Rome Travel Guide

Built on 7 hills and the centre of the biggest empire of all time, Rome cannot fail to inspire you.

Rome school trip travel guide

An introduction to Rome

By definition, capital cities tend to embody the history, power, culture and attitude of a civilization - and in the case of Rome, this couldn't be more accurate. For Classics, History, Art or R.E. students, a school trip to Rome can never last long enough, down to the fact that the sheer number of 'wonders' is completely overwhelming.

The must-see attractions of the Colosseum, Forum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican will inevitably form the basis of your itinerary. But after that, you'll need a subject or focus to help narrow down your visits and activities.

Art tours can take in the Vatican Museums, the National Galleries (Ancient & Modern) and the Borghese Villa for starters - but if that becomes too much, head to Tor Marancia, a small district with an abundance of street art.

All visits are covered by our externally verified Safety Management System and are pre-paid when applicable. Prices and opening times are accurate as of May 2018 and are subject to change and availability. Booking fees may apply to services provided by Voyager School Travel when paid on site.

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History

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The Vatican museums began as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II, who was Pope from 1503 to 1513. The popes were among the first to open their private art collections to the public, thus promoting knowledge of art history to everyone. Not to be missed are the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms. Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Capella Sistina is considered by some to be the finest achievement of the Renaissance.
museivaticani.va

Price

£3.50pp

Headphones are mandatory for groups, €1.50pp.

Opening times Every day: 07:00 - 18:00
Select Weds: 12:00 - 18:00

St Peter's Cathedral

Saint Peter’s church is the world’s largest Basilica of Christianity, nestled into the heart of the Vatican city. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".
vaticanstate.va

Price

Free

Headphones are mandatory for groups, €1.50pp.

Opening times Mon - Sat: 09:00 - 18:00
Last Sun of month: 09:00 - 14:00

Climb St Peter's Dome

When you are in the Vatican, there are many must-sees and must-dos. Going to the top of the Cupola is one of them. The exit of Vatican Museum directly connects to the lift queue and you may get an advantage if you first visit Vatican Museum, then take the lift to Cupola and finally visit St Peter's Basilica. You can stay as long as you like to take pictures and enjoy the panoramic views.
vaticanstate.va

Price £4 - £9pp depending on choice
Opening times Oct - Mar: 08:00 - 17:00
Apr - Sept: 08:00 - 18:00

Colosseum

Commissioned in AD80 by Emperor Titus, this huge structure took just 8 years to complete. It was designed for staging gruesome gladiatorial contests and hunts and could accommodate up to 80,000 spectators.

After four centuries it was put out of use due to lack of funds and because gladiatorial combat became a less popular form of entertainment. A visit to the Colosseum is like stepping back in time and a great insight into Roman history for your students. Enjoy your visit but do watch out for pickpockets. The Colosseum looks stunning when it’s lit up in the evening so try to see it at night if you can too.
coopculture.it

Price Free (£15 group pre-booking fee)
Opening times Varies seasonally from
08:30 - 19:15

Forum

The Roman Forum is another place you must visit in Rome and your ticket to the Colosseum includes entry to this amazing ancient site. The Forum was initially a marketplace but developed into the economic, political and religious heart of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Forum was forgotten, buried and used as a cattle grazing pasture.

As a result, many of the columns, stone temples and arches have not survived, but the best-preserved monuments include the Arch of Septimius, the Temple of Saturn and the House of the Vestal Virgins. The site is enormous and there are plenty of ruins for your students to explore and discover more about Roman life, architecture and history.
coopculture.it

Palatine Hill

For many a visit to the Palatine is a great relief as it’s a chance to escape the crowds and take in some amazing views of Rome.  Evidence suggests that there was a settlement here as early as the 10th century BC, but more importantly, it is where Romulus is thought to have begun building the ancient city. During the Renaissance, it was topped with Michelangelo’s Piazza Campidoglio. Today, the Palatine is a pretty park with many interesting ruins. There are great views of the Circus Maximus and the Forum as well as over the city.

Church of St. Clement

The Basilica of Saint Clement is possibly one of the most interesting churches to visit in Rome. Archaeologically speaking, the church is of interest because there are three different religious structures from different periods all in one place.

Beneath the present basilica is a 4th-century basilica that had been converted out of the home of a Roman nobleman, part of which served as a church in the 1st century. Beneath this are remains of an ancient Mithraeum temple with an altar showing Mithras slaying a bull. The artwork in the current Basilica is exceptional and there is a courtyard outside where you can enjoy a few moments of silence.
basilicasanclemente.com

Price Free - £3.50pp for excavations
Opening times

Mon - Sat: 09:00 - 12:30 & 15:00 - 18:00
Sun/State Holidays: 12:00 - 18:00

Pantheon

The Pantheon is a beautifully preserved classical monument which has served as a church since 609 BC. Inside, you will find the tomb of one of the Renaissance masters, Raphael along with several Italian kings. The exterior columns each weigh an incredible 60 tons each; the stone that was used to build them was transported all the way from Egypt. The columns support a pediment with an inscription attributing the Pantheon to Marcus Agrippa, though it is generally thought to have been the work of Hadrian.
rome.info/pantheon

