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Rome

Founded by Romulus on 21 April 753 BC, Rome was soon the largest city in the world, peaking in power during the rule of Marcus Aurelius from 161-180 AD. At the time the city was the centre of the incredibly powerful Roman Empire, which ruled so much of the world. The city is built on seven hills (Capitolino, Palatino, Quirinale, Viminale, Esquilino, Celio and Aventino) with a wide, flat and open central area, named Camp Marzio after the ancient God of War. Originally used as a training camp for Rome's forces, this area is now home to many of the city's most famous sights.

Rome's architecture charts the passage of time as clearly as anywhere in Europe; with wonderfully preserved monuments from the early Romans and buildings with distinctive medieval, Renaissance and Baroque features. The most famous sights are a real wonder to behold - no photo can prepare you for the awesome sight of the Colosseum close up. No other city boasts as many world-class sights as Rome - not even Athens, New York or London. As well as the Roman heritage sights, Rome also boasts beautiful medieval areas, impressive city squares and of course the country within Rome - Vatican City, with the incredible St Peter's Basilica.

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Colosseum

One of the most familiar symbols of Ancient Rome is the incredible Colosseum. An awesome sight to behold up close, the unmissable Colosseum is part circus, part sports arena. Although time, weather, pillaging and earthquakes have taken their toll on the classical ruin, it is a breathtaking sight and contains the original pathways, ramps, cells, corridors and entrance ways used by gladiators, slaves and animals to enter the arena.

Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was the political, commercial and religious centre for the Roman Empire. Now just an impressive ruin, it is possible to make sense of what it was like in its heyday by viewing the best-preserved sections, including the beautiful Arch of Septimus Severus, which was built to celebrate the Roman victory over the Parthinians.

Spanish Steps
The stunning, curving Spanish Steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna up to the Piazza Trinità dei Monti and the Trinità dei Monti Church. Known in Italian as 'Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti', the 138 Spanish Steps are the widest staircase in Europe. The original design for the steps was chosen as the winning entry in a competition held after years of debate about how best to urbanise the steep slope leading up to the Trinità dei Monti. There is debate about which architect was actually responsible for the winning design, although it is accepted to have been either Francesco de Sanctis or Alessandro Specchi, and is often attributed to both of them.

Trevi Fountain
Rome's most famous - and, arguably, most beautiful - fountain was built for Pope Clement XII and almost fills the small Piazza di Trevi. The statues adorning the fountain represent Abundance, Aquippa, Saubrity, the Virgin and Neptune guided by two Tritons. By tossing a coin - over your shoulder with your back to the fountain - you are said to be guaranteed a return visit to Rome.

Pantheon
Regarded as one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs, the Pantheon has a perfectly proportioned floating dome that sits on tall marble columns and is one of the best-preserved classical buildings in Rome. Built as a temple to the Gods in 120AD, the clever design includes a single light source flowing through the central oculus that was used to measure time with the aid of an internal sundial. The instruments used also showed the dates of equinoxes and solstices.

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10 results matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Rome

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A Grand Tour of Italy
Save up to £400
4.2 stars(50 reviews)
2024MayJunSepOct
12 days from
£3,495 pp £3,295 pp
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12 days from
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  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Rome, Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast
Save up to £400
3.8 stars(83 reviews)
2024AprMayJunAugSepOct
10 days from
£3,095 pp £2,895 pp
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10 days from
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£2,895
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  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International / London Heathrow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Puglia & Basilicata
Save up to £400
3.9 stars(92 reviews)
2024MayJunSepOct
12 days from
£2,395 pp £2,245 pp
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12 days from
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£2,245
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  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International / London Gatwick
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  • TransportRail, Coach
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Top to Toe of Italy
Save up to £400
4.1 stars(20 reviews)
2024MayJunSepOct
16 days from
£4,495 pp £4,245 pp
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  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International / London Gatwick
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7 days from
£795
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7 days from
£995
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2025 On Sale
6 days from
£3,995
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13 days from
£1,645
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Our customers love our Rome tours
Glorious Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast & Eternal Rome
19 Nov 2023
Jim Halcro-Johnston
5 stars
“A very well run holiday experience. Train and hotel bookings were excellent and the tour party of about 26 people were blessed with an outstanding tour guide.
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Top to Toe of Italy
28 Oct 2023
Mr Noble
5 stars
“The hotels and travelling logistics was excellent and well planned. Communication prior to the holiday was good. The cities we visited and day excursions were well organised. Our tour guide was excellent always at hand to answer questions of iron out little snags. If any negative the organised evening meals were of poor quality, but overall it was a five star holiday.
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Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast
08 Nov 2023
Lesley
4 stars
“The overall trip and experience was fantastic. Saw loads of amazing of things and places. Two points I would like to raise. Porterage of suitcases was very noticeable by its absence and lifts are not high on Italy's priority at railway stations on the whole. (I presume this had been part of our payment to you). Also the set meals were at best average only. To the extent that when 'bigged up' as being deficient in both quality and quantity. For example, the final meal in Monopoli where the choice was between seafood or meat as a main constituent, those who selected meat only saw two or three slices of dried cured local ham as part of a starter. Then saw no further meat in their meal whatsoever.
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A Grand Tour of Italy
20 Oct 2023
T Wylie
4 stars
“The quality of the hotels (all 4*) in Turin, Rome and Chambéry was very good, each being situated close to the main railway stations, which saved considerable hassle at the beginning and end of our stays. The Turin hotel was within an easy walk of the delightful historical centre of the city. The rooftop bar in Rome was a particularly nice touch, hosting a couple of lovely evenings with the group watching the sunset over nearby St Peter’s Basilica. Breakfasts were good at each, especially Turin. The hotel in Venice was outstanding, more than justifying its 4* status. It had a lovely waterfront bar and, being on Murano, was nicely insulated from the main hustle and bustle of the city whilst only being a 20 minute boat ride away on the frequent vaporetti which operate from right in front of the hotel. Breakfast was truly outstanding, with serve yourself Prosecco included ??. The hotel in Florence, which is inexplicably rated 4*, was in reality a glorified B&B. To be fair, the breakfast was good. However, there was no bar or restaurant, so no space to socialise, whilst the city was a 20 minute walk away for those wanting an evening meal or drink. Facilities were sparse, indeed one couple in our group endured three nights on a mattress placed directly on the floor. Four stars but no bars? Really?? GRJ penny pinching more like. The standard and overall experience of GRJ catered meals varied hugely over the fortnight. The restaurant in Turin was a pleasantly short walk from the hotel. The meal was a traditional set menu with no choice, so not everyone enjoyed it to the full. One very small glass of wine was the drink offering. Curiously, there was no printed menu, so no one knew for sure what it was they did or didn’t enjoy on the night. In Rome, the delightful restaurant was directly opposite our hotel, offering an excellent menu choice of high quality. The meal in Florence was again a set menu, but there was huge variety on offer and the food and wine just kept coming. Lovely restaurant but required a fleet of taxis from the hotel to get there. The meal in Venice was particularly disappointing, with no wine included and poor quality food. The water taxi there and back was the highlight of the evening. The meal in Chambéry was good, although the trademark half a glass of wine each for our farewell dinner tells you everything you need to know about GRJ’s attitude to cost cutting at every turn. The guided tours of Rome, Pisa, Florence and Venice were all relaxing, enjoyable and hugely informative excursions, each being led by friendly, engaging tour guides. By contrast, our tour of the Vatican was horrendously overcrowded, despite starting at 8.15am, and not helped by a bossy, incomprehensible and largely disinterested tour guide. The fact that half our party came home with COVID was doubtless a souvenir of our being crammed like sardines with thousands of others into the Sistine Chapel. The standard and overall experience of train travel over the fortnight varied greatly. Standard Premier service on Eurostar and First Class on the French TGV trains were a delight, although the experience on Italian trains was mixed to say the least. On some local services we were stood together in cattle class as a group of 25 by the doors at the end of the carriage, so overcrowded were they. More annoying though was on the intercity services where we walked down the platform past numerous empty first class carriages to get to our standard class seats, which had no leg or arm room whatsoever. More GRJ penny pinching. Overall, this was a hugely enjoyable holiday, shared with a friendly, sociable group and, in no small part, facilitated by the heroic efforts of our truly excellent Tour Manager, Kay Burtenshaw (for whom at least 5*/5). GRJ do however on occasion spoil the ship for a ha'pworth of tar, by inappropriately cutting costs on what is after all marketed as a luxury holiday.
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