There is so much I want to say about my fabulous tour of Rome with Aldo and his touring company so here we go….Aldo greeted us as we first got off the ship and we were on the road to Rome before all the big tour buses and crowds from the ship. That was great!
I knew I liked Aldo immediately because he was easy to talk to, charming, warm, and had a great smile and personality….plus I had corresponded with him for a few months and he was always very prompt with all my emails and I felt like I had already made a friend before we had even met.
Rick and I hooked up with fellow cruisers Janean, Angie, and Miranda, a very sweet family, and we all had a blast in Rome with Aldo.
Aldo immediately captivated us with the rich history of the port city, Civitavecchia and made the long ride to Rome go by fast with his engaging and warm conversation and comfortable van. I felt like I was on a family vacation I was so comfortable with everyone and everything.
We visited the Colosseum first, and of course got the views for the best pictures on a hill across from the site. Then Aldo escorted us across a busy street to the entrance (basically stopping traffic-dare I say risking his butt) so we could explore the interior.
Aldo took us to all the places we wanted to go and many more because he was very good with our time management, although he never rushed us and I never felt hurried…very efficient and organized and the best driver in Rome I believe…we never got stuck in traffic yet I saw many cars that seemed to be at a snail’s pace. His navigation was flawless and I pleasantly surprised with all that we saw and we still had some time to spare…never would of happened if we had toured Rome on our own.
Aldo had a book that showed different stages of the ruins, like the roman Forum and Colosseum for example and as he would give us the history and interesting tidbits of info he would show us how the ruins used to look at these different stages, thousands of years ago before war, looting, natural decay, etc. I thought that was very unique and interesting and I still remember the stuff 2 months later.
As I have said, Aldo is very charming, personable, and thoughtful, and he seems to know no strangers…he knew everyone! After a few sites, he took us to a delightful store and bought us all cappuccinos (see pics) and it was delicious! Puts Starbucks to shame!! Then we saw the Trevi Fountain and a few more sites before he took us to a great pizza house for lunch. We also had gelato at a shop next door. It was heaven for me…pizza and dessert!!!
After lunch our group split up and Aldo took Rick and me to the Vatican Museums and guided us thru the miserably long line in about 2 minutes and up the right stairwell before leaving to take the girls to some more sites. We almost went the wrong way (as we were trying to get to the Sistine Chapel) and Aldo caught us going the wrong way and guided us from behind the gate in the right direction…I thought he had already left but he had been watching us to make sure we went the right way with the massive crowd in there…very nice. That was above the call of duty I think!
We met about two hours later in St Peter’s Square and then headed back to the ship with time to spare…we were all very satisfied with everything we saw but Aldo said we had time to see a few more sites but we were content with a leisurely ride back to the ship…it was a very full and satisfying day. Aldo had one more surprise for us though. He stopped at a place and came back with some homemade sweet delicacies that were “melt in your mouth” good!!! Aldo made us feel like we were royalty and catered to our every desire…thanks Aldo!!! You are the best and you set a very high standard for all the private guides (in the other ports) that followed you!! The ultimate gentleman!
We have already decided to go back to Italy next year and I will be using Aldo and His drivers again for our stay in Tuscany. We can’t wait!!!
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