There are some experiences that you have to live them in detail: ride Route 66 on a Harley Davidson, get to know London on its red double-decker buses and, of course, tour Rome on its classic scooter.
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 capital's nocturnal atmosphere, enjoy the sunshine while touring the city or even rent your scooter for several days and get to know Rome's surroundings. If you want to know more about the capital, check out this guide on what to see and do in Rome.
1. Tour Rome by Vespa in group and with guide
Get ready to experience the pure essence of Rome. Forget about long walks around the city or missing the secret corners where buses and cars can't go, with this tour of Rome by scooter you won't miss any of the hidden treasures of the capital.
On this activity you will drive your own scooter, but you will be accompanied by a group led by a professional guide who will tell you about 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 in the city and in 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 are the next stops to enjoy what is considered one of the most romantic gardens in Rome.
Afterwards, you will usually enjoy a stroll through the streets of Trastevere to see the essence of the city and its atmosphere, usually stopping for a break 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 entrance tickets to some monuments.
- Disadvantages of this option: familiarise yourself with motorbikes and driving in Rome before embarking on this adventure.
- Important: the driver needs a driving licence, previous experience with scooters, a credit card deposit (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 scooter but you don't have a driving licence, don't worry, because this tour includes a driver.
Sit on the scooter, 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 immense Vittoriano monument.
You will then head to the Colosseum to photograph the majestic amphitheatre which is one of the 7 wonders of the world.
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 AD and, of course, your driver will drive along the first and oldest Roman road, the Appian Way, started in 312 BC, passing through the Aurelian Wall of Imperial Rome under Emperor Aurelian.
- 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; also, you will be picked up and taken back to your hotel
- Disadvantages of this option: time at each monument is limited by the tour, entrance fees to the sights are not included.
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 scooter tour.
Forget about waiting and take this tour at your own pace, enjoy every street and monument with a guide and driver exclusively for you.
Your driver will pick you up from your accommodation and the adventure begins. Although the tour may vary, the first stops are usually at the medieval Church of 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.
Details of interest
- Price: from 170€
- Duration: 4 hours
- Advantages of this option: no need to worry about unnecessary waiting as this tour is exclusive to you and you will have a guide and driver.
- Disadvantages of this option: Entrance to the Baths of Caracalla is not included. Although it is a private tour, it is still subject to a specific time and route.
4. Get to know the Italian gastronomy by scooter
Are you one of those who knows 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 for 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: 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 accommodation included. Some Italian snacks included in the price.
- Disadvantages of this option: The tour has a maximum time and route set. The activity will be in a group.
5. Rent your Vespa by the hour and choose your favourite 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 offering their motorbikes, driver services, guide or even scooters with sidecar. Although you'll find the cheapest prices on the outskirts of the city, they tend to be pretty evenly matched.
Depending on the route or the time you have available, you can rent your scooter for a 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 penalise you if you deliver the scooter late (see the end of the article for important notes you need to know before renting your scooter).
Visit the surroundings of Rome with your rented scooter
Rome is a museum turned city. To be able to enjoy every jewel that this city hides would take months, but the surroundings of the capital are no 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: Prepare the case, fill 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. It's a great way to get away from the city.
- Tivoli, Villa Adriano and Villa d'Este: Set aside a day in 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 marvellous gardens full of fountains, waterfalls and nymphs.
- Ostia Antica: Rome not only has a beach, but also a wonderful archaeological park around it. Just 35km from Rome is Ostia, an ancient Roman city by the sea. Don't think twice, if you want to escape the rush of the city, hop on your Vespa, fill up the tank and head for the archaeological site of Ostia Antica. Try to leave early from Rome, as the centre closes at approximately 16:00 in winter and 18:00 in summer, so you can enjoy the temples, the Roman statues, the baths of Neptune and the amphitheatre of Ancient Ostia at your leisure. If you're planning a visit to 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've got your Vespa booked and the perfect itinerary, all that's left is to choose the right time of day. Rome is a city of charm at any time of day, but the romance 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't miss, either from the Garden of Oranges 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.
- Rome by night: 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 in the moonlight.
What you need to drive in Rome:
The most important thing before enjoying this marvellous plan is safety, so it is necessary to organise every point with caution. Traffic in Italy is very busy 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 other hand, driving a scooter in Rome has always been your dream, do not forget to take with you all the necessary papers and ask the shop for the scooter insurance and your helmet, as without them you will not be able to drive.
- Driving licence: an essential requirement to be able to drive your scooter is to have a valid driving licence. If the scooter is smaller than 125cc you can rent it with a B driving licence, if it is larger you will need a class A driving licence. Another important thing to bear in mind is that if your driving licence does not belong to a country of the European Community, you will need an international driving licence.
- Money for the deposit: For the guarantee, the company usually asks for a deposit that will be returned when the scooter is delivered. This amount usually varies depending on the scooter, rental time, etc. and can usually be paid in cash or by credit card. Remember to always 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 motorbike and have the insurance you will need to prove your identity (make sure that the company has an insurance for the motorbike and take it with you, without it you will not be able to drive), so take your identity document or passport with you 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 take a GPS with you or applications such as 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, this way you can be sure of the scooter's condition and save yourself future troubles.
- Make sure you always wear a helmet and carry your scooter's insurance so that you can ride it without any problems.
- If you've never ridden a scooter before, you may want to hire a driver or practise before you set off on your tour of Rome. Besides the fact that the Italian capital has busy traffic, the streets are paved with cobblestones, which will make your scooter vibrate more than usual, so I recommend that you familiarise yourself with your scooter before riding through Roman traffic.