The Renaissance: think of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, beautiful art and a revival of culture – but it’s also been a time of intrigues and corruption, ambitious cardinals and gorgeous courtisans, greedy bankers, reckless adventurers and unscrupulous popes. This tour is mostly about the many stories history books usually don’t tell.
We’ll immerse ourselves in the intrigues at the papal court exploring Castel Sant’Angelo, the pope’s fortress, from top to bottom. Once the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Hadrian, it was then turned into a castle to provide a safe hiding place for the pope, should he get attacked by enemies. Its dungeons were also used up to the 1800’s as a prison for all the political opponents of the papacy, and this is where many executions took place. On the other hand, the top floors house the grand frescoed rooms the pope would enjoy during his stays at the castle, while the top terrace offers an unforgettable view over the entire city.
Crossing the most beautiful bridge in town, known as Ponte Sant’Angelo, we’ll get to the neighbourhood where the rich bankers from Florence used to live in the 1400-1500’s; you’ll see how Rome has always been a city of stark contrasts, with aristocratic palaces mixed with humble buildings and colourful markets such as Campo de’ Fiori.
At Palazzo della Cancelleria you’ll hear about the powerful cardinal Riario, who had to hand over his riches to the pope to save his life, after having been caught taking part into an attempt on the pope’s life; Palazzo Farnese takes us back to the time of pope Paul III, who owed his speedy career to his sister Giulia Farnese, mistress of pope Borgia; and in between, we’ll discover hidden courtyards and quaint artisans’ workshops that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
Add-ons & Combo tours
Feel like keep going? Why not turn this into an even more fascinating experience, adding the beautiful Villa Farnesina on the left bank of the Tiber River, to admire the brilliant frescoes by Raphael and his pupils, and to experience how the wealthiest man in town lived in the early 1500’s? Once home to Agostino Chigi, the richest banker of the Italian Renaissance, it was the setting for his extravagant parties and the love nest he offered to the great love of his life, the Venetian courtisan Francesca.
If you are looking for a combo tour, don’t miss our Barocco & the City Tour, or our Food tour in Trastevere! Combo tours are a great way to get the most out of your destination, while saving money: a combo is less expensive than booking 2 half-day tour on different days.
If you are interested in booking this tour, please get in touch so we can talk over the details!
Or, hit the BOOK button and receive instant confirmation!
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Cost guideline – What’s included
|Duration of tour||1-2 people||3-4 people||5-6 people||7-8 people|
|Up to 3 hours||180,00 EUR||195,00 EUR||210,00 EUR||240,00 EUR|
|+ each additional hour||60,00 EUR||65,00 EUR||70,00 EUR||80,00 EUR|
- For larger groups, I’ll be happy to send you a quote.
- The tour rate includes your private guided tour – price is total, not per person.
- Entrance tickets to Castel Sant’Angelo, transportation to the starting point, meals, snacks and gratuities not included in above rates. Headsets are not included (only needed with 6+ people).
- Since entry fees may vary depending on temporary exhibitions being held at Castel Sant’Angelo, updated entry fees will be listed in the detailed trip summary you’ll get upon sending a request/booking. Tickets are about 15,00 EUR per person (children under 18 are for free), and can be bought on site (cash or credit card) or online in advance (simply ask me for the link).
- Please note that we reserve the right to vary the prices shown on this website at any time before you book (during Bank Holidays, National Holidays, Christmas Holidays, Easter Holidays, or last minute bookings). From April 1st to October 30th, last minute bookings (less than 3 days prior to the tour) are subject to a 15% surcharge.
You will be advised of the current price at the time of booking. Once you have booked we will not increase your tour price other than for changes in VAT or any other Venues or Government imposed levy.
- Cancellation Policy & Refunds