As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, so what better way to explore the city than from the back of a Vespa? loveholidays took a trip with Scooteroma to find out more.
There’s been a link between these scooters and the streets of Rome for decades, since the days of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck whizzing around on a Vespa in Roman Holiday. Because the streets are often narrow, hopping on a scooter is one of the easiest ways to get around on your city break, and it allows you to get a taste for how the locals live. Grab a helmet and get ready to see all the main sights in just a few hours, from the Colosseum and the Forum to the ‘Wedding Cake’ – also known as the monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II.
With our trusty drivers, Annie and Giovanni, we began exploring the streets after being picked up from our hotel, the Domus Romana. It didn’t take long to get used to the feeling of being on a Vespa and we were soon zipping through the traffic in no time at all, with a few jealous pedestrians giving us a wave as we passed. Along the way, we stopped to find out why there’s a huge pyramid attached to the city walls, what amazing view lay behind an ordinary-looking keyhole in the hills, and how to get the knack of drinking from one of Rome’s many fountains (it’s harder than it looks!). We zoomed by the famous cat sanctuary at Largo de Torre Argentina, where cats roam amongst ancient ruins, and we cruised along to the Vatican, where the new Pope had been announced only days before.
Giovanni also talked us through the history of the Circus Maximus, which now looks like a very thin park on the side of the Palatine Hill. It used to be the place to be seen as a Roman, where chariot racers would battle it out against each other, a bit like today’s Formula One.
As well as seeing well-known sights, we also got the chance to get out of guidebook mode and see some of Annie and Giovanni’s personal highlights, including their favourite place to stop for a coffee, in the Testaccio neighbourhood. Annie has lived in Rome for seven and a half years and certainly knows her stuff! From trivia about local landmarks to top restaurant recommendations, she was happy to give tips on how we should spend the rest of our break, insisting that the Pantheon should be on our to-do list (and she was right!). In a city full of sightseeing, it can be hard to prioritise what to see, whereas being on the back of a scooter made it effortless to tick off a lot of the major places.
Top tips for your Vespa tour
-Wear plenty of layers, as it will be colder than on the pavement!
-Choose to be a passenger, unless you have relevant driving experience.
-Book your tour during the earlier part of your city break, as it will help you to get your bearings and see which landmarks are close to each other.
-Don’t forget your camera!
If you’re planning a city break in Rome then there really is no better way to see the sights than from a scooter. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and be the most stylish tourist around.
To find out more about Scooteroma tours, follow them on Twitter here. loveholidaystook the three hour Motorino tour. If you want to learn more about the city’s great reputation for films, check out the Rome on film map here.