On the first day that we were in Rome, J and I decided to do a city center bike tour and as it turns out, this tour became one of my favorite parts about our 3 days in Rome. Hell, probably the entire Italy/France trip. The City Center Bike Tour was €45 with Top City Rentals and started at 9am in the morning which was a perfect way to start off our adventure in Rome.
Early Thursday morning, we started to walk to the bike shop from our apartment at Campo di Fiori. What started out as a simple 30 minute walk quickly turned into a much longer one because I accidentally lead us down the wrong street. (Thank goodness for Google Maps in the States).
Luckily, we realized we were headed towards the wrong direction in time and J made us run for it. We almost didn’t make the tour but we caught it just minutes before they left! Whew, crisis averted and now I will always know that the Colosseum is to the left of Venezia Square, not to the right!!
The tour really helped us get to know all the different parts of the city and of course the views were just amazing. But what I loved even more about the tour was that we were in a pretty small group of 9 people. A group this size is completely manageable and we were all able to hear our tour guide Bruno talk about the history of his city and the significance of each of the different sites we stopped at.
Rome in the early morning on a weekday was still a bit quiet as there were fewer tourists than later in the day. We were able to see some popular places in Rome like the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain without having to fight the crowd like J and I did when we later revisited my favorite spots from the tour.
Here’s what we ended up seeing:
Colosseum, Imperial Forums, Venezia Square, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Farnese, Trastevere, Tiber Island, Portio d’Ottavia, Theater of Macellus and Capitol Hill (view of the Roman Forum)
By the end of the five hours, I was starting to feel a bit tired since the 1pm sun was hitting hard. But my main concern about having to navigate through Roman traffic and avoid pedestrians was put at ease since Bruno led us through a ton of cute back streets and we walked our bikes if it ever seemed to get a bit dangerous.
But seriously, do this tour if you like to do touristy things without feeling like a typical tourist. You won’t regret it.