There are experiences that you have to live them in detail: riding Route 66 on a Harley Davidson, getting to know London on its red double-decker buses and, of course, touring Rome on its classic Vespa.
Choose between the different routes that the eternal city has to offer and the perfect moment: enjoy the sunset on one of the seven hills, immerse yourself in the nightlife of the capital, enjoy the sunshine while touring the city or even rent your scooter for several days and get to know the surroundings of Rome. If you want to know more about the capital, visit this guide on what to see and do in Rome.
1. Tour Rome by scooter in group and with guide
Get ready to know the pure essence of Rome. Forget about long walks through the city or miss the secret corners where buses and cars can not pass, with this tour of Rome by Vespa you will not miss any detail of the treasures hidden in the capital.
In this activity you will drive your own scooter but you will ride with a group led by a professional guide who will tell you the history of the city.
These tours usually start in the Monti district and make the first stop in front of one of the most important monuments of the city and the world, the Colosseum.
After a few photos, your guide will take you to the Circus Maximus to see the hippodrome, the chariot racing stadium and the imperial palace. Giardino degli Aranci and Piazza Pietro D'Illiria will be the next stops to enjoy what is considered one of the most romantic gardens in Rome.
Most often you will then enjoy a walk through the streets of Trastevere to see the essence of the city and its atmosphere, usually stopping to rest in Piazzale Garibaldi.
Although the route can be modified, usually the last stops of the route will be to discover the baroque Piazza Navona, visit the Pantheon and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to the eternal city.
- Price: from 80€.
- Duration: 3 hours
- Advantages of this option: includes a professional guide who will explain the main attractions of the city. In some cases, this type of tour includes tickets to Circus Maximus, Giardino degli Aranci, Piazzale Garibaldi, Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. You can hire a company driver for an extra price (from 50€).
- Disadvantages of this option: familiarize yourself with motorcycles and driving in Rome before embarking on this adventure. You will have to travel to the meeting point (check with the company before the day of the activity) as they do not offer a pick-up service. Food and beverages are not included.
- Important: the driver needs a driver's license, previous experience with scooters, a credit card deposit as a guarantee (to be released at the end of the contract) and identity documents.
2. Tour Rome on a Vespa as a passenger
If you want to tour the city of Rome on the classic Vespa but you don't have a driver's license, don't worry, because this tour includes a driver.
Sit on the vespa, get your camera ready, let your hair blow in the wind and enjoy the main monuments of Rome without worrying about driving in the busy traffic of the capital.
Although the route may vary depending on weather, traffic or events in the city, in general this itinerary usually starts in Piazza Venezia admiring the huge Vittoriano monument.
You will then head to the Colosseum to photograph the majestic amphitheater that makes up one of the 7 wonders of the world.
After this stop the driver will take you to the largest hippodrome in Rome, the Circus Maximus, built at the time of Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC.
During the tour you will also visit the Baths of Caracalla, one of the most important public baths in Rome, whose construction began in 206 A.D. and, of course, your driver will drive along the first and oldest Roman road, the Appian Way, started in 312 B.C., passing through the Aurelian Wall of imperial Rome under Emperor Aurelian.
This tour usually includes in its itinerary a skip and jump to Egypt with its stop at the Cestia Pyramid (the only Egyptian style pyramid preserved in Rome).
After a snack usually is Testaccio, the route continues stopping to photograph the best views of Rome from the Orange Garden.
This activity does not include a visit to the Forum, but since the tour lasts about 3 hours, you can always take advantage of it and visit it on your own, see here how to buy your tickets for the Roman Forum.
- Price: from 149€.
- Duration: 3 hours
- Advantages of this option: this tour includes your own driver, so you can enjoy Rome without the stress of driving; in addition, you are picked up and taken back to the hotel and you have a professional guide. Water, coffee, ice cream or snacks are included. The tour has a maximum of 10 passengers, which makes it easy to get to all the stops in plenty of time.
- Disadvantages of this option: time at each monument is limited by the tour, entrance fees to the sights, the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla are not included. It is a closed tour, so you will visit the attractions included in this activity.
3. Enjoy Rome with a private Vespa Tour
If you have fallen in love with the above routes, but prefer a little more independence, you can always book a private vespa tour.
Forget about waiting and do this tour at your own pace, enjoy every street and monument having a guide and driver exclusively for you.
Your driver will pick you up at your accommodation and you will start the adventure. Although the tour may vary, the first stops are usually at the medieval Church Ss. Quattro Coronati, the Basilica do Santo Stefano Rotondo, the Baths of Caracalla, the Protestant Cemetery and the Santa Cecilia Church in Trastevere.
After resting and having a coffee or ice cream (included in the tour) at Pasticceria Linari, you will arrive at Giardino degli Aranci to enjoy one of the best views of Rome.
You will then look through the famous lock of the Knights of the Order of Malta before finishing with a last stop at the Circus Maximus.
- Price: from 170€.
- Duration: 4 hours
- Advantages of this option: don't worry about unnecessary waits as this tour is exclusive for you and you will have a guide and driver. Pick up and drop off is included, as well as water and a coffee or ice cream during the break. Entrance fees to the SS. Quattro Coronati, the Basilica do Santo Stefano Rotondo, the Protestant Cemetery, the Santa Cecilia in Trastevere are included.
- Disadvantages of this option: Entrance to the Baths of Caracalla is not included. Even though it is a private tour it is still subject to a specific time and specific route.
4. Get to know the Italian gastronomy on a Vespa
Are you one of those who know the culture of a country through its food? I have the perfect tour for you, a gastronomic tour by vespa. Plus, you don't have to worry about driving if you've eaten too much or tasted some delicious wine because this activity has a private driver.
Your driver will take you by vespa to live one of the best Italian culinary experiences. You will tour the best restaurants and cafes in Trastevere and the Jewish quarter. You will also stop at the famous Campo de Fiori market to taste its white pizza with mortadella.
- Price: from 223€.
- Duration: from 3 to 4 hours
- Advantages of this option: driver and guide included so you can eat and drink without worrying about driving. Pick up and drop off at the accommodation included. Some Italian snacks included in the price.
- Disadvantages of this option: The tour has a maximum time and route established. The activity will be in group.
5. Rent your Vespa by the hour and choose your favorite itinerary:
If you are one of those who prefer the freedom of going on your own instead of hiring a closed tour, but you don't know where to start, don't worry, I bring you the solution.
Booking your vespa is easier than it seems: Rome is full of different businesses that offer their motorcycles, driver services, guide or even scooters with sidecar. Although you will find the cheapest prices on the outskirts of the city, they are usually pretty even.
Depending on the route or the time you have available, you can rent your scooter for the whole day from 63€, several days or just the hours you need.
Pay attention to all the clauses included in the rental contract, as the company may penalize you if you deliver the scooter out of time (see the end of the article for the important notes you need to know before renting your scooter).
Visit the surroundings of Rome with your rented scooter
Rome is a museum turned into a city. To enjoy every jewel that this city hides would take months, but the surroundings of the capital are not for less: world heritage sites, castles, Roman ruins...
Therefore, renting your scooter is the star option to tour the surroundings of Rome and not miss any of these incredible places:
- Roman Castles: Get the case ready, fill up the tank and get ready to marvel at the Roman Castles. Drive along the ancient Roman road Via Appia to enjoy the papal palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Villa di Massenzio, the Circus of Maxentius and the Domini Quo Vadis Churches. In addition, you will drive through the famous vineyards of Frascati, visit the town of Palestrina and taste the strawberries of the picturesque village of Nemi. Without a doubt, a perfect plan on the outskirts of the city.
- Tivoli, Villa Adriano and Villa d'Este: Reserve a day of your itinerary to get to know the wonderful region of Lazio. Take your Vespa and enjoy the wonderful hills surrounding the capital towards the town of Tivoli, Villa Adriano and Villa d'Este. Although it takes less than an hour to get to Tivoli (30 km from Rome), I recommend you to leave early in the morning in order to enjoy a full day visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Villa Adriano and Villa d'Este. Besides enjoying the Roman archaeological complex, you will be able to visit the wonderful gardens full of fountains, waterfalls and nymphs.
- Ostia Antica: Rome not only has a beach, but also a wonderful archaeological park around it. Just 35 km from Rome is Ostia, an ancient Roman city by the sea. Don't think twice, if you want to escape from the rush of the city, get on your Vespa, fill up the tank and head to visit the archaeological site of Ostia Antica. Try to leave early from Rome, since the center closes at approximately 16:00 in winter and at 18:00 in summer, so you can enjoy the temples, the Roman statues, the baths of Neptune and the amphitheater of Ancient Ostia. If you decide to visit Ostia, check out this guide to find out the best places to eat, the best time to go and much more.
Choose the best time to take a scooter tour of Rome
If you have already booked your Vespa and the perfect itinerary, you just have to choose the ideal time of day. Rome is a city of charm at any time, but the romanticism of the sunset or the change of pace of the night can make your plan even more special.
- Rome at sunset: Get your camera ready because Rome's sunset is a sight to remember. The orange sky over the eternal city is something you can not miss, either from the Orange Garden or through the lock of the Order of Malta, write down in your GPS the best views of Rome, start the engine and enjoy an unforgettable sunset from your Vespa.
- The night of Rome: If Rome itself is a city of dreams, imagine walking its streets and admiring its monuments illuminated in the darkness of the night. Get to know the vibrant nightlife of Rome on a vespa, visit the hidden treasures that this city has to show you and don't miss the Colosseum, even more majestic with the moonlight.
What you need to drive in Rome:
The most important thing before enjoying this wonderful plan is safety, so it is necessary to organize every point with caution. The traffic in Italy is quite hectic and during daylight hours can be quite stressful.
If you do not feel comfortable driving, you can always opt for the option of hiring a private driver, but if on the contrary, driving a scooter in Rome has always been your dream, do not forget to take with you all the necessary papers and ask the store for the insurance of the scooter and your helmet, because without them you will not be able to circulate.
- Driving license: an essential requirement to be able to drive your scooter is to have a valid driving license. If the motorcycle is smaller than 125cc you can rent it with a B driving license, if on the other hand it is a larger one you will need a class A driving license. Another important fact to take into account is that if your driving license does not belong to a country of the European Community you will need an international driving license.
- Money for the deposit: for the guarantee, the company usually asks for a deposit that will be returned at the moment of delivering the scooter. This amount usually varies depending on the scooter, rental time, etc. and can usually be paid in cash or by credit card. Always remember to check the clauses of the rental contract to avoid penalties for delivering the scooter with an empty tank or late, among others.
- Identity document: In order to rent the motorcycle and have the insurance you will need to prove your identity (make sure that the company makes an insurance of the motorcycle and take it with you, without it you will not be able to circulate), to do this take with you your identity document or passport to be able to carry out all the necessary procedures.
Recommendations and tips:
- They say that all roads lead to Rome, but once in Rome it is very easy to get lost, so I recommend that you carry a GPS with you or applications like google maps on your phone to avoid wasting time on your route.
- When the company delivers the scooter to you, photograph it in front of the seller and include all the damages and scratches that the scooter has, so you can be sure of the condition of the scooter and save yourself future troubles.
- Make sure you always wear a helmet and carry the insurance of the scooter to be able to ride without problems.
- If you have never driven a scooter before, you might want to hire a driver or practice a bit before you start your tour in Rome. Besides the fact that the Italian capital has a very busy traffic, the streets are paved with cobblestones, which will make your bike vibrate more than usual, so I recommend that you familiarize yourself with your Vespa before getting into the Roman traffic.