I went to Italy, Croatia, and Greece on a cousin's trip this July. A Friend In Rome guide services had helped me before, and I had been more than pleased. Silvia Prosperi, the founder/owner of the company had been my guide, and the woman KNOWS Roman history. I asked her what types of day-trips she had for a party of six. She suggested Hadrian's Villa @ Tivoli, just thirty minutes from Rome.
Silvia hired a driver for us, and we rode in STYLE! A beautiful, roomy Mercedes van, much better than cramped Italian taxis! Our driver, Alfredo was pleasant and professional. Once we arrived on site, Silvia was already taking care of details. Two members of our party have mobility issues, so she worked out transportation for them to the site from the parking lot--about a third of a mile away. It was greatly appreciated. My husband and the rest of us enjoyed the walk to the archaeological site.
We had already been in urban areas in Italy for over a week's time, so we were ready for some countryside. Silvia's tour delivered. Her explanations of the different parts of the villa were accompanied by excellent computer reconstruction graphics which really allowed our imaginations to run wild. She also shared a lot of impressive personal history about the Emperor Hadrian; his private, and political life. Altogether fascinating.
Tivoli is a lovely place. Surrounding the ruins are plenty of shade trees and places to sit and just take it all in. It's peaceful and far from the maddening crowds of the Forum or Vatican Museums. A perfect get-away from the sometimes noisy and stressful pandemonium of touristy spots.
Silvia knows how to present a tour, saving the best parts for last. She took us to the astounding Nilotic triclinium area, where Hadrian had privacy fountains and long pools of water resembling the Nile decorating the landscape for dinner parties. It was delightful, walking among the trees and imagining what the place must have been like 1800 years ago.
Throughout the tour, Silvia was conscious of the needs of our group, full of information, and the manner in which she organized each site on the tour built up the climax of the triclinium area very nicely. After we left, my cousin expressed disappointment that he hadn't gotten a map of the site. Silvia offered to give him hers, but it was in Italian, not English. Several days later, Silvia texted me, letting me know that she had acquired an English book on Tivoli for Mike, which included the map he wanted. How many guides would take the time to go outside of Rome after a tour ended to get something for a guest like that?
A Friend In Rome tours are tailored specifically for the client. Contact them and ask what day-trips they might be able to put together for you. They are worth every euro and you will NOT be disappointed. Don't be afraid to venture outside of Rome. It's wonderful getting away from the hustle and bustle. Besides, you'll be seeing something that most tourists don't get to experience.