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Free Tours in Rome

Ana Patricia in Rome - Credits: Solange Souza @solefotoitalia
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Free Tours in Rome

Rome, Lazio, it’s our dear Eternal City. The capital of Italy is a city that attracts millions of tourists every year and offers us a wide range of tour options, which can even make it difficult to choose which is the best itinerary to do once you are in the city. So, today, I bring you some options for free tours in Rome. Stay with us and make the most of boot country! Here at the Travelling to Italy we can make the trip of your dreams come true! Also, get to know our Section Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your Holidays.

The good part of this huge range of free tour options in Rome is that there are spectacular tours. And the best part: guided! Best of all? You can make your reservation online and, if necessary, cancel at no additional cost!

Today I bring you a short list with several options for free tours in Rome. Before making your reservation, I suggest you check all the details of the tour: the meeting place (if any), schedules, conditions, days, and times.

List of Free Tours in Rome

I brought you a list of 4 options for free tours in Rome. Reinforcement: check ALL DETAILS of the tour BEFORE making the reservation, and, if you can’t attend, cancel the tour in advance!

1) Free Tour in Rome: BAROQUE ROME

One of the most popular tours in the Eternal City is the Free Tour. The itinerary, of course, starts in Piazza di Spagna.

Piazza di Spagna

In Piazza di Spagna, you will be given a brief summary of the history of the square, and you will receive some information about some curiosities about the place, such as, for example, when scenes from the movie “Roman Holiday” were filmed with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. From there, the tour continues to visit some of the most iconic fountains in the city  – remembering that Rome has more than 2,000 fountains! Rome is considered the city of the Baroque, and, of course, this style is reflected in many parts of the city.

The Beautiful Trevi Fountain

The Baroque style is very visible in one of Rome‘s most iconic fountains, the infamous Trevi Fountain. Conceived and realized by Nicola Salvi, the fountain gained even more prominence when it was shown in an iconic scene from Federico Fellini’s film “La Dolce Vita.”

The Enigmatic Pantheon

Continuing the tour, you will head to the Pantheon, one of Rome’s most famous, and beautiful, sights.The construction of the Pantheon was carried out at the time of Emperor Hadrian, in 126 A.D. Its official name is Agrippa’s Pantheon, and in the early seventh century, the building was donated to Pope Boniface IV, who turned it into a church. Since then, the place has been perfectly preserved.

Piazza Navona

Leaving the Pantheon, head to Piazza Navona, where the tour concludes with the presentation of this splendid square.

Useful Information:

  • Meeting point for the start of the tour: Piazza di Spagna, corner Vicolo del Bottino.
  • Meeting time: at least 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time.
  • Where to book? Clicking here: Free Tour for Baroque Rome

Attention!!!

The Free Tour does not include tickets to the monuments visited, as the tour is limited to the exterior of the attraction only.

2) Free Tours in Rome: IMPERIAL ROME

Among the free tours in Rome, one of the most sought after is the tour that passes through Imperial Rome. A true classic that deserves special mention! With a trip down memory lane, the tour is filled with magnificent glimpses of more than famous spots in our Eternal City. Read also: How to buy tickets for the main monuments in Italy?

The Colosseum and the Imperial Forums

The tour of the Imperial Rome passes through the surroundings of the Colosseum and Forums Imperial and, starting from the monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II – also known as the Altar of the Fatherland, will take you to a time when Rome shone in the world as the most powerful empire that ever lived!

The start of the Tour in Imperial Rome

The tour of Imperial Rome begins with a stop in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, which is strategically located at the top of Capitoline Hill. Read also: Are we going to visit the Capitoline Museums in Rome?

From there, the tour goes to the beautiful ancient Rome, which was where the public, cultural and economic life of the imperial era was concentrated. The tour continues outside the Imperial Forums and gives us an incredible view, with several examples of what the cities of the most powerful civilization in the world were like.

Continuing our Tour

Let’s go to the Imperial Forums to learn about the golden times of the most famous emperors, such as Augustus, Trajan, Domitian and Julius Caesar. We will be able to see the temple of Venus, ancient squares, and historical columns among other important points of Roman history.

From there, it’s on to the most important point in Rome: the Colosseum. The building was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is of singular beauty! This amphitheatre is the main symbol of the Italian capital, and it is impossible to go to the city without visiting it.

Closing of the Tour

The tour ends in front of theLudus Magnus, which is aFormer Gladiator Training Center which is next to the Colosseum. Also Read: Gladiator School in Rome

Useful Information:

  • Meeting point for the start of the tour: Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.
  • Meeting time: at least 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time.
  • Where to book? Clicking here: Free Tour for Imperial Rome

3) Free Tours in Rome: BAROQUE CHURCHES

As we have already mentioned, Rome is a den for lovers of the Baroque and, of course, there is a free tour in Rome that takes us to discover the most beautiful Baroque Churches in the Italian capital. Get to know our Section: Religious Tourism in Italy and in Rome!

Learn a little more about the Itinerary of the Baroque Churches of Rome

The free tour of the Baroque churches is told through beautiful testimonies of art by great artists such as Caravaggio, Raphael, and Borromini. The tour departs from the beautiful Piazza de Sant’Agostino and, from there, we already begin to get a glimpse of the Baroque style present in Rome. The churches that are part of this itinerary began to be built in 1600 A.D. and are witnesses to a very special style of art, as well as being beautiful!

Church of Sant’Agostino

In Piazza Sant’Agostino, we can already see the incredible Church of Sant’Agostino, where, inside, we can see the painting “The Virgin of the Pilgrims”, made by Caravaggio. This is the most classical example of Baroque present in the city, and, there, we can also see – in the temple – a very important fresco made by Raphael and strategically located on the altar.

Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Departing from the Church of Sant’Agostino, we will continue to another beautiful church: the church  of St. Ignatius of Loyola, built by order of Pope Gregory XV in 1626. This church is considered one of the most impressive in the Italian capital and presents us with something very unusual: a fake dome! To identify it, just look up in the central nave and, from there, you’ll have an optical illusion that will make you visualize a dome that doesn’t actually exist. It’s very interesting!

Church of St. Eustatius and St. Louis of the French

The next church is that of St. Eustatius and St. Louis of the French. In this last church, the beautiful and immense organ is not to be missed, and we can also see several paintings by Caravaggio.

Basilica of St. Agnes in Agony

The tour ends in the beautiful Piazza Navona, where the Basilica of St. Agnes in Agony is located, which was designed by one of the best architects in history, Francesco Borromini. Inside this church we can witness an elegant decoration of marbles and gilded stucco.

Useful Information:

  • Meeting point for the start of the tour: Piazza de Sant’Agostino.
  • Meeting time: at least 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time.
  • Where to book? By clicking here: Free tour of the Baroque Churches.

4) Free Tours in Rome: ROME AND ITS MYSTERIES IN A NIGHT TOUR

For those who like urban legends, ghostly stories, and adrenaline, this is the perfect tour!

Start of the Night Tour

Rome is steeped in history, but some of it is not so well known. The night tour starts at Piazzale Flaminio, a few meters from Piazza del Popolo. Here is the so-called “cursed cemetery”, where the bodies of prostitutes, atheists and murderers were buried. Legend has it that here, at nightfall, the renegade spirits return in search of justice.

Nearby is also  the Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo, where interesting stories are hidden around the works of two Baroque artists: Caravaggio and the sculptor Bernini.

Continuation of the Night Tour

The tour continues through Via del Corso, where terrible perversions made by Pope Paul II will be revealed. From there we continue along Via di Ripetta to discover the atrocities of another pope, Pope Leo X, who was the creator of the collection of taxes on prostitution that transformed the city.

This inspired Caravaggio to use the image of a harlot to paint… The face of a virgin! Yes! Fire in the playground! And this painting is seen in the Basilica di Sant’Agostino, which is close to the famous Biblioteca Angelica.

Closing of the Night Tour

The tour ends at the bridges of Sixtus IV and Sant’Angelo, both very close to Trastevere. By the way, the Trastevere neighborhood is home to some very bizarre stories, so to speak, and on this tour, you will find out what they are! Several bodies were dumped in Tiber and, to this day, there are those who hear cries for help and despair.

Useful Information:

  • Meeting point for the beginning of the tour: Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.
  • Meeting time: at least 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time.
  • Where to book? Clicking here: Rome and its Mysteries: Night Tour.

Important Considerations

A free tour is not a substitute for a private guided tour

Of course, the free tour is also done by an accredited guide, however, it is important to remember that she cannot “go too far off script”, as she needs to keep the schedules to be able to pick up other groups at the end of the tour, that is, she cannot stop and give more accurate information about possible doubts you may have.

Attention to Schedules

The guides of the free tours have NO TOLERANCE for delays! So: arrive early at the meeting point! With the private guide you can request that she meet you at your hotel; With the free tour guide, THERE IS NO SUCH POSSIBILITY.

The available times, as well as the dates for the tours, are more restricted –  especially during the high season – so the earlier you make your reservation, the better, and easier, it will be to find the time that best suits your needs.

Not all explanations are detailed

It is also good to remember that not all explanations are detailed, especially for the sake of time! Folks, Rome is a history book and so there is a LOT of information available, but the free tour offers – practically – the most relevant information, not the detailed ones.

Important to know

  • Avoid taking a free tour with children, or with people who have limited mobility. The free tour DOES NOT CATER to people with physical disabilities or who require wheelchairs to get around.

I have questions, now what?

Below, we list the most common questions among tourists who want to hire free tours in Rome.Also Read:What to do in Rome with children?

1) Who can benefit from a free tour of Rome?

Especially for those who would like to have an overview of the city. It is worth remembering that  the free tours in Rome are not as detailed (although it is very complete) as the tours with a private accredited guide.

Understand that the focus of the free tour is, in fact, only to tell the story of what is being presented without going into details and/or informing curiosities, for example. However,  it may be worth it so that you can have a summary of what you can see, with more details, if you decide to hire a guide who will show you the city in all its splendor and let you discover the main tourist attractions with their curiosities, history, dates, among other very interesting information.

2) Are the guides of the free tours in Rome accredited?

Yes! All of them are duly accredited and very competent, but because they have groups constantly, they may not have time to answer more specific questions.

3) How long is the tour?

It depends on the itinerary, but the tours usually last between 2 and 2 and a half hours – all walking.

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4) Do I need to pay anything, even if it’s a free tour?

At the end of the tour, it is suggested that a symbolic value be offered to the professional as a way of thanking them for the service provided. Although it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended, as it is a way of valuing the work of the professional who assisted you!

5) How many people does a group have?

A minimum of four people, but you can have up to 6. Some tours cater for a minimum of 2 people, so check this possibility at the time of your booking. If the group does not reach the minimum number, the tour will be canceled.

6) Is cancellation free?

Yes! You can cancel the tour for free at least 4 hours in advance. It is important that, if you cannot attend, you cancel the tour, because if you do not cancel it, the guide will be waiting for you at the meeting point. Therefore,  be kind and cancel as soon as possible.

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Watch this video and find out 3 must-see churches in Rome!

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Conclusion

Free Tours in Rome! Strolling around Rome is a real treat, but strolling around Rome and taking a guided tour will offer you another travel experience!

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