We just returned from a two week trip to Europe which included a cruise through the Med and a couple of days in Rome before and after the cruise.
We found Rudy as he was mentioned in Cruise Critic and was highly rated on Trip Advisor - ALL WELL DESERVED!!
We entrusted four transfers and a full day of touring to Rudy - and it was stress free and effortless.
The driver (Francesca) was awaiting us at the terminal for transport to the hotel in a fairly new Mercedes Van. The next day a driver showed up (on time) to take us from Rome to Civitavecchia. Santino spoke a bit of English and was charming and professional.
Two weeks later, Antonio was at the Port awaiting for us to disembark - we were 15 minutes early and he was there. Antonio was fluent in English and was easy to listen to as he described life in Italy and the various neighborhoods we should visit. His best advice was "When you go to a restaurant, ask the waiter is there anything special today? Something that you would serve to your family if they walked in?" We used this line three times over the next two days with excellent results.
The real treat and reason for this review was the time we spent with Rudy on our personal full day tour of Rome. Rudy is personable, bright, witty and funny and provided us with insights into the history of Rome, the Vatican and the various areas we visited that far exceeded anything that we had ever experienced.
Rome is hot in August! Rudy made sure that we stayed in the air conditioned van while he explained what we were about to visit before venturing out into the 90+ heat of the day.
We covered many of the essential "must see" spots of Rome including the coliseum, Circolo Massimo, Catacombs, Ancient Apian Way (including a wonderful lunch in a shady garden) and Vatican City. His talks on the early ages of Rome, the cities and the roads and the conquests, the real story of the gladiators and the Christians, the city walls, the aqueducts, St Peters and on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel were great as they covered the howls and whys of things. His discussion on the Sistine Chapel and its frescoes included information on how they need to be painted while the walls and ceiling were wet and the meanings and hidden meanings behind each of the frescoes even kept my 14 year old son engaged.
After eight plus hours with Rudy we were dropped off back at our hotel; smarter and more enlightened about the history of Rome in ancient times, the middle ages and of the present. Not to mention, pretty well fed and not too exhausted given what we saw in one day.
On Sunday, Santino arrived to take us to the airport - but there was a quick detour to stand on a street in Rome, look through a keyhole in a gate in Malta and see St Peters through the Keyhole.
Based upon the reviews in Trip Advisor, I put my whole trip in Rudy's hands and was incredibly and happily impressed!!
I am looking forward to our return to Rome for our tour of outlying areas with Rudy.
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