Price Free
Opening times Mon - Sat: 09:00 - 18:30
Sun: 09:00 - 13:00

Musei Capitolini

This group of art and archaeological museums can be found at the top of the Capitoline Hill. The history of the museums can be traced to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of important ancient bronzes to the people of Rome and located them on Capitoline Hill. Since then, the museums' collection has grown to include a large number of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and other artefacts; a collection of medieval and Renaissance art; and collections of jewels, coins, and other items. Highlights include sculptures of Aurelius and Constantine and the Roman wolf bronze with Romulus and Remus, as well as paintings by Caravaggio.
museicapitolini.org

Price Free (£3 exhibition price)
Opening times  Every day: 09:30 - 19:30

Bocca della Verità

La Bocca della Verità, ‘the Mouth of Truth’, is a great photo opportunity. Located in the entrance to the church of Santa Maria, this marble image of a river god is an ancient form of lie detecting. Legend has it that if a person placed their hand inside the mouth it would be bitten off if that person had been dishonest.

In the past, sailors that had been away at sea would bring their wives to the stone to make sure that they had been faithful to them during their absence. In truth, nobody really knows what the true function of the carving was; it may have been a drain cover, part of a fountain or the cover of a temple water collector.

Price Free (Suggested donation)
Opening times Winter months: 09:30 - 16:50
Summer months: 09:30 - 17:50

Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus (Latin for "Large circus") was once the largest stadium in ancient Rome. At its height of popularity it was mostly used for chariot racing and measuring 2,037 ft long and 387 ft wide, could seat around 250,000 people. The original wooden stadium was destroyed by fire as was the second stadium. Today, merely a trace of the original structure can be seen.

Appian Way

The Via Appia is a 560 km road leading from Rome to Brindisi. It is one of the earliest and most important of the Roman roads in ancient times. It runs through the Appian hills and the Pontine Marshes barely making a single turn.

These days the best way to see the road is on foot or on a bicycle and there churches and catacombs to visit along the way. In ancient times it was forbidden to bury the dead within the city of Rome, so many were buried along the roads leading out of Rome, including along the Appian Way.

Trevi Fountain

The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district. Tourists flock to the famous landmark to thrown their ‘three coins in the fountain’, ensuring they will return to Rome one day.

Spanish Steps

The Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous squares in the world, as well as being one of the most majestic urban monuments of Roman Baroque style. In the Renaissance period, the square was the most popular tourist attraction in the city: it attracted artists and writers and was full of elegant hotels, inns and residences.

At the foot of the Spanish Steps, you will find the famous Barcaccia Fountain, the work of Pietro Bernini and his son, Gian Lorenzo. The steps are a must-see but perhaps the best thing about this trip is the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the square buzzing with tourists and buskers.

San Callisto Catacombs

A visit to the catacombs of St. Callixtus is fascinating and moving. Started in the middle of the second century this immense underground network was where Christians came to practise their faith and be buried as Christians in secret. The underground cemetery occupies an area of 90 acres with a network of galleries on four levels. There are plenty of stairs to climb and it can feel rather cold so take a jumper!
catacombe.roma.it

Price £5pp
Opening times Thurs - Tues:
09:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00

Baths of Caracalla

These mighty red-brick ruins were originally named after Emperor Caracalla and completed in about 216 AD. In its day, this huge bathing facility had three bathing rooms which could hold around 1,600 people.

The ritual of bathing was a long process which began with the hot bath in the "calidarium," went onto the warm "tepidarium" and was followed by a stint in the cold "frigidarium." People often then chose to go for a swim in the "natatio" open air swimming pool. A sophisticated water distribution system was in use which ensured a constant flow of healthy water from the Aqua Marcia Aqueduct. In many ways, these baths were like a modern-day leisure centre with gymnasiums, libraries, gardens, art galleries and restaurants.

Fortunately, the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla are well preserved and many mosaics can still be seen. The baths are beautiful when lit up at night and there are many cultural events, such as operas and musical events, held throughout the summer.
isromantique.it

Price Free
Opening times Mon: 09:00 - 14:00
Tues - Sun: 09:00 - 16:30/19:50

Ostia Antica

If you want to find out more about what life was like in ancient Roman times then a visit to Ostia Antica is a must. This large archaeological site was the harbour city of ancient Rome. It includes an amphitheatre, bathhouses, tombs, houses, temples, churches and the oldest synagogue in Europe.

Amongst these amazing ruins, there are still some well-preserved mosaic floors, some of which belonged to shops and you can still make out what the shops were selling. Many people regard the ruins of Ostia Antica as better than those at Pompeii.
ostiaantica.beniculturali.it

Price Free
Opening times Every day:
Varies seasonally from
08:30 - 16:30 to 08:30 - 19:15

Capuchin Crypt and Museum

The Capuchin Crypt is a small space comprising several tiny chapels located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, Italy.

