Rome's history - walking tours

Peel Back Years of History on One of our Walking Tours

Type: Shared and private tour options available
Duration: Half day
Special information: Entry to churches in Italy requires appropriate attire (no shorts, miniskirts or uncovered shoulders please)


Discover the secrets of Rome's history

The city of Rome is positively dripping in history, with so much to see that it can be overwhelming if you don’t have the expertise of a knowledgeable tour guide to help you navigate the main sights. Here, we give a selection of some of our favourite Rome tours that focus on the history of this ancient city.

If you would like to book any one of these tours, or if you would like us to put together a personalised Rome package for you, please call 01223 637331 or click here to send an enquiry.

Our Tours

Diocletian Thermal Baths and the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs
This tour of the Diocletian Thermal Baths and the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs takes you for a fascinating look at the thermal baths that were established by Emperor Diocletian, who reigned between 284 and 385 A.D. The emperor wanted a huge public thermal bath that could be used by the Roman population who lived in the north-east suburbs and, after 8 years of building, he got his wish and these huge thermal baths were opened to the public. They were bigger than the Baths of Caracalla and were in operation for about 100 years; however, many workers lost their lives in creating the Diocletian Baths and the other baths of the Roman Empire.

In 1560 Pope Pio IV commissioned Michelangelo to create a basilica in honour of those who lost their lives in building the thermal baths. Thus, the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs was born.

This tour also includes visits to Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza dei Cinquecento. This tour lasts about 3 hours.

The First Domestic Churches and the Most Ancient Clandestine Roman Christian Centers
Constantine founded many magnificent basilicas for the Romans, but they were situated outside the Roman walls. Few basilicas were constructed in the city’s old town but this tour takes you on an in-depth tour of the most ancient churches of Rome.

Among these, there is the option to visit S. Maria in via Lata, S. Giorgio in Velabro, S. Maria in Cosmedin and S.Teodoro, which sits at the foot of the Palatine Hill.

In addition, there are many pretty Christian churches dotted about Rome that this tour takes you to, such as the Church of Saint Lawrence at Lucina.
This tour lasts about 3 hours

The Roma Ghetto
The first unit of the Roma Ghetto was established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV, who forced the Jewish population to live in a very restricted area of Rome. The Ghetto was abolished in 1883 – the last to be abolished in West Europe.

Our Roma Ghetto tour takes you to the various areas of the Ghetto, including Via del Portico d’Ottavia and Piazza delle Cinque Scole. You will also see the synagogue, which was built in 1904 in a Liberty and Babylonian style, and the Jewish Museum of Rome.
This tour lasts about 2 hours.

The Pyramid of Gaius Cestius and the Aurelian Walls
This tour starts at the Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, which was built between 18 and 12 B.C. as a funerary monument for Gaius Cestius Dives. The burial chamber is well preserved but entirely bare as clandestine treasure hunters are thought to have taken many of the valuable artefacts, leaving a pensive silence behind. In the third century A.D. the pyramid was incorporated into the Aurelian walls, and close by you will find the magnificent Porta San Paolo, or Port Ostiensis, which is the best preserved of all the ports of the Aurelian Walls, along with Porta San Sebastiano. The tour continues along Viale del Campo Boario towards the Protestant Cemetery. During this walk it is possible to admire some of the best preserved of the Aurelian walls.

The tour continues to Piazza Bottego, where it is possible to cross the walls along via Zabaglia to arrive at the Monte Testaccio, which was a site for festivals during the Middle Ages.
This tour lasts about 2 hours.

Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and the Castrensian Amphitheatre
The Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme was built on the ruins of an imperial villa and was originally called Sancta Hierusalem. Although the church is situated outside Rome, it became a place of pilgrimage due to the enormous historical significance of the relics that were housed there. In the basement or the basilica you can find the Chapel of St Helena, which is embellished with mosaics.

This tour also takes you to the Castrensian, which remained in use until the construction of the Aurelian Walls.
This tour lasts about 1.5 hours.

The Aventine Hill: Santa Prisca and an ancient mitreo, Santa Sabina and Diana Temple
This tour begins at the hill of Santa Prisca, where excavations have revealed a Roman house. During the tour, your guide will describe to you’re the fascinating history of Santa Prisca, who was sentenced to death by Claudio. She was thrown to the lions but, miraculously, the animals left her unharmed. Unfortunately, she was later beheaded and buried on the Aventine.

This tour also takes you to one of the most beautiful temples of the Aventine: Santa Sabina Temple.
This tour lasts about 2.5 hours.

Trastevere Basilicas and the Underground world!
This tour takes you underground, beneath San Crisogono for a fascinating step back in time! The discovery of this basilica dates back to 1907 and it has since been carefully excavated, unveiling ancient remains and artefacts, including paintings and a semi-circular crypt.

Just a few minutes’ walk from San Crisogono and we can find the Basilica of Santa Cecilia, which was built in the ninth century, under Pope Paschal I. The original Baroque façade, designed by Ferdinando Fuga, is preceded by a portico with four columns and two pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Under the altar is a bronze and marble tomb, where it is thought Santa Cecilia was buried.
This tour lasts about 3 hours.

If you would like to book any one of these tours, or if you would like us to put together a personalised Rome package for you, please call 01223 637331 or click here to send an enquiry.