Updated: Jul 8
People love Rome for the history, art and architecture. They loathe Rome for the ever present crowds of people. Popular destinations have earned that distinction for a reason. If you would like to check Rome off of your list, but want to avoid the masses, then private touring is the perfect fit for you.
Speaking of the masses, we spend the last two nights of our trip to Italy at the Westin Excelsior. Technically, this is a Virtuoso hotel. However, the reality was that my room was in need of a deep clean and a refresh. The hotel is in a great location, has lower rates than other Virtuoso properties, and if you love the SPG program you can earn points for your stay.
Exclusively for Virtuoso guests:
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
$100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Our first morning in Rome was an early start. We were ready in the lobby by 6:30 AM for our transfer to the Vatican, where we had breakfast before starting our tour. This is an must-do experience when you are in Rome and is well worth the additional cost.
The other must-do activity during our visit to Rome was the Vintage Vespa Tour. It was so much fun! It is the perfect way to experience the city and soak up life in Rome.
Leaving the Westin Excelsior on the Vintage Vespa Tour
Of course there are many other excellent tours and sites to see in Rome, plus lots of wonderful shopping and dining options.
We said goodbye to fly home the next morning and took our private transfers to the Rome (FCO) Airport. Due to the fire that occurred in the in the international terminal in May 2015, and the large number of passengers on a Saturday, the airport was an absolute zoo. Allow plenty of time to get to your gate, even if you have status or are flying Business or First Class.
First you checked in at a counter with your passport where you are asked several security questions. Then I was handed a tiny plastic bag which was basically the size and quality of a plastic vegetable bag with handles and told to place all of my electronic equipment in it, including cables and chargers.
Then I went to another area where I waited in line to check my bag. Then I got in line for about two hours, holding my plastic baggie of electronics, to go through security. This was followed by passport control, and then a bus ride to the terminal. I arrived to the airport three hours early, and made it to my gate fifteen minutes prior to boarding.
The wait was so bad that American Airlines held the plane and we departed about an hour late to give people time to clear security.
All in all it was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back and experience more of Italy.
Are you dreaming of a vacation in Italy? Contact us today and let’s turn your dream into a reality!