The highlight of the trip is probably looking at the skeletal remains of the 4,000 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars who died between 1528 and 1870. The bones have been artfully arranged on the walls to create intricate patterns. The Catholic order insists that the display is not meant to be macabre, but a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth and our own mortality.

It may be a bit creepy but it’s popular with young people and is definitely something they won’t see again. In the new museum, the Capuchin friars show works of art, paintings, precious objects, manuscripts, liturgical vestments and objects of daily use.
cappucciniviaveneto.it

Price £5pp
Opening times Every day: 09:00 - 19:00

Tarquinia Necropolis

The Necropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosting an exceptional monumental cycle of painted tombs described as “the first chapter in the history of great Italian painting”.

It is the largest necropolis in the area around the ancient Etruscan city of Tarquinia, comprising more than 6,000 underground Etruscan tombs. Adorned with scenes of human life that include huntsmen, fishermen, musicians, dancers, jugglers and athletes, the painted tombs illustrate the wealth and power of the occupants for whom they were built.
tarquinia-cerveteri.it

Price Free
Opening times Tues - Sun
Winter months: 08:30 - 19:30
Summer months: 09:00 - 19:00

Cerveteri Necropolis

The Cerveteri Necropolis is the most imposing in all Etruria and one of the most magnificent in the entire Mediterranean basin. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located about 1.5 hours north of Rome. Wander the streets of this “city of the dead”, enter its houses and take a trip back in time. The multimedia installations bring the Etruscan period back to life by using audiovisual projections, virtual reconstructions, sound, light effects. 3D videos show you how the tombs would have looked more than two thousand years ago, reproducing the atmospheres of the day and the treasures they conceal. 

The National Museum of Cerveteri, home to numerous Etruscan artefacts, including the celebrated Sarcophagus of the Spouses, is a world leader for its use of technology, as applied in the innovative “touch on glass” project: you touch a glass display case and archaeological artefacts thousands of years old come back to life to tell you about the history, anecdotes and secrets of the mysterious world of the Etruscans.
tarquinia-cerveteri.it

Price Free (£2 reservation fee)
Opening times Tues - Sun
08:30 - 1 hour before dusk

Altar of Fatherland

The Altare della Patria (The Altar of the Fatherland), also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, was built in 1885 to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy, and soldiers from the First World War. The Altar of the Fatherland, located on the white steps, is part of the Vittoriano complex, although very often this name is used to identify the entire monument.

Price Free
Opening times Every day
09:00 - 17:30
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Art

National Gallery of Ancient Art

This famous art gallery is located on two sites in Rome. The first is at the Palazzo Barberini and the second, at the Palazzo Corsini. The Gallery contains Roman Statuary, Etruscan artefacts, but the highlight is the Nile Mosaic. There are also some exceptionally important works by Canaletto, Caravaggio and Raphael.
barberinicorsini.org

Price £4.50pp
Opening times Tues - Sun:
08:30 - 19:30

National Gallery of Modern Art

Established in 1881, the Galleria D'Arte Moderna is now Italy's largest modern art museum and has over 5,000 paintings and sculptures on show. It Includes works by Van Gogh, Klimt, Miro, Balla, Morandi, Kandisky and Cezanne, and on a sunny summer's day it is nice to wonder out into the courtyard where several other works are displayed, including a sculpture by Canova.
gnam.beniculturali.it

Price Free
Opening times Tues - Sun:
08:30 - 19:30
Temporary exhibitons:
10:30 - 19:30
Find out more here

Recreation

Time Elevator Show

Time Elevator Roma combines education and entertainment in such a unique way that it has become an essential part of any visit to Rome for all ages. This show is a multi-sensorial attraction that shows 3,000 years of Roman history, from Romolus and Remus up to the present day, in an exciting and fun way. A great way to perk your students up after lots of sightseeing!
time-elevator.it

Price £8 child
£10.50 adult
Opening times Every day:
10:00 - 19:30

Hydromania Water Park

Hydromania is among the largest and best-equipped water parks in Italy: thrilling water slides for the brave and many swimming pools for everyone else.
hydromania.it

Price £22pp (-20% for groups of 15+)
Opening times June - September
Mon - Fri: 09:30 - 18:30
Sat - Sun: 09:30 - 19:00

Bowling Roma

Located in the heart of Rome this bowling alley opened back in 1961. the venue has been completed renovated with 16 alleys and a bar. The venue also includes video games and pool.
bowlingroma.com

Price £2.50 - £6pp (time dependent)
Opening times June - September
Mon - Fri: 09:30 - 18:30
Sat - Sun: 09:30 - 19:00

Ice Cream Workshop

Visit one of the best gelaterias in central Rome. When your friends come home from a trip to Italy, what do they rave about the most? Most likely it will be Italian ice cream, acknowledged by many experts in the subject to be the best ice cream in the world. Come and get to know more about the making process of this iconic delicacy! This 1-hour demonstration at Gelateria Fiordiluna near Santa Maria in Trastevere is followed by an ice cream tasting.

Price £12pp
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