. Next, explore the mind-boggling Vatican Museums with your guide, including a visit to the Sistine Chapel with its world-famous works by Michelangelo. The remainder of the day is free to explore Rome on your own. (B)

Day 6 — Rome

Visit the beautiful Borghese Gallery this morning for a guided tour of its impressive collection of paintings, sculpture, and antiquities, including numerous pieces by Bernini and Caravaggio, as well as works by Titian, Raphael, Rubens, and many others. (B)

Day 7 — Rome

Begin the day with a guided visit to Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. Located on the highest of Rome’s seven hills, it was begun in 1583 as a summer residence for Pope Gregory XIII and is one of the largest palaces in the world. In the late 19th century, it became the official residence of the new Kings of Italy. Enjoy a panoramic guided sightseeing tour of the city this afternoon. This evening, celebrate your Roman holiday with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 8 — Return to U.S.

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for homebound flights. (B)