The Best Way to See Rome: Semi-Private Golf Cart Tour
Our family planned a trip to Europe this past July, not knowing at the time of booking that there would be a massive heat wave across the continent. Fortunately, we had scheduled a Rome golf cart tour through LivTours. We were able to leisurely tour a significant portion of the ancient city from the comfort of the golf cart. This saved my family of four a whole deal of walking and exhaustion in the humidity and heat which rivaled that of our home in Texas.
Semi-Private Rome Golf Cart Tour
On these semi-private golf tours, you can have groups of up to six people. Since it was just the four of us, plus our tour guide and driver, we were allowed the privilege of choosing some of the locations we’d like to visit, and some we’d rather skip. We opted out of visiting the Trevi Fountain because we were staying in a hotel that overlooked it. It was a thorough, three-hour tour. You can always ask your guide to stop for a bathroom break, lunch, or gelato!
Rome Golf Cart Tour Stops
We only had about a day and a half scheduled in Rome on our big Europe trip, so I’m happy to say that the golf cart tour allowed us to see many beautiful places spread all throughout the large, ancient city, some of which I had never seen before on my previous trips. The itinerary for this Rome golf cart tour includes:
– Piazza della Republica
– Via Cavour
– Colosseum (outside)
– Arch of Constantine
– Aventine Hill & Keyhole
– Pyramids & Testaccio
– Jewish Ghetto
– Mouth of Truth
– Largo Argentina
– Piazza Venezia
– Pantheon (outside)
– Trevi Fountain
– Piazza Novana
– Saint Peter’s Basilica (outside)
– Castel Sant’Angelo (outside)
– Gianculum Hill
– Spanish Steps
You can give or take a few of these locations, because you may want to skip a few if you do not have the time or wouldn’t like to travel so far across the city.
Colosseum and Roman Forum
The Rome golf cart tour starts at a meeting spot at the Piazza della Repubblica. From there, we drove through the milling streets towards the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Our guide parked the golf cart near a good location for taking photos in front of the Colosseum, and a far-away view of the forum. She gave us a rundown on the fascinating history that created the Colosseum’s current-day appearance and state of being. In this area you can also spot the Arch of Constantine and other ancient attractions. When we departed the location, we drove around the Colosseum, seeing it from all its incredible angles.
I was both excited and disappointed when stopping at the Circus Maximus. The Circus Maximus is an incredible stadium where the ancient Romans did regular chariot races. The stadium used to seat up to 300,000 people. That’s twice as large as the biggest stadium in the modern world! Unfortunately, this incredible stadium is no longer standing for us to see. What remains of it lies beneath the ground, never to be seen again. Above ground, it appears to be just a massive field. Nowadays it is used as a space for large events and concerts.
Despite my disappointment that the Circus Maximus would never be excavated, I was still fascinated to know what lay beneath my feet. We could also view the ruins of other ancient buildings just beyond the Circus Maximus. Our guide of course gave us more information about its history. Alas, she explained that with Rome being so tied to history, it can be hard for modern-day Romans to live in the present. Oftentimes, new buildings cannot be constructed, and old ones cannot be destroyed. While tempting to excavate the Circus Maximus, it is the largest open space in the entire city and is therefore of great utility in its current state.
Parco Savelo – Giardino degli Aranci
The next stop on our Rome golf cart tour was Parco Savelo. Rome is built entirely on hills, dividing the city up into different neighborhoods and classes. The drive took us up a hill into an ancient neighborhood still inhabited by people today. The neighborhood was beautiful and far more peaceful than other parts of the city. Within this area is the Parco Savelo, a peaceful park with towering orange trees. The Parco Savelo is a great place to overlook the city, get pictures, and point out all sorts of monuments. After a long day of travel, this was one of my favorite stops on the tour. The ancient system of aqua ducts still carries water throughout Rome, so we stopped and filled up our water bottles at a small water fountain while here.
Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica
We traversed across Rome to see Vatican City. Once again, our driver found us a parking spot, and we were able to get out and walk around the main plaza of Vatican City. While the view is impressive, this tour is not one that takes you inside of Saint Peter’s Basilica or the other buildings. You would have to book a separate tour for that or visit again on your own time.
Gelato at Giolitti
Stopping for gelato at this famous and beloved shop was one of my favorite parts of the day. Gelato of course is a delicious treat, great after a hot and sweaty day of travel. Giolitti’s however served some of the best gelato I’ve ever had. It was a little hectic inside, but our guide knew her way around the shop. She successfully managed the transaction on our behalf, and we all walked away happy with two-scoop cones of soft, creamy gelato in our hands.
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Located near the Pantheon, this church is not a very well-known attraction. While its exterior blends in with the rest of the city street around it, the inside of this church is beautiful and ornate. What makes this church so fascinating is that, despite what you may see in the pictures, it has no dome on top. The ceiling of the Church of St. Ignatius has been uniquely painted to look like it has a dome, but it is merely an optical illusion! Our guide did not tell us this at first, so it was such a wonderful surprise (I hope I didn’t entirely ruin the surprise for you though).
Piazza Novana and Trevi Fountain
Our guide offered to drop us off near our hotel at the end of the tour. On the drive home, we passed by the famous Piazza Novana. However, we decided not to stop and visit since we had spent lots of time in this piazza before. We returned to our hotel next to the incredible, glowing Trevi Fountain, where we took more pictures and had time to rest.
Although our day was busy and quite long, having just arrived in Italy that morning, I’m so grateful for the experience we had on this Rome golf cart tour. It was the best way for our jetlagged family to see as much as we could while minimizing effort. If you have a mobility issue I really recommend this. It will enable you to see so much without having to struggle around the city. For those traveling to other parts of Europe as well, LivTours offers tours in Barcelona, Paris, and London in addition to Italy.
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