We recently visited Rome prior to embarking on a Mediterranean Cruise. This was our first experience in Italy and through family were recommended Giovanni Musella Private Tours to maximize our 2 and 1/2 days in Rome. He was amazing. He was easy to access via the internet and we promptly came up with a custom plan for our visit to the sites of Rome and surrounding areas.
On Day 1, we arrived into Rome 9:30 AM and were met at the airport. We were taken to our hotel to drop off luggage and began touring the city. His knowledge and enthusiasm were beyond exceptional. We visited ancient Rome sites such as Palatine Hill, the Colloseum, the Pantheon, and were given insight to the true history of what Rome meant to its people and its decedents. His general knowledge of every aspect of Roman life made us feel as we were actually on our way to an ancient Roman event. I especially liked the endless fun facts which derived from ancient Roman life. Why Sangria is Roman in origin and not Spanish, Why we use the term "mile markers", what Spa really means and what each letter represents in Roman history, Why October is designated the 10th month when it should be the 8th... Everything was traced back to Rome and it made sense. Before our return to our hotel, we visited Trevi Fountain for some pics.
Day 2, we were picked up at our hotel and driven to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius, leaving Rome down an ancient roadway. He arranged for a private 2 hour tour with an incredible tour guide Roberta who took us through areas of the ancient city not known to the general public. She was as amazing as Giovanni. On our return, he recommended several local restaurants. His favorite soon became our favorite. Pietros, down a small alley, quaint, charming and local. The owner Pietro introduced himself and the restaurant atmosphere was home Italian!
Day 3, we were again picked up at hotel but with luggage. A quick drive to Pompeys Theater (the sight of Julius Caesars murder) a walk through Michaelangelo's Square then to another arranged excellent private tour through the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Finally a drive to the cruise port where we were dropped off and in less than 20 minutes were on the Princess cruise ship.
You cannot go wrong with Giovanni and the special arranged tour guides he hires. We avoided the awful lines and our tour guides seemed to know everyone of importance when it was necessary. We wont forget